The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 69

the streets.

Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which
my general temperament and character--through the instrumentality of the
Fiend Intemperance--had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical
alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more
irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself
to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her
personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change
in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For
Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from
maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the
monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they
came in my way. But my disease grew upon me--for what disease is like
Alcohol!--and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and
consequently somewhat peevish--even Pluto began to experience the
effects of my ill temper.

One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about
town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in
his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with
his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself
no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my
body and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every
fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened
it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of
its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the
damnable atrocity.

When reason returned with the morning--when I had slept off the fumes of
the night's debauch--I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of
remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best,
a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again
plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.

In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye
presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared
to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be
expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my
old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on
the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling
soon gave place to irritation. And then came,

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Text Comparison with Le Corbeau = The Raven

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This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) LE CORBEAU / THE RAVEN POËME PAR EDGAR POE TRADUCTION FRANÇAISE DE STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ AVEC ILLUSTRATIONS PAR ÉDOUARD MANET PARIS RICHARD LESCLIDE, ÉDITEUR, 61, RUE DE LAFAYETTE 1875 Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, 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.
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" _Et de la soie l'incertain et triste bruissement en chaque rideau purpural me traversait--m'emplissait de fantastiques terreurs pas senties encore: si bien que, pour calmer le battement de mon coeur, je demeurais maintenant à répéter «C'est quelque visiteur qui sollicite l'entrée, à la porte de ma chambre--quelque visiteur qui sollicite l'entrée, à la porte de ma chambre; c'est cela et rien de plus.
Page 2
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" _Je m'émerveillai fort d'entendre ce disgracieux volatile s'énoncer aussi clairement, quoique sa réponse n'eût que peu de sens et peu .
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" _Mais le Corbeau, perché solitairement sur ce buste placide, parla ce seul mot comme si, son âme, en ce seul mot, il la répandait.
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»_ 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 Meant in croaking "Nevermore.
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» Le Corbeau dit: «Jamais plus!»_ "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 Aidenn, It shall clasp a saintly maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.
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» Le Corbeau dit: «Jamais plus!»_ "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-- "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a 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 take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.