Friday, 31 October 2014

Poetry Corner #21

It's Halloween and to get into the mood I thought I would share some extracts from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.  Of course this poem has been brought to everyone's attention in the Halloween episode of The Simpsons.


The Raven

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 angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.


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.

`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 out 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!

Edgar Allen Poe (1809 - 1840)
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