Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “For Annie” (D), Home Journal, April 28, 1849, p. 2, col. 3


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[page 2, column 3, continued:]

ODD POEM.

THE following exquisite specimen of the private property in words has been sent us by a friend, and we are glad to be able to add it to the scrap-book of singularities in literature which so many of our fair readers, doubtless, have upon the table. POE certainly has that gift of nature, which an abstract man should be most proud of — a type of mind different from all others without being less truthful in its perceptions for that difference; and though (to use two long words) this kind of idiosyncracy is necessarily idiopathic, and, from want of sympathy, cannot be largely popular, it is as valuable as rarity in any thing else, and to be admired by connoisseurs proportionately. Money, (to tell a useless truth) could not be better laid out for the honor of this period of American literature — neither by the government, by a society, nor by an individual — than in giving EDGAR POE a competent annuity, on condition that he should never write except upon impulse, never dilute his thoughts for the magazines, and never publish anything till it had been written a year. And this because the threatening dropsy of our country’s literature is its copying the GREGARIOUSNESS which prevails in every thing else, while Mr. POE is not only peculiar in himself, but unsusceptible of imitation. We have Bulwers by hundreds, Mrs. Hemanses by thousands, Byrons common as shirt-collars, every kind of writer “by the lot,” and less of individualesque genius than any other country in the world. This extends to other things as well. HORACE GREELEY is a national jewel (we think) from being humbly yet fearlessly individualesque in politics and conduct. What is commonly understood by eccentricity is but a trashy copy of what we mean. The reader’s mind will easily pick out instances of the true individualesque, in every walk of life, and, as a mere suggestion, we here leave it — proceeding to give Mr. POE’s verses: —

FOR ANNIE.

THANK Heaven! the crisis —

The danger is past,

And the lingering illness

Is over at last —

And the fever called “Living”

Is conquered at last.

 

Sadly, I know

I am shorn of my strength,

And no muscle I move

As I lie at full length —

But no matter! — I feel

I am better at length.

 

And I rest so composedly,

Now, in my bed,

That any beholder

Might fancy me dead —

Might start at beholding me,

Thinking me dead.

 

The moaning and groaning,

The sighing and sobbing

Are quieted now,

With that horrible throbbing

At heart: — ah that horrible,

Horrible throbbing!

 

The sickness — the nausea —

The pitiless pain —

Have ceased, with the fever

That maddened my brain —

With the fever called “Living”

That burned in my brain.

 

And oh! of all tortures

That torture the worst

Has abated — the terrible

Torture of thirst

For the naphthaline river

Of Passion accurst: —

I have drank of a water

That quenches all thirst: —

 

Of a water that flows,

With a lullaby sound,

From a spring but a very few

Feet under ground —

From a cavern not very far

Down under ground.

 

And ah! let it never

Be foolishly said

That my room it is gloomy

And narrow my bed;

For man never slept

In a different bed —

And, to sleep, you must slumber

In just such a bed.

 

My tantalized spirit

Here blandly reposes,

Forgetting, or never

Regretting, its roses —

Its old agitations

 

For now, while so quietly

Lying, it fancies

A holier odor

About it, of pansies —

A rosemary odor,

Commingled with pansies —

With rue and the beautiful

Puritan pansies.

 

And so it lies, happily,

Bathing in many

A dream of the truth

And the beauty of Annie —

Drowned in a bath

Of the tresses of Annie.

 

She tenderly kissed me,

She fondly caressed,

And then I fell gently

To sleep on her breast —

Deeply to sleep

From the heaven of her breast.

 

When the light was extinguished,

She covered me warm,

And she prayed to the angels

To keep me from harm —

To the queen of the angels

To shield me from harm.

 

And I lie so composedly,

Now, in my bed,

(Knowing her love)

That you fancy me dead —

And I rest so contentedly

Now, in my bed,

(With her love at my breast)

That you fancy me dead —

That you shudder to look at me,

Thinking me dead: —

 

But my heart it is brighter

Than all of the many

Stars of the sky,

For it sparkles with Annie —

It glows with the light

Of the love of my Annie —

With the thought of the light

Of the eyes of my Annie.


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Notes:

The introductory comment is by N. P. Willis.


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[S:1 - HJ, 1849] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - For Annie (D)