Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

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

[graphic]

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."

13

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!

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »