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master. His art was to take a single motive, and develop that and its belongings in a manner that can be described only by the word exquisite. The Gold Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher, and William Wilson, are good exemplifications of what may be called the Poe art, — an art in which he had no predecessor, and (though with many imitators) no successor. These high inventions of genius and art he wrote in hours stolen from poverty and despair.

It is matter of regret that we can not here exhibit Poe in his brightest work by presenting one of these tales; but there is not space to give one in its completeness, and no extract would be satisfactory.

As a poet Poe's fame rests on three or four pieces. The Raven, Annabel Lee, and The Haunted Palace are perhaps the most characteristic of his poetic productions. The Raven is, of course, his masterpiece. It belongs to the small class of poems that are never attributed to any but their authors, and which contain the divine essence of their creators.

Poe's grave in Baltimore was unmarked until, in 1875, the teachers of that city erected a stone to his memory. In May, 1885, a memorial tablet of him was placed in what should be called “Poets' Corner,” in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. So Time, which avenges every thing, places our poet where he belongs. He suffered for his frailties: we are the heirs of his genius. His image is to us that of one on a vessel far out at sea, - alone on the deck, - in a dark tempestuous night, illumined at intervals by a flash of lightning.


[In reproducing The Raven we would call the teacher's attention to the fact that the poem is followed by Poe's subtle piece of analysis entitled The Philosophy of Composition, in which he sets forth in a most interesting manner the processes by which The Raven was evolved. It is recommended that the poem be read first, then the analysis, and then the poem again.]

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

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

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name

Nameless here forevermore.

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

eard you ”

Here I opened wide
the door:
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wonder

ing, 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

Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
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 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

door; Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber-door,

Perched and sat, and nothing more.


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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

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

re, WC

I to die

e no te vered

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we can not help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber-

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber-

With such name as


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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

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown

Then the bird said, “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 disast
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!'

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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 lamp-light gloated o’er;
But whose velvet violet lining, with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press — ah! nevermore.

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen


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, “Nevermore!”

"Prophet!” said I, "thing of evil!-- prophet still, if bird or

devil! Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here

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-

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore!”

- tell me, I

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,

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