Once upon a midnightdreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint andcurious volume of forgotten lore— While Inodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gentlyrapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” Imuttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Onlythis and nothing more.”
Openhere I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a statelyRaven of the saintly days of yore; Not theleast 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 ofPallas just above my chamber door— Perched,and sat, and nothing more.
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy 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.”
“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, “thingof 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.”
And the Raven, neverflitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust ofPallas just above my chamber door; And hiseyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And thelamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out thatshadow that lies floating on the floor Shallbe lifted—nevermore!