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To my one and only Cat Faery

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Memorial created 07-30-2014 by
Andreas Koutsogiannis
Jenny Nikolopoulou
January 30 1975 - June 27 2014

 

 

 

 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 visiter,” 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 visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
 
Some late visiter 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 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 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 my sad fancy 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 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 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!

 

 

Annabel Lee

 
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

 

 

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