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For Annie

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 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 napthaline 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 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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