Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 15: No 2) >> The Mysterious ''R. I.'' >> Page 14

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Poetry | 1824-11-22
Transcription The Mysterious "R. I."

James Everett Kibler

A note in Simms's hand on a scrap of paper (P1540) in the
Manuscripts Collection, South Caroliniana Library, Univ of SC, lists eighteen
pseudonymous works published in the Charleston Courier from July 1824 to
February 1825.
One poem is of particular interest. It is entitled "A Lock of Hair.—To
R. I." Simms published it under "W******." Probably he intended the
asterisks to disguise his first name William.
It appeared in the. issue of 22 November 1824 when Simms was a
young man of eighteen. A passionate love lyric, the work gives us what is likely
a clue to one of Simms's early "love interests" predating his courtship of Anna
Malcolm Giles, daughter of Othniel Giles, grocer of Market Street. He and
Anna were married some two years after the poem on 19 October 1826.

A Lock of Hair.—To R. I.
for the Courier

That Lock of Hair, that lock of hair,
Upon my heart shall rest,
To lull each sigh, to hush each care,
That rushes on my breast, dear love,
That rushes on my breast.

It shall remind me of thy form,
That rosy lip, that beaming eye,
That shone so tender, yet so warm,
As hush'd my every sigh, dear love,
As hush'd my every sigh.