THE RAVEN

EDGAR ALLAN POE

 

 

 

1.   Reader1

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

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

4.   While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

5.   As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

6.   All

7.   "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door,

8.   Only this, and nothing more."

 

9.   Reader 2

10.              Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,

11.              And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

12.              Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow

13.              From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,

14.              For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore,

15.              All

16.              Nameless here forevermore.

 

17.              Reader 3

18.              And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

19.              Thrilled me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before,

20.              So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,

21.              "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,

22.              Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;

23.              All

24.              That it is, and nothing more."

 

25.              Reader 4

26.              Presently my soul grew stronger. Hesitating then no longer,

27.              "Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore,

28.              But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

29.              And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

30.              That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door.

31.              All

32.              Darkness there, and nothing more.

 

33.              Reader 5

34.              Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

35.              Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before,

36.              But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

37.              And the only word there spoken was the whispered word ..Lenore!

38.              This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word ..Lenore!

39.              All

40.              Merely this, and nothing more.

 

41.              Reader 6

42.              Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

43.              Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before.

44.              "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window-lattice;

45.              Let me see then what there-at is, and this mystery explore,

46.              Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;

47.              All

48.              'Tis the wind, and nothing more."

 

49.              Reader 7

50.              Open then I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

51.              In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.

52.              Not the least obeisance made he, not an instant stopped or stayed he,

53.              But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door,

54.              Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,

55.              All

56.              Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

 

57.              Reader 8

58.              Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

59.              By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

60.              "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

61.              Ghastly, grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.

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

63.              All

64.              Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

 

65.              Reader 9

66.              Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

67.              Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore,

68.              For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

69.              Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,

70.              Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door

71.              All

72.              With such name as "Nevermore!"

 

73.              Reader 10

74.              But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

75.              That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

76.              Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered,

77.              Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before.

78.              On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

79.              All

80.              Then the bird said, "Nevermore!"

 

81.              Reader 11

82.              Startled at the stillness, broken by reply so aptly spoken,

83.              "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,

84.              Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster

85.              Followed fast and followed faster, till his song one burden bore,

86.              Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore,

87.              All

88.              Of 'Nevermore, nevermore!"

 

89.              Reader 12

90.              But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

91.              Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door,

92.              Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

93.              Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,

94.              What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

95.              Meant in croaking "Nevermore!"

 

96.              Reader 13

97.              Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

98.              To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

99.              This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

100.           On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,

101.           But whose velvet violet lining, with the lamplight gloating o'er,

102.           All

103.           She shall press - ah! nevermore!

 

104.           Reader 14

105.           Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer,

106.           Swung by seraphim, whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.

107.           "Wretch," I cried, "thy god hath lent thee, by these angels he hath sent thee

108.           Respite, respite and nepenthe from the mem’ries of Lenore!

109.           Quaff, O, quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"

110.           All

111.           Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

 

112.           Reader 15

113.           "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still if bird or devil!

114.           Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

115.           Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted,

116.           On this home by horror haunted, tell me truly, I implore,

117.           Is there, is there balm in Gilead? Tell me, tell me, I implore!"

118.           All

119.           Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

 

120.           Reader 16

121.           "Prophet," said I, "thing of evil! prophet still if bird or devil!

122.           By that heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,

123.           Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,

124.           It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore,

125.           Clasp a fair and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore!"

126.           All

127.           Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

 

128.           Reader 17

129.           "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, up-starting,

130.           "Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore!

131.           Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

132.           Leave my loneliness unbroken, quit the bust above my door!

133.           Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

134.           All

135.           Quoth the raven,'Nevermore!"

 

136.           All

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

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

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

140.           And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor,

141.           And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

142.           Shall be lifted-nevermore!

 

Glossary

 

Aidenn – Eden, Paradise

Balm in Gilead – a healing herb

Beguiling - charming

Burden – the refrain of a song or poem

Bust – a sculpture showing head and shoulders

Censer – a container for incense

Chamber – room

Countenance - facial appearance

Craven - cowardly

Crest – the top of the raven’s head

Decorum – dignified behavior

Demon – devil

Discourse – formal discussion

Divining – having intuition or insight

Ember – a piece of burning wood or coal, as in a dying fire

Entreating – begging

Fiend – a devilishly wicked person

Gaunt – thin and bony

Implore – beg urgently

Lattice – framework made of strips of wood

Lore – collective knowledge on a particular subject

Mien – a person’s manner or appearance

Nepenthe – herb for soothing

Obeisance – bowing

Ominous – threatening harm

Pallas – an ancient Greek goddess (Athena)

Pallid - pale

Placid – pleasantly calm

Plume – a feather

Plutonian – relating to Pluto, the god of the underworld

Prophet – Muhammad, the founder of Islam

Quaff – to drink heartily

Quoth - said

Relevancy – bearing upon or connected with the matter at hand

Respite – an interval of relief

Seraphim – a type of angels

Surcease - end

Tempest – a violent windstorm

Tempter – the devil

Token – a symbol of something

Undaunted – not discouraged

Ungainly - clumsy

Yore – time long past