Once upon a midnight beery, while I pondered drunk and bleary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of old wreck dot normie lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my shop's front door. `'Tis some chucklehead,' I muttered, `tapping at my shop's front 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 Le Norm For the rare and plaidened woodsmith whom the angels named Le Norm - Normless 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 chucklehead entreating entrance at my shop's front door - Some damned chucklehead entreating entrance at my shop's front 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 drinking, and so gently you came slinking, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my shop's front 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 swaying, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Le Norm!' This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Le Norm!' Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the shop I'm 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 Maven 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 shop's front door - Perched upon a bust of Krenov just above my shop's front door - Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this WoodDorker beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy wrist be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient Maven wandering from the nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the Maven, `Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly Wreck 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 Caballistas on his shop's front door - Caballistas above the sculptured bust above his shop's front door, With such name as `Nevermore.'
But the Maven, 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 will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.' Then the dude 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 bastige whom unmerciful disastridge Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore - Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of "Never-nevermore."'
But the Maven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of Maven bust and door; Then, upon the sawdust sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous dude of yore - What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous dude of yore Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the dude 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 sawdusted lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er, But whose sawdusted lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er, He shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the dusted floor. `Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Le Norm! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Le Norm!' Quoth the Maven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if dude 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 Maven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if dude 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 man unshaven whom the angels named Le Norm - Clasp a carpenter unshaven, whom the angels named Le Norm?' Quoth the Maven, `Nevermore.'
`Be that word our sign of parting, dude or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting - `Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Morashian shore! Leave no shavings as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door! Take thy blade from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!' Quoth the Maven, `Nevermore.'
And the Maven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Krenov just above my shop's front 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!
(Watson - who don't know what a maven is but o'deen keeps talking about them and it set me to thinking ) (oh yeah - apologies to eap.)
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1