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 a 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 high-born 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 of 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 the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
I. HEAR the sledges with the bells Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. II. Hear the mellow wedding-bells Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten-golden notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III. Hear the loud alarum bells Brazen bells! What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor Now now to sit, or never, By the side of the pale-faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear, it fully knows, By the twanging And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet, the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells Of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells In the clamour and the clangour of the bells! IV. Hear the tolling of the bells Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy meaning of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people ah, the people They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone They are neither man nor woman They are neither brute nor human They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls: And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A pζan from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the pζan of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the pζan of the bells Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells To the sobbing of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells: To the tolling of the bells Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. " 'T is 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. " 'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-- Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-- That 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 the 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-- 'T is the wind an 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 a bove 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 marveled 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 beeing Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-- Bird or beast upon the sculplured 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 outpoor. Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more then 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 utteres is it 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 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 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 has lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee Respite -- respite the nephente from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nephente and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! -- prophet still, if bird of devil! Whether Tempter sent, or whatever tempest tossed thee 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 of devil! By that Heaven that bends above us -- by that God we both adore-- Tell his 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 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!
Thou wast that all to me, love, For which my soul did pine-- A green isle in the sea, love, A fountain and a shrine, All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, And all the flowers were mine. Ah, dream too bright to last! Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise But to be overcast! A voice from out the Future cries, "On! on!"--but o'er the Past (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies Mute, motionless, aghast! For, alas! alas! with me The light of Life is o'er! No more--no more--no more-- (Such language holds the solemn sea To the sands upon the shore) Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree, Or the stricken eagle soar! And all my days are trances, And all my nightly dreams Are where thy gray eye glances, And where thy footstep gleams-- In what they ethereal dances, By what eternal streams.
At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon. An opiate vapor, dewy, dim, Exhales from out her golden rim, And softly dripping, drop by drop, Upon the quiet mountain top, Steals drowsily and musically Into the universal valley. The rosemary nods upon the grave; The lily lolls upon the wave; Wrapping the fog about its breast, The ruin moulders into rest; Looking Lethe, see! the lake A conscious slumber seems to take, And would not, for the world, awake. All Beauty sleeps!--and lo! where lies Irene, with her Destinies! Oh, lady bright! can it be-- This window open to the night? The wanton airs, form the tree-top, Laughingly through the lattice drop-- The bodiless airs, a wizard rout, Flit through thy chamber in and out, And wave the curtain canopy So fitfully so fearfully-- Above the closed and fringed lid 'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid, That, o'er the floor and down the wall, Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall! Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear? Why and what art thou dreaming here? Sure thou art come o'er far-off seas, A wonder to these garden trees! Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress! Strange, above all, thy length of tress, And this all solemn silentness! The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep, Which is enduring, so be deep! Heaven have her in its sacred keep! This chamber changed for one more holy, This bed for one more melancholy, I pray to God that she may lie Forever with unopened eye, While the pale sheeted ghosts go by! My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep, As it is lasting, so be deep! Soft may the worms about her creep! Far in the forest, dim and old, For her may some tall vault unfold-- Some vault that oft hath flung its black And winged pannels fluttering back, Triumphant, o'er the crested palls Of her grand family funerals-- Some sepulchre, remote, alone, Against whose portals she hath thrown, In childhood, many an idle stone-- Some tomb from out whose sounding door She ne'er shall force an echo more, Thrilling to think, poor child of sin! It was the dead who groaned within.
I SAW thee on thy bridal day When a burning blush came o'er thee, Though happiness around thee lay, The world all love before thee: And in thine eye a kindling light (Whatever it might be) Was all on Earth my aching sight Of Loveliness could see. That blush, perhaps, was maiden shame As such it well may pass Though its glow hath raised a fiercer flame In the breast of him, alas! Who saw thee on that bridal day, When that deep blush would come o'er thee, Though happiness around thee lay, The world all love before thee.
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow-- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if Hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand-- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep--while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them within a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?
Lo! Death has reared himself a throne In a strange city lying alone Far down within the dim West, Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best Have gone to their eternal rest. There shrines and palaces and towers (Time-eaten towers that tremble not!) Resemble nothing that is ours. Around, by lifting winds forgot, Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrents silently-- Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-- Up domes--up spires--up kingly halls-- Up fanes--up Babylon-like walls-- Up shadowly long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-- Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathed friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine. Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. So blend the turrents and shadows there That all seem pendulous in air, While from a proud tower in the town Death looks gigantically down. There open fanes and gaping graves Yawn level with the luminous waves; But not the riches there that lie In each idol's diamond eye-- Not the gaily-jewelled dead Tempt the waters from their bed; For no ripples curl, alas! Along the wilderness of glass-- No swellings tell that winds may be Upon some far-off happier sea-- No heavings hint that winds have been On seas less hideously serene. But lo, a stir is in the air! The wave--there is a movement there! As if the towers had thrust aside, In slightly sinking, the dull tide-- As if their tops had feebly given A void within the filmy Heaven. The waves have now a redder glow-- The hours are breathing faint and low-- And when, amid no earthly moans, Down, down that town shall settle hence, Hell, rising from a thousand thrones, Shall do it reverence.Back to the top