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face // off

lisa did not speak for a moment. "i should like to stay in vannes a little longer," she said. "i did not tell you, but--my mother is buried there. that was why i came; i should like to be with her."

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 master
whom unmerciful Disaster
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 raven still beguiling
all my sad soul into smiling,
straight i wheeled a cushioned seat
in front of bird and bust and door;
then, upon the velvet sinking,
i betook myself to linking
fancy unto fancy, thinking
what this ominous bird of yore --
what this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

saturday xcvii

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