Excerpts From 'The Raven' Quoth The Public: The Raven

August 27, 1993

Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Raven" in 1845 for the grand sum of $9. The poem was one of the most popular of its day and is credited by many with making Poe famous.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,--

While I nodded, gently napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone 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 forevermore.

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.

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 rave, wandering from the nightly shore,

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night's Plutonian shore?"

-! Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,

And the lamplight 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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