"The Raven", Part III


"The Raven", Part III

"The Raven" (part 3 of 4)
Edgar Allan Poe

      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 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."

Note the tone. Note how the questions seem to change gradually. Charles Baudelaire translated Poe into French. Much of the decadent school of poetry derives from Baudelaire and his school, and thus indirectly from Poe. What a shame he has so much to account for even indirectly.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 24, 2002 7:47 AM.

"The Raven", Part II The was the previous entry in this blog.

The Ever-Delightful Countess of Pembroke is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll