by Edgar Allan Poe
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 named 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 heard 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 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.
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 door -
Bird or beast above 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 will he 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
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, 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 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 censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has 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 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 that bends 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.'
And 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
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
The Murder of Ravens
(My sequel to “The Raven” in honor of Edgar Allan Poe)
While my sorrow kept me weeping, Time stepped up his painful creeping,
'Til the chariot of Apollo swept o'er the Night's Plutonian shore!
And the Raven, never flitting, on the bust of Pallas sitting,
Like a viper, venom spitting, struck me once more to the core!
Oh, how he made me shudder, the Raven o'er my chamber door—
Still insisting: "Nevermore!"
But the nightmare mist departed, leaving mind and ear unclouded,
And I heard a song that started from beneath the tufted floor.
I began raving and ranting—like a banshee, wildly panting!
I felt nothing more enchanting than the voice of sweet Lenore!
"Come to me!" I shrieked, "fair maiden, whom the angels name Lenore!
Mute the Raven's, 'Nevermore!'"
Then a voice, like some bright candle, burned, "Take pistol by the handle,
And blast! that wretched demon sitting just above thy chamber door!
Leave no evidence whatever he sat there like blackened leather,
Traces leave thee not one feather of that brazen bird of yore!
Pluck the life, like feathers plucked are, from that brazen bird of yore!
Quash the Raven's, 'Nevermore!'"
(Hark!) A deeper voice erupted, from some depth not yet corrupted,
And alarmingly instructed: (Leave well the pure and chaste Lenore!
Do not seek to make un-sainted, by this deed, so vile and tainted,
That which God so rightly painted, pressing doom to split thy door!
Grim and grave are plots engraved upon the Night's Plutonian shore!
Heed the Raven's, "Nevermore!").
Here the Raven, bird_and_devil, raised the note another level,
By pouring sanguinary evil o'er that one word I abhor!
"Prophet!" said I, "falsely praying!—death's a deadly game worth playing!
Keep thy blackened blood from spraying o'er my bust and chamber door!
Perch off the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door!"
My Raven dared, "Nevermore!"
Then, the voice, with fiercer goading, set my flaming mind exploding!
Too, I dared not stop, and loaded lead and heart into the war;
While my maiden's song climbed higher, stared I red Raven-eyes of fire,
And heard a deeper voice suspire, (Now, doomed thou art, forevermore).
Still, the Raven, blasted Raven! that one last word did outpour!
The Raven croaked, "Nevermore!"
Settled by the madness broken, echoed I that last word spoken:
"Nevermore," said I, "dark token, from the Night's Plutonian shore,
Shall thy bolted beak torment me, or thy breast and breath present me,
With the word that now hath sent thee to the shadows on my floor.
Hallowed art thou, King of Shadows, by ebon hollows on my floor,
Longing for thy, 'Nevermore.'
"Fleeing sharp and cruel master lent thee far greater disaster,
When steadfast, Fate followed faster than thy wings could e'er outsoar!
From the east, now hear my Maiden, from within the distant Aidenn,
Balm she brings for me to bathe in 'til I feel the pain no more.
And the melody Fate guides now is the song of sweet Lenore!
Where croaks now thy, 'Nevermore?'"
Question asked, reply is certain—burning through each purple curtain,
Sun's light fired all and paled the ebon shadows on my floor!
Like the thunder, Lenore chanted, while the Maelstrom puffed and panted,
And my bones were newly planted in the horrors I once bore!
Bone for bone, one must atone, and I alone my terrors bore!
There, I whispered, "Nevermore."
Hammered by the hellish howling, grander demons felt I prowling,
Waiting, sniffing, drooling—growling! for the flesh my neck bones wore!
Though my mind the worst kept fearing, from my window I stood peering,
Keeping eyes upon the clearing, seeking sight of sweet Lenore!
Amidst the sea of marble stones—peering back stood sweet Lenore!
Then, I cried out, "Nevermore!"
Startled by this vile word spoken, somehow, found I, my voice broken.
"Doubtless," thought I, "what I uttered, came from weathered voice made sore!"
"Corvus! Darling!" called my maiden! "Say 'tis true you come to Aidenn!
Ever shall we be and bathe in Gilead's balm forevermore?"
Here I tried to make reply and tell her, "Yes—forevermore!"
Instead I cried, "Nevermore!"
Then, from beyond the marble sea, a thousand voices r-r-rocked for me,
And plied my maiden's agony, so twisted in the face she wore!
Greater pain my mind fermented, while that word Lenore lamented,
Knowing well my voice had sent it, and still I tried to speak once more!
I gathered deeper voice, to clear my voice—save! my voice once more!
Again I cried, "Nevermore!"
A thousand voices r-r-rocked for me, and from beyond the marble sea,
A plume, as black as black can be, rose high above the stone laced shore;
But 'twas no_plume_released that day, 'twas plumage from a higher sway,
Sent out to right, without delay, the blood I spilled moments before.
And while Lenore, "Oh, Corvus!" cried, I bid_adieu_to sweet Lenore
By crying out, "Nevermore!"
An Angel, with that word, alit beside the angel Life once writ,
And with Nepenthe's light relit the grimly, gravely pained Lenore!
The three-tier-wingéd Seraph drew Lenore into its arms and flew
Into a sky of heaven-blue, high above the stone-laced shore!
While then I prayed Lenore forget, once high above the stone-laced shore,
I ever said, "Nevermore!"
Anew, the voices r-r-rocked for me, and from above the marble sea,
Each puff of plume slid down to see restored the Night's Plutonian shore!
Like a canvas, feather tainted, puffs of plume the blue repainted,
With a sorrow well acquainted with the darkness my soul wore!
But no darkness could e'er blacken my bright vision of Lenore!
Though I'd see her, nevermore!
While gliding o'er the marble sea, again the voices r-r-rocked for me,
And from my window I did see a thousand ravens o'er Night's shore!
One by one, with flirt and flutter, every tree they sought to clutter,
While I pondered how to utter, "Please forgive me, sweet Lenore!"
But well I knew that word from hell, and_thought_instead, forevermore,
To torment her, nevermore!
Again, the ravens r-r-rocked for me—from every ghastly, purple tree!
And a thousand pairs of eyes of red lit up the frightening shore!
But_I_feared nothing, black or red! for Death cannot the dead un-bed!
And 'twas the living word I said that brought to me my sweet Lenore!
And the one soul_I_adore! shall fly with angels, evermore!
She flies!—so freed by, "Nevermore!"
And still the ravens r-r-rock for me, while here I rock eternally,
For I am King! of all the shadows on the Night's Plutonian shore!
And should you gaze into my eyes, therein a radiant maiden flies,
With no memory that my cries are all for her—my love Lenore.
And her love shall light my sorrow, morrow after morrow, and evermore.
I shall forget her—"NEVERMORE!"
|Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
|H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
1886 - 1961
|Edna St Vincent Millay
1887 - 1972
1812 - 1861
1821 - 1867
|Federico Garcia Lorca
1898 - 1936
1908 - 2003
|Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 -n 1882
|I must attempt to write my verses all before tomorrow,
before the maladies of old age take hold, and I can no
longer remember how to rhyme.
Eddie Morales ---edmpoet
Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite poets, and his poem, The Raven, is
such a favorite of mine, I wrote a sequel to it because I had this crazy notion
Poe was not finished with his poem. I felt his torment of that night would most
certainly carry over into the morning. That's where I begin, exactly where he left
off, with The Murder of Ravens, you have to read it after reading his poem
first. I've included both.
note: I wrote this poem over a period of six months. Once I got the idea for this
sequel, I couldn’t stop thinking about the poem. I went to bed thinking about it,
woke up thinking about it, and couldn’t wait for each workday to end so I could
continue to work on it. I was not only inspired by the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe,
but also possessed by it.
To punctuate my obsession, halfway through the poem, as I struggled for the
words, a most amazing thing happened. It was as if Poe had sent me a
messenger. Two ravens landed on the rooftop of my garage, visible through my
bedroom window, where I had my desk. Then a much larger raven landed
on the rooftop and scared the other two away. It is an understatement when I
say I was astounded by this event and mesmerized by this raven. But that’s not
what made my hair stand on end. It was the fact the raven came closer
to my window, and actually peered in, looking me straight in the eye. It may
have been the shininess of my eyes the raven was attracted to, as has been
known to be the case with ravens and shiny objects, but nevertheless, I took it
as a sign from Poe for me to finish the poem; and I did just that. I had too.
|Mercedes De Acosta
Mar 1 1893 - May 9 1968