(My attending the Sheriffs’ Meeting on January 16th in Zebulon was the motivation for this adaptation of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe”) – NCGirl
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered the President’s executive orders weak and weary,
Over the Second Amendment and a brilliant manuscript of forgotten law,
While I read, jaws a-gaping suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one repeatedly rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak November,
And voters cast their feckless ballots upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From the government surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the freedoms lost before –
For the rare and radiant liberty whom the forefathers’ covenant swore—
Might be Nameless here for evermore.
And the relentless controlling mumblings of each congressman
scared me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, whatever do you want I implore;
But the fact is I was reading and when you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my house 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 wondering, 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 words “what oath did thou forswore”
This I spoke and an echo spoke back the word, “ forswore”?
Merely this, and nothing more.
Then into my house a turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what the threat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind, and nothing more!”
Opened the drawer, when, I all apprehensive and a-flutter,
In there stepped a man in gray uniform not of the pleasant days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord, stared me down within my castle door —
Rigid behind gray clothing and just inside my castle door —
Stood hulking and foreboding and waiting for more.
Then this gray man beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the familiar and staid decorum of the countenance he wore,
“Though our rights be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly and grim raven wandering from the D.C. shore —
Tell me what your business is here tonight at my house door?!”
Quoth the gray raven, “Arms! – no more.”
Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though his answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;
For we should be but agreeing that never no human being
Was so blest with seeing freedom, partly from his gun right near his own door —
If be natural law forsaken and in its stead man’s law du jour,
Lest True Liberty be spoken nevermore.”
But this gray raven, standing rigidly on my floor, spoke only
Those words, as if his soul in those words he did out pour.
Nothing farther then he uttered — nor his shirt be ruffled—
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “When we lose our arms as others have before —
Tomorrow freedom twill leave us, as history has shown us before.”
Quoth the gray raven, “Arms! – no more”.
Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” thought I, “what he utters is only stock and store,
Taught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster — so, when Hope he would adjure,
Stern Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure” —
That sad answer, “Arms! – no more.”
But the gray raven still same replying, all my fearing soul into hiding
Straight I walked towards him, looking him in the eyes as went towards the door;
My stomach, heart a-sinking, I betook myself to thinking
Scenario unto scenario, thinking what this ominous harbinger bore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous ghost of yore
Meant in croaking “Arms! – no more”.
Thus I stopped still, stressing, but no syllable expressing
To the man whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I stood divining, with my heart’s ease declining,
In my own castle’s lamplight, and the property I rightfully owned,
In my own castle’s lamplight, and the property I rightfully owned!!,
He shall press me for my arms, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Fool” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee — by our forefathers he hath sent thee
Respite — respite from oppression and more!
Remember the oaths taken to protect the manuscripts of yore, forget the law du jour!
Quoth the gray raven, “Arms! – No more.”
“Puppet!” said I, “thing of evil! — puppet still, if man or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, in this land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —
Are there — confiscations among the government elite? — tell me — tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the gray raven, “Nevermore.”
“Puppet!” said I, “thing of evil! — puppet still, if man or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore —
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within their distant D.C. haven
They shall grasp the profound manuscript whom the founders numbered before—
Grasp the Second Amendment and why they wrote it before
The gray raven paused, then a whispered quoth, “…Nevermore….”
“Then how can you justify the theft of both my arms and freedom” I shrieked, upstarting —
“Stick back thy head in the sand and back to your indenture
You shall get no arms of mine; my soul hath spoken!
Leave my freedom unbroken! — quit standing on my floor
Mind the oath that you made by heart; now art thou to take my arms and support the law du jour?!”
Quoth the gray raven, “NO MORE.”
And the gray raven, went walking, walking out my door without talking
My arms safely ensconced In my drawer;
As the man left I caught a look in his eyes, like awoke from dreaming,
His shoes tapping quickly as the porch light throws his shadow across my arbor;
And my soul came out from shadow, that the brilliant manuscript might endure
And shall be lifted again – and forevermore!