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  • 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 drunk 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.