Omnia - The Raven
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, tapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door - Merely 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 named Lenore - Nameless here forevermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; Presently, 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; - Merely this, and nothing more." Out into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 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!" Merely this, and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. "Surely," said I, "surely that is someone 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 wide 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 upon my chamber door - Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door - Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Soon that 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, "are sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering on the nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on this Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven "Nevermore." Now 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 further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered - Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have gone before - On the morrow will he leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." Quoth the Raven "Nevermore." Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed by an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. Once more, on 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 "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "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 isle 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, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven stretched above us - by 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 named Lenore - Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked upstarting - "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!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Now 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 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 Will be lifted - nevermore!