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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!"

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 sublunary 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 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."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

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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.'"

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 yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly,

Gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing,
But no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose hen* eyes now
Burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining,
With mv head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining
That the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining.

With the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!


Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by angels whose faint footfalls a on the tufted floor.

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