Last Update: March 10, 2007  Navigation:  Main Menu    Poe's Works    Poe's Poems
 
 

Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "For Annie" (A), the Oquawka Spectator (Oquawka, IL), May 16, 1849





Poetry.
————————————————————————
A REMARKABLE POEM.
    We give below a most singularly conceived and oddly expressed poem. It is from the pen of the celebrated EDGAR A. POE — the only many who could have written it. There is no author who has a finer perception of the power of words than POE; and in addition to this delicate critical perception, he possesses a peculiarity of style which is Originiality itself, and one which no one has yet been able successfully to imintate. — Ed. Spectator.


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
    Of myrtles and roses: 

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.





Notes:
Annie was Nancy Locke Heywood Richmond. Poe and her closest friends always called her Annie, a name she adopted legally after her husband's death in 1873. This version of the poem closely follows the text as it appears in the Home Journal.


[S:1 - OS, 1849, microfilm]