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


Pot-Pouri 1875

Once upon a midnight, weary,
As I maundered, gin-and-beery,
O’er an oft-repeated story,
Till my friends thought me a bore—
Sitting weeping, and half sleeping,
Something set my flesh a-creeping,
And I saw a Raven peeping
Through my room’s unopen’d door.
“See that Raven,” said I to them,
“Trying to get through the door,—
A Black Raven — nothing more?”
Now, I was not drunk, but weary,
For my head was out-of-geary
With close study of quaint volumes,
Curious in forgotten lore;
(Though they said delirium tremens)
I’d been reading bits of Hemans,[1]
And some leaves of Jacob Behmen’s,[2]
Two or three — perhaps a score;
And I said — “It is a Raven
Rampant just outside the door —
Striding through,” I said — and swore.
I insisted, and I twisted,
And resisted and persisted
Though they held me and, close-fisted,
Saw no Raven at the door:
I forgot all I had read of,
For that ill bird took my head off,
Like a coffin lid of lead off
The dead brain of one no more.
Would I trust their words instead of
What I saw right through the door?
Through the door, — I said — and swore.
Yes! it is a Raven surely,
Though he does look so demurely
Like a doctor come to assure me
I am drunk: Not so, — I swore.
Drunk? I drunk? I’ve not been drinking;
I’m but overcome with thinking;
There I saw that Raven winking
In the middle of the floor.
Doctor! there’s the Raven rampant
In the middle of the floor;
He has hopp’d straight through the door.
Look! his curst wings brush the dust off
That fallen, broken, batter’d bust of
Psyche, — where it lies in the shadow,
Shatter’d flung down on the floor.
See! he spurns the broken pieces.
Catch him, Doctor! When he ceases
He will rend me. Past release is—
Nothing! Nothing on the floor?
Yes! The Psyche lies in the shadow,
Lieth shatter’d on the floor —
To be lifted nevermore.

Pot-Pourri is a 24-page Octavo pamphlet entirely made up of William James Linton’s Poe parodies.


  1. Hemans — Poet Felicia Hemans (1793–1835), whose most famous line is “The boy stood on the burning deck”. (back to text)
  2. Jacob Behmen — An English rendering of the name of German philosopher and mystic Jakob Böhme (1575–1624). (back to text)

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