Poetry Corner – The (Other) Raven

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 the 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, 
    Darly nooding to its fall: 

There I see thee, dimly gliding,- 
    See thy black plumes waving slow,- 
In its hollow casements hiding, 
    When there 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 sounding 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 for evermore; 

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.

- Sarah Helen Whitman, something of an interesting character in and of herself.

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