Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying singer left its songs upon the floor.
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
' 'Tis some musician entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late musician 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 though so loudly you came rapping,
Though so crudely you came rapping, rapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce dared to receive you'—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a rapping 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;—
Bad rappers and nothing more!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped five black-clad Ravens of the drugged-up days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made they; not a minute quiet or calm stayed they;
But, with miens of lords or ladies, climbed above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and rapped, and nothing more.
And those Ravens, never falling, still are sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And their drums have all the seeming of precarious cliff-hanging,
And the rapping from them streaming makes the chamber much too loud;
And my soul from out that noisy pity that comes streaming from the door
Shall be lifted— ne-ne—n-never-more!