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The Raven 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 angel's 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 mortals 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, `Lenore!´-- 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. 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, are sure no craven, ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the nightly shore-- tell me what thylordly 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 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 farther 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 lamp-light gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er she shall press, ah, nevermore! then, metthought, 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 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 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 name Lenore--clasp 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, 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 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!

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