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Calm Before The Storm

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and


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.'



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 named Lenore


Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of

each purple curtain

Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt


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


`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -


late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -

This it is, and

nothing more,'


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no


`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;


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



Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,


Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream


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


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


Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than


`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window


Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -


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


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


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



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.'



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 above the sculptured bust above his chamber


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 further 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


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


Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore


Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore




But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into


Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and


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



This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable


To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's


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,



Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen


Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted


`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has

sent thee

Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of


Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost


Quoth the raven, `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


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 Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore


Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'


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


Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my


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


And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the


And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the


Shall be lifted - nevermore!

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