Quaint and Curious - Parodies and Pastiches of Poe's The Raven

The Drama Despondent!

The Entr’acte & Limelight Feb 11 1882

As one evening in my study, seated by the firelight ruddy,
I was busily absorbing portions of dramatic lore,
Suddenly I heard a creaking, as of some one slyly sneaking
(Setting both the hinges squeaking), sneaking through my study door.
And I murmured, sotto voce, “Who’s that fiddling with the door?
Doubtless some unwelcome bore!”
“Come in!” I sternly muttered, while my breast with anger fluttered,
When there sidled in a Figure, such as ne’er was seen before;
Like some stagey apparition, in a woe-begone condition—
And it took up its position just inside my chamber-door.
“What might be your name?” I asked it. And it answered from the door—
“I’m the Drama!”— nothing more!
“Oh, indeed!” I said, politely. “Take a chair!” but that unsightly,
Not to say dejected Figure, an unwilling manner bore.
I remarked, “You seem in sorrow, — still bear up, perhaps to-morrow
(Though some trouble has beset you, which at present you deplore)
You may meet with better fortune, and be brilliant as of yore.”
Quoth the Drama, “Nevermore!”
“Why this tone of bitter anguish?” I inquired; “you seem to languish
’Neath some very dreadful burden; state the reason, I implore!
Tell me plainly, now, what is it, that has caused this sudden visit—
Why the unexpected entrance of your figure through my door?
Why that stagey exclamation that you uttered just before,—
That expression, ‘Nevermore?’”
Still it groaned, and I retreated, as that sentence it repeated.
“What! again?” I said. “Pray, drop it; though your grief is doubtless sore,
You can’t help trash being written for the theatres of Britain
And ‘swells’ won’t be always waiting for their ‘pets’ at each stage-door,
And ere long the undressed syrens, may be swept away galore.”
Quoth the Drama, “Nevermore!”
Then the poor old Drama, sneering, took the cue for disappearing,—
And it pulled its mantle round it, and stalked slowly to the door—
And its groan was something fearful, as it said in accents tearful,
As it sadly bent its optics on the carpet-covered floor—
“Look here, old poetic party, I shall bet you ten to four,—
’Twill be better, Nevermore!—
That is, hardly evermore!”

The Entr’acte & Limelight was a weekly London paper subtitled “A Theatrical and Musical Critic and Advertiser”.

Return to the Quaint and Curious index for more pastiches and parodies of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”.