For Annie

- 1809-1849
     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 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.

More by Edgar Allan Poe

To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
    Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
    The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
    To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
    Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
    To the glory that was Greece.
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
    How statue-like I see thee stand!
    The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche from the regions which
    Are Holy Land!

Ulalume

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll—
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole—
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—
Our memories were treacherous and sere,—
For we knew not the month was October,
And we marked not the night of the year
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)—
We noted not the dim lake of Auber
(Though once we had journeyed down here)—
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
And star-dials pointed to morn—
As the star-dials hinted of morn—
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn—
Astarte's bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said: "She is warmer than Dian;
She rolls through an ether of sighs—
She revels in a region of sighs:
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion
To point us the path to the skies—
To the Lethean peace of the skies—
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
To shine on us with her bright eyes—
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
With love in her luminous eyes."

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said: "Sadly this star I mistrust—
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:
Ah, hasten! —ah, let us not linger!
Ah, fly! —let us fly! -for we must."
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
Wings until they trailed in the dust—
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied: "This is nothing but dreaming:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybilic splendour is beaming
With Hope and in Beauty tonight!—
See!—it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
And be sure it will lead us aright—
We safely may trust to a gleaming,
That cannot but guide us aright,
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom—
And conquered her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the door of a tomb—
By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said: "What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?"
She replied: "Ulalume -Ulalume—
'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
As the leaves that were crisped and sere—
As the leaves that were withering and sere;
And I cried: "It was surely October
On this very night of last year
That I journeyed—I journeyed down here!—
That I brought a dread burden down here—
On this night of all nights in the year,
Ah, what demon hath tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—
This misty mid region of Weir—
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,
This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."

To My Mother

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
My mother—my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.