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 visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;Nameless here for evermore.
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 sorrowsorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtainThis it is and nothing more."
Thrilled mefilled 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;
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,Darkness there and nothing more.
"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;
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,Merely this and nothing more.
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal 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!"
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,‘Tis the wind and nothing more!"
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 thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,Quoth the raven "Nevermore."
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 Plutonian shore!"
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly.With such a name as "Nevermore."
Though its answer little meaninglittle 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,
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke onlyThen the bird said "Nevermore."
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he utterednot 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."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,Of ‘Nevernevermore.’ "
"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
But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
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
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressingShe shall press, ah, nevermore!
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-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censerQuoth the Raven "Nevermore."
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried,"thy God hath lent theeby these angels he hath sent thee
Respiterespite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind of nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil!Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."
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 thereis there balm in Gilead?tell metell me, I implore!"
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!prophet still, if bird or devil!Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."
By that Heaven that bends above usby that God we both adore
Tell 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."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstartingQuoth the Raven "Nevermore."
"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!"
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sittingShall be liftednevermore!
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 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