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The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreadry, 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
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber
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 surrow, sorrow for the lost
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name
Nameless here forevermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This is it, 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
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my cham-
ber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened
wide the door;---
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into  the darkness peering, long I stood there, won-
dering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to
dream before;
But  the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no
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
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window
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
In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of
Not  the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or
stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my cham-
ber door.
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my 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
"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 the lordly name is on the Night's Pluton-
ian shore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so
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 cham-
ber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his cham-
ber 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
Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he
Till I scarcely more than muttered,"Other friends have
flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown
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
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful
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 and door;,
Then, upon  the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous
bird of yore
Meant in croaking, "Nevermore."
Thus 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 re-
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating
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
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these
angels he hath sent thee
Respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or
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 im-
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or
By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we
both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked,
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Pluton-
ian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath
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
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws the shadow
on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on
the floor
Shall be lifted---nevermore!