Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 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? Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 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! 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 before. Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 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. Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!
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As the attention of many in this city is now directed to this singular performance, and as Mr. The latter is superior to it, as a work of construction and design, while the former is superior to the latter as a work of pure art. But while this poem maintains a rank so high among all persons of catholic and generally cultivated taste, we can conceive the wrath of many who will read it for the first time in the columns of this newspaper. Those who have formed their taste in the Pope and Dryden school, whose earliest poetical acquaintance is Milton, and whose latest Hammond and Cowper — with a small sprinking of Moore and Byron — will not be apt to relish on first sight a poem tinged so deeply with the dyes of the nineteenth century. The poem will make an impression on them which they will not be able to explain — but that will irritate them — Criticism and explanation are useless with such. Criticism cannot reason people into an attachment. In spite of our pleas, such will talk of the gaudiness of Keats and the craziness of Shelley, until they see deep enough into their claims to forget or be ashamed to talk so. Such will angrily pronounce the Raven [[ sic ]] flat nonsense. These people — and they constitute the majority of our practical race — are possessed with a false theory.