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Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

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 opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering,
long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals
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,
This I whispered,
and an echo murmured back the word,
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 there 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
shoreTell me what thy lordly name
is on the Night's 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 blest 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 his
Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'.'
But the Raven still beguiling
all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat
in front of bird,
and bust the door;
Then upon the velvet sinking,
I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking
what this ominous bird of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly,
gaunt 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 burned 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 lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining
with the lamplight 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 hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe,
from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind
nepenthe and forget this lost
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 implore
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 adoreTell 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 fiend,'
I shrieked, upstarting-
'Get thee back into the tempest
and the Night's 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 off 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 dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming
throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.