The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (Free Audio Book in English Language)


This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox
recordings are in the public domain. For more information, please visit librivox.org. Today’s reading: The Raven by Edgar Allan
Poe. Read by Chris Goringe. 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, 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 an instant
stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord and 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 a name as “Nevermore.” But the Raven, sitting lonely on that 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 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 the melancholy
burden bore Of ‘Never—nevermore.'” But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul
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 saintly 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!

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