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He might not sing so wildly well

A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.


The four elementary conditions of happiness are, life in the open air, the love of a woman, forgetfulnass of all ambition, and the creation of a new ideal of beauty.–From Domain of Arnheim.


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 visitor," I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-

Only 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 name Lenore-

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 visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor 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 mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness 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 beard 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 ;:-

'Tis the wind and nothing more!” Open here I Aung 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 doorPerched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door

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 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 doorBird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the 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."

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.'
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 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 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


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Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls 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, “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 land enchantedOn this home by Horror haunted-tell me truly, I imploreIs there—is there balm in Gilead ?—tell me—tell me, I implore !”

Quoth the


“Nevermore.” “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 ihe distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name LenoreClasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the raven, Nevermore."

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, up

starting“Get the 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."

And the raven, never fitting, 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 lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted-nevermore!



ROBERT TOOMBS was born at Washington, Georgia, and studied at the University of Georgia, then under the presidency of the famous Dr. Moses Waddell ; he afterwards attended Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., and studied law at the University of Virginia. He settled in his native town for legal practice and was so successful as to amass a fortune within a few years.

He served in the State Legislature and in 1845 was elected to Congress. In 1861, being a member of the United States Senate, he took leave of it in order to join his State in secession. He was appointed to the Confederate Cabinet, but soon resigned and became a general in the field. After the war he was ordered to be captured and held for trial as a traitor with Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens; but he was never taken. He escaped, after much difficulty and many adventures, and went to Cuba and to

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