_Once_ it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay,
_Now_ each visitor shall confess
The sad valley’s restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless–
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Unceasingly, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye–
Over the lilies that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave:–from out their fragrant tops
Eternal dews come down in drops.
They weep:–from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.
A dark unfathomed tide
Of interminable pride–
A mystery, and a dream,
Should my early life seem;
I say that dream was fraught
With a wild and waking thought
Of beings that have been,
Which my spirit hath not seen,
Had I let them pass me by,
With a dreaming eye!
Let none of earth inherit
That vision on my spirit;
Those thoughts I would control,
As a spell upon his soul:
For that bright hope at last
And that light time have past,
And my wordly rest hath gone
With a sigh as it passed on:
I care not though it perish
With a thought I then did cherish.
I don’t believe I’ve shared this one before. I don’t suppose you’d be surprised if I told you it was from a show in 1983. Here is Star Trek’s very own William Shatner reading Edgar Allan Poe classic, The Raven.