The Raven (Whitman)

For works with similar titles, see The Raven.
The Raven
by Sarah Helen Whitman

This poem was written as a valentine to Edgar Allan Poe in 1848.

Raven, from the dim dominions
On the Night's Plutonian shore,
Oft I hear thy dusky pinions
Wave and flutter round my door—
See the shadow of thy pinions
Float along the moon-lit floor;

Often, from the oak-woods glooming
Round some dim ancestral tower,
In the lurid distance looming—
Some high solitary tower—
I can hear thy storm-cry booming
Through the lonely midnight hour.

When the moon is at the zenith,
Thou dost haunt the moated hall,
Where the marish flower greeneth
O'er the waters, like a pall—
Where the House of Usher leaneth,
Darkly nodding to its fall:

There I see thee, dimly gliding—
See thy black plumes waving slow—
In its hollow casements hiding,
When their shadow yawns below,
To the sullen tarn confiding
The dark secrets of their woe:—

See thee, when the stars are burning
In their cressets, silver clear—
When Ligeia's spirit yearning
For the earth-life, wanders near—
When Morella's soul returning,
Weirdly whispers "I am here."

Once, within a realm enchanted,
On a far isle of the seas,
By unearthly visions haunted,
By unearthly melodies,
Where the evening sunlight slanted
Golden through the garden trees—

Where the dreamy moonlight dozes,
Where the early violets dwell,
Listening to the silver closes
Of a lyric loved too well,
Suddenly, among the roses,
Like a cloud, thy shadow fell.

Once, where Ulalume lies sleeping,
Hard by Auber's haunted mere,
With the ghouls a vigil keeping,
On that night of all the year,
Came thy souding pinions, sweeping
Through the leafless woods of Weir!

Oft, with Proserpine I wander
On the Night's Plutonian shore,
Hoping, fearing, while I ponder
On thy loved and lost Lenore—
On the demon doubts that sunder
Soul from soul forevermore;

Trusting, though with sorrow laden,
That when life's dark dream is o'er,
By whatever name the maiden
Lives within thy mystic lore,
Eiros, in that distant Aidenn,
Shall his Charmion meet once more.