Once upon a midnight cheery, while I pondered Darwin's theory,
Over such an old and shabby volume, inducing such bore,
While I nodded, gently rocking, suddenly there came a knocking,
And this noise was very shocking, knocking me onto the floor.
''Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'mocking my lethargic snore -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, that night, so very scary, it was in mid-February,
And I had some science homework • what a dismal, dreaded chore.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - I had forgotten to borrow
Extra credit work; what sorrow! - Sorrow for my grading score -
For the GPA and honors that depended on that score -
Useless if it hit the floor.
And my posture, so uncertain, my back aching, neck a'hurtin',
Stayed, unswaying, ‘till I could not be motionless anymore;
And right then, to still the shaking of my hands, grasped on the seating,
I sat, unmoving, repeating, ‘It's just someone at the door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance, maybe selling Dior; -
This it is, and nothing more,'
Presently my heart grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'Um,' I said, 'Excuse me, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But I was trying to study, and if your shoes aren't too muddy,
I invite you in, good buddy, though I'm really bloody poor,
And I don't need Girl Scout cookies,' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into the dark, befuddled, long I stood there, wondering, muddled,
Finally deciding I had never heard the knocks before
When the silence was unbroken, I did take that as my token,
And the only word there spoken was my own command: 'Ignore.'
This I muttered and an echo murmured back the word, 'Ignore!'
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into my studies turning, evolution to be learning,
Pretty soon I heard a knocking somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'someone's pounding - maybe they are sick, or drowning;
Let me see then, who they might be, and this mystery explore -
I'll be quite the Good Samaritan, perhaps win an award! -
I'd be glad to quit this chore!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there flew a windblown raven, flopping flightless on the floor.
Then he stretched his wings and wobbled and into the room he hobbled;
And, with mien of moldy gravy, plopped himself down on the floor -
Perched below a broken songbird clock above my chamber door -
Stared, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this pathetic bird, beginning to turn my dim frown to grinning,
By the ruffled mess of feathers and the shabby beak it wore,
'Though you're quite the ugly mess, dumb bird' I said, 'Give me confession.
Interrupting my nice session by your pounding on the door -
Could you tell me what your name is, dreadful bird, so soiled with gore?'
Squawked the raven, 'Nevermore.'
Much I wondered at the sickly fowl to hear his speech so quickly
Though the answer was still stupid • maybe ‘cause its tongue was sore;
For I could not help presuming that no others were assuming
They would ever find a talking bird just sitting on the floor -
This was better than the cheap, electric ones bought at the store,
With a name like 'Nevermore.'
But the raven, sitting lonesome on the dusty floor, spoke only,
That one word, over and over, and it soon became a bore.
Just like any wind-up plaything, he made no move toward escaping -
So I scarcely more than muttered 'I have dealt with pests before -
Soon, tomorrow, he will leave me, I shall prop open the door...'
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'
Startled at the interruption by the bird's vocal eruption,
I decided, 'It's provided words • the only ones it stores,
That was caught from conversations, fleeting words at var'ious stations
Throughout ev'ry utterance, this single word, it stuck, therefore -
I shall chase this pestilential monotone off of my floor'
Screamed the birdie, ‘Nevermore!'
Yes, the raven, (what annoyance!) in repetitive flamboyance
Kept repeating it's foul greeting, seated there beside the door;
Then, my left eye twitching madly, I did plug my ears so gladly
Thinking of what evil, thinking what this obnoxious bird of yore -
What this grinning, clumsy, thin, and threatening bird of yore
Meant in screeching 'Nevermore.'
So I sat, my ears unhearing, but the raven ever sneering
Yes, the fowl whose squeaking beak I wished would smash upon the floor;
Yes, each screech, still tolerating, each austere noise more frustrating
”What the heck is this?” I stated, waiting for that bird to leave the floor,
But his droning, violent whining just became a deaf'ning ROAR,
“Never, NEVER, NEVER MORE!”
'Stop it!' said I, 'That's annoying!', my tone slightly less than cloying,
‘How exasperating! Get this flagrant fowl off of my floor!
Yes, this feathered freak doth blare it, like a sick, demented parrot -
Now I'm twitching like a ferret • tell me truly, I implore -
Will you ever leave my study, bird? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Screams the raven, 'NEVERMORE!'
'Stop it!' said I, 'Thing of evil!” I did groan in my upheaval,
‘I have schoolwork, and you're not helping - rascal raven, speak no more!
Leave my soul to study science • fly away, end this defiance
For I'll punish noncompliance, and I'll cause you bodily gore-
Yes, I'm not afraid to do it! I'll just kick you out the door!'
Shrieked the raven, ‘NEVERMORE!!!'
So my leg went back, I aimed itPUNT! I thought I'd surely maimed it,
Till it flew into the air andTHUD • it bumped into my door,
Flew around, then hit the window, and the glass was very thin, so
Out the raven flew, it did go! (And my foot was now quite sore)
But alas! Ere it departed, it did say one thing once more
Quoth the raven, 'Excuse me, but I belong to the Greater Nebraska Animal Rights League! I hope you know, pal, it's a felony to torture wild animals under State Law! For God's sake, I was only reading the script!'