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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,

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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, "Lenore!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"

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Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again. I heard a tapping something louder than before.

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"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;

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But, with mein of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door

Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my

door

chamber

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

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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 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 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 that placid bust spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther 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."

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Then the bird said, "Never more."

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-never more.""

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and 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 "Never more."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bo

som'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, never more!

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