The Raven

By Edgar Allan Poe

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.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling

of each purple curtain

Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic

terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my

heart, I stood repeating

“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance

at my chamber door–

Some late visitor entreating entrance

at my chamber door; —

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger;

hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “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” —

here I opened wide the door; —

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I

stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal

ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the

stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the

whispered word “Lenore!”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured

back the word “Lenore!”

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my

soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat

louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is

something at my window lattice

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and

this mystery explore–

Let my heart be still a moment and this

mystery explore; —

“‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

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 mein of lord or lady, perched

above my chamber door–

Perched upon my bust of Pallas just

above my chamber door–

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad

fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the

countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven,

thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven

wandering from the Nightly shore–

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the

Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

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 blessed with seeing bird

above his chamber door–

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust

above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

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 farther then he uttered–not a

feather then he fluttered–

Till I scarcely more than muttered

“Other friends have flown before–

On the morrow he will leave me, as my

hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by

reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is

its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom

unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till

his songs one burden bore–

Till the dirges of his Hope that

melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never–nevermore.'”

But the Raven still beguiling all my

sad soul 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.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no

syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned

into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my

head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the

lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the

lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser,

perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls

tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “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!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!

prophet still, if bird or devil!–

Whether Tempest 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, “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


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!

First Published, New York Evening Mirror, January 29, 1845

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  1. Hi all!

    Very interesting information! Thanks!


  2. hey umm there needs to be a site listed with this as a link where someone is reading it his name is christopher walken

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