Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “For Annie” (Text-08), The Poets and Poetry of America (10th edition), 1850, p. 422, cols. 1-2


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[page 422, top of column 1:]

FOR ANNIE.

——

THANK Heaven! the crisis —

The danger, is past,

And the lingering illness

Is over at last —

And the fever called “Living”

Is conquer’d 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 madden’d my brain —

With the fever called “Living”

That burn’d 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 [column 2:]

A holier odour

About it, of pansies —

A rosemary odour,

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 —

Drown’d in a bath

Of the tresses of Annie.

 

She tenderly kiss’d me,

She fondly caress’d,

And then I fell gently

To sleep on her breast —

Deeply to sleep

From the heaven of her breast.

 

When the light was extinguish’d,

She cover’d me warm,

And she pray’d 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 in 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:

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.


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[S:1 - PPA-10th, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - For Annie (Text-08)