Showing posts with label The Raven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Raven. Show all posts

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Raven - Edgar Allen Poe 1845

The Raven

by Edgar Allen Poe
1845






Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door, 
"Tis some visitor, "I muttered,"tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor, 
Eagerly I wished the morrow;-vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken,sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, 
"Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir,"said I,"or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I open wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I," surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the Saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat and nothing more.

Then This ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,"I said,"art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordy name is on the Nights Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or Beast upon The sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, Sitting lonely on the placid bust, Spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
Nothing further then he uttered-not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than  muttered, " Other friends have flown before- 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before,"
Then the bird said, "Nevermore,"

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
"Doubtless,"said I, what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore- 
Till the dirges of this Hope that melancholy burden bore 
of 'Never-nevermore',"

But the Raven still be beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird,and bust and door;
Then upon the velvent sinking,what linking this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaut and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burn into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light. gloating o'er,
she shall press, ah nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee-by these angels he hathe sent thee
Respite-respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" Said I "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!-
whether Tempter sent,or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by Horror haunted - tell me truly, I implora-
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven,"Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting,bird or friend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Nights Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from of my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."



And  the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws dreaming, his shadow on the floor,
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on that floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

version by Richmond Examiner in 1849 
authorized by Poe.  













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