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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 explore.
'Tis the wind and nothing more!" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt
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 chamber-door
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber-door--
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 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
66 Nevermore." But the Raven sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did
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: "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 burthen bore
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burthen 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
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 express
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 with the lamp-light gloating o'er
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er She shall press, ah, never more!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an
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 Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven: "Never more!"
Prophet!" said 1, "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: "Never more."
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
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 : Never more."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I
"Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul
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: "Never more."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,
On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above my chamberdoor;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light 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-never more.
CCCLXVI. EL. LOUISA HARVEY, 1811–
Our olden times are past and gone;
Our olden fancies banished:
And many a friendly look and tone
To those who still remain !
And pledge again the friends of old,
CCCLXVII. ROB. BROWNING, 1812
1. THE PIPER.
Into the street the Piper stept,
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
(As he, the manuscript he cherished) To Rat-land home his commentary:
Which was " At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery Is breathed) called out, Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast dry-saltery!