"Sir 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"
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
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 name Lenore—
"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend, 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!"
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
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 blest with seeing bird above his chamber door - Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 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
"Wretch, 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!"
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
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 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!