De Raven


Once downon some midnight dreary, while ah' pondered, weak and weary,
Ova' many some quaint and curious volume uh fo'gotsten lo'e-
While ah' nodded, nearly nappin', suddenly dere came some tappin',
As uh some one gently rappin', rappin' at mah' chamba' doo'.
"'T be some visito'," ah' muttered, "tappin' at mah' chamba' doo'-
Only dis and nodin' mo'e."

Ah, distinctly ah' rememba' it wuz in de bleak December;
And each separate dyin' emba' wrought its ghost downon de floo'.
Eagerly ah' wished da damn mo'row;-vainly ah' had sought t'bo'row
From mah' scribblin's surcease uh so'row-so'row fo' de lost Leno'e-
Fo' de rare and radiant maiden whom de angels dojiggerd Leno'e-
Nameless here fo' evermo'e.

And da damn silken, sad, uncertain rustlin' uh each purple curtain
Drilled me-filled me wid fantastic terro's neva' felt befo'e;
So's dat now, t'still de whup'in' uh my heart, ah' stood repeatin'
"'T be some visito' entreatin' entrance at mah' chamba' doo'-
Some late visito' entreatin' entrance at mah' chamba' doo';-
Dis it be and nodin' mo'e."

Presently mah' soul grew stronger; hesitatin' den no longer,
"Sir," said I, "o' Madam, truly yo' fo'giveness ah' implo'e;
But da damn fact be I wuz nappin', and so's gently ya' came rappin',
And so's faintly ya' came tappin', tappin' at mah' chamba' doo',
Dat ah' scarce wuz sho' man ah' heard ya'"-here ah' jimmey'd wide da damn doo';-
Darkness dere and nodin' mo'e.

Deep into de darkness peerin', long ah' stood dere wonderin', fearin',
Doubtin', dreamin' dreams no mo'tal eva' dared t'dream befo'e;
But da damn silence wuz unbugger'd, and da damn stillness gave no token,
And da damn only wo'd dere rapped wuz de whispuh'ed wo'd, "Leno'e! Right on!"
Dis ah' whispuh'ed, and an echo murmured back de wo'd "Leno'e! Right on!"
Merely dis and nodin' mo'e.

Back into de chamba' turnin', all mah' soul widin me burnin',
Soon again ah' heard some tappin' somewhut louda' dan befo'e.
"Sho' manly," said I, "sho' manly dat be sump'n at mah' window lattice;
Let me see, den, whut dereat is, and dis mah'stery 'esplo'e-
Let mah' heart be still some moment and dis mah'stery 'esplo'e;-
'T be de wind and nodin' mo'e! Right on!"

Open here ah' flung de shutter, when wid many some flirt and flutter
In dere stepped some stately Raven uh de saintly days uh yo'e.
Not da damn least obeisance made he; not some minute stopped o' stayed he;
But, wid mien uh lo'd o' lady, puh'ched above mah' chamba' doo'-
Perched downon some bust uh Pallas plum above mah' chamba' doo'-
Perched, and sat, and nodin' mo'e.

Den dis ebony bird beguilin' mah' sad fancy into smilin',
By de grave and stern deco'um uh de countenance it wo'e,
"Dough dy crest be sho'n and shaven, dou," ah' said, "art sho' man no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wanderin' fum de Nightly sho'e-
Tell me whut dy lo'dly dojigger be on de Night's Plutonian sho'e! Right on!"
Quod de Raven, "Nevermo'e."

Much ah' marvelled dis ungainly fowl t'hear discourse so's plainly,
Dough its answa' little meanin'-little relevancy bo'e;
Fo' we kinnot help agreein' dat no livin' human bein'
Eva' yet wuz blessed wid seein' bird above his chamba' doo'-
Bird o' beast downon de sculptured bust above his chamba' doo',
Wid such dojigger as "Nevermo'e."

But da damn Raven, sittin' lonely on de placid bust, rapped only
Dat wo'd, as if his soul in dat one wo'd he dun did outpour. Ah be baaad...
Nodin' farda' den he uttered-not some feada' den he fluttered-
Till ah' scarcely mo'e dan muttered "Oda' homeys gots flown befo'e-
On de mo'row he gots'ta leave me, as mah' hopes gots flown befo'e."
Den de bird said "Nevermo'e."

Startled at da damn stillness bugger'd by reply so's aptly rapped,
"Doubtless," said I, "whut it utters be its only stock and sto'e
Caught fum some unhappy masta' whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed fasta' till his beats one burden bo'e-
Till de dirges uh his Hope dat melancholy burden bo'e
Of 'Never-nevermo'e.'"

But da damn Raven still beguilin' all mah' fancy into smilin',
Straight ah' wheeled some cushioned seat in front uh bird, and bust and doo';
Den, downon de velvet sinkin', ah' betook mah'self t'linkin'
Fancy unto fancy, dinkin' whut dis ominous bird uh yo'e-
Whut dis grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird uh yo'e
Meant in croakin' "Nevermo'e."

Dis ah' sat engaged in guessin', but no syllable 'espressin'
To de fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into mah' bosom's co'e;
Dis and mo'e ah' sat divinin', wid mah' haid at ease reclinin'
On de cushion's velvet linin' dat da damn lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet linin' wid de lamp-light gloatin' o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermo'e! Right on!

Den, medought, de air grew denser, puh'fumed fum an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on de tufted floo'.
"Wretch," ah' cried, "dy God had lent dee-by dese angels he had sent dee
Respite-respite and nepende fum dy memo'ies uh Leno'e;
Quaff, oh quaff dis kind nepende and fo'get dis lost Leno'e! Right on!"
Quod de Raven "Nevermo'e."

"Prophet! Right on!" said I, "din' uh evil! Right on!-prophet still, if bird o' devil! Right on!
By dat Heaven dat bends above us-by dat God we bod ado'e-
Tell dis soul wid so'row laden if, widin de distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp some sainted maiden whom de angels dojigger Leno'e-
Clasp some rare and radiant maiden whom de angels dojigger Leno'e."
Quod de Raven "Nevermo'e."

"Be dat wo'd our sign uh partin', bird o' fiend! Right on!" ah' shrieked, downstartin'-
"Get dee back into de tempest and da damn Night's Plutonian sho'e! Right on!
Leave no brother plume as some token uh dat honky jibe dy soul had rapped! Right on!
Leave mah' loneliness unbugger'd! Right on!-quit da damn bust above mah' doo'! Right on!
Snatch dy beak fum out mah' heart, and snatch dy fo'm fum off mah' doo'! Right on!"
Quod de Raven "Nevermo'e."

And da damn Raven, neva' flittin', still be sittin', still be sittin'
On de pallid bust uh Pallas plum above mah' chamba' doo';
And his eyes gots all de seemin' uh a demon's dat be dreamin',
And da damn lamp-light o'a' him streamin' drows his shadow on de floo';
And mah' soul fum out dat shadow dat lies floatin' on de floo'
Shall be lifted-nevermo'e! Right on!

~Edgar A. Poe