Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

The Raven - Poem 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,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals 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
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
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.

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
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 blest 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 further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown
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 fancy into smiling,
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 '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 lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls 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
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 implore!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
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 in parting, bird or fiend,' I shrieked,
'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
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 lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

Comments about The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Don Kubicki (6/21/2019 1:25:00 AM)

    This is in the top ten poems of all time. (Report)Reply

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  • (5/25/2019 4:47:00 AM)

    Regarding " The Raven, " credited by historians to Edgar Allan Poe, I have a great deal of evidence that the real author was Mathew Franklin Whittier, younger brother of poet John Greenleaf Whittier. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (5/19/2019 6:26:00 PM)

    when your doing homework and forgot everything about the poem...so you had to look it up... (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • (5/12/2019 8:42:00 AM)

    Edgar Allan Poe - so unique. I have memorized the second verse of this poem. Don't know why only the second verse, but so what. Hard to find poetry nowadays that can compare; that is, if you can find any decent poetry at all. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Michael Crowder (3/2/2019 4:20:00 PM)

    Great poem read it several times over the years (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Brian  Taylor (2/22/2019 10:38:00 AM)

    What a great rhythmical flow powerful poem. (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (2/11/2019 1:43:00 PM)

    Needs more abusive lanugauge (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • (1/23/2019 5:53:00 AM)

    duh duh duh duh duh duh duh (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (1/18/2019 2:12:00 PM)

    no joke this dude quirky asf (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • (1/18/2019 2:10:00 PM)

    edgar allen poe is kinda quirky doe (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • (10/28/2018 12:39:00 AM)

    tv as on the movie why are you doing this to me to whom (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • (10/4/2018 12:11:00 PM)

    Amazing poem by edgar allan poe (Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • (10/1/2018 11:05:00 AM)

    Quoth the raven, nevermore (Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • (9/23/2018 8:29:00 PM)

    Un beau poème est comme une belle femme. Le Paradis ou l'Enfer. (Report)Reply

    (3/9/2019 4:08:00 PM)


    7 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • (8/3/2018 9:52:00 PM)

    poe links us through our faith and our primal fears that there is no evermore at the same time (Report)Reply

    15 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • (7/31/2018 10:44:00 PM)

    Brilliant! Pure perfection. (Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Nicole Settimi (6/26/2018 11:07:00 AM)

    Nothing quite like it! The Raven is a spectacular lyrical work, which is the very definition of genius in poetry. It has always been my absolute favorite, topping even Plath's Lady Lazarus! Gret write. (Report)Reply

    15 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Nicole Settimi (6/13/2018 9:40:00 AM)

    Greatest work of all time. And, I adore so many others but there is nothing quite like The Raven. (Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Marguerite C. Anderson (6/13/2018 2:42:00 AM)

    This poem has long been one of my favourites and each time i read it or hear it read, it transfixes me. (Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • (6/5/2018 2:19:00 AM)

    What is the anonatopoeia (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Read all 172 comments »

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Read poems about / on: raven, sorrow, evil, sad, lost, purple, lonely, silence, remember, dream, heaven, home, hope, wind, angel, fear, friend, memory, smile

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2012

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