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And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
“ Yet," said he, “poor piper as I am,
“ One ? fifty thousand !”—was the exclamation Of the astonish'd Mayor and Corporation.
(4.) THE CHARM.
Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
In his quiet pipe the while ,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens, Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives— Follow'd the Piper for their lives. From street to street he piped advancing, And step for step they follow'd dancing, Until they came to the river Weser, Wherein all plunged and perish'dSave one, who, stout as Julius Cæsar, Swam across and lived to carry (As he the manuscript he cherish’d) To Rat-land home his commentary, Which was : “At the first shrill notes of the pipe, I heard a sound as of scraping tripe, And putting apples, wondrous ripe, Into a cider-press's gripe : And a moving away of pickle-tub boards, And a leaving ajar of conserve cupboards, And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks, And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks; And it seem'd as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery Is breathed) called out, 'O rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder'd, 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 some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door; “ 'Tis some visitor," I mutter'd, “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 wish’d the morrow; vainly I had sought to
borrow From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost
LenoreFor the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore
Nameless here for evermore.
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
flutter, In there stepp'd a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopp'd or
stay'd he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perch'd above my chamber
Perch'd upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door
Perch'd 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 !"
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an
unseen censer, Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted
floor. “Wretch !” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these
angels He hath sent thee Respite-respite and nepenthe from thy memories of
Lenore ! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore !"
Quoth the Raven: “Nevermore !
“Prophet," said I, “thing of evil-prophet still, if bird 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 Aiden, It shall asp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name
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 shriek’ds
upstarting, “Get thee back into the tempest, and the night's Plutonian
shore ! Leave no black plume as in 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 thy form from off my
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'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!
THE KITTEN AND THE FALLING LEAVES.
SEE the kitten how she starts,