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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
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 visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter 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, "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 something 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
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
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 lordly name is on the Night's
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
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.'"