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

The Shavin’

The People’s Friend (Dundee)

A piece of ravin’ a la Edgar A Poe

One morning after sleeping I thought I heard a creeping,
As if some one were approaching close to my bedroom door:
Then a loud impatient tapping put an end unto my napping,
And I wondered who was rapping, rapping at my bedroom door,
So I timidly enquired who was at my bedroom door—
Only that, and nothing more.
When there came another knock, with, “Sir, ’tis eight o’clock,”
And, only half awakened, I leaped out upon the floor;
And by want of proper care hit my leg against a chair,
Which improperly stood there, as ’twas left the night before,
And I limped a very little as I crept towards the door—
Just a little, nothing more.
Then on asking, “What’s the matter?” said the servant, “Here’s your water,
And you’ve slept in rather later than you ever did before;”
So as I was rather press’d I got very quickly drest
In my trousers and my vest; then I opened up the door,
And I muttered as I took it and shut to my bedroom door—
“Oh, that shavin’, what a bore!”
While inwardly I cursed — thus my feelings I disbursed—
I set about to rummage and to busily explore;
But I couldn’t find the strop, and someone had nailed the soap,
Which completely put a stop to my shavin’ — horrid bore!
And my razor, too, was blunter than it ever was before—
Than it ever was before!
As I rushed about half raving, I bethought me of this shaving,
And I wondered that I hadn’t stopped the practice long before:
So I made an inward vow, that from this moment now,
My beard should, like my pow, grow at pleasure evermore,
And my resolution echoed as I ope’d my bedroom door—
“I shall shave, ah! nevermore!”

John F Mill (1838–????) was a Scottish poet, writer of serial stories, essays, sketches and antiquarian papers, who worked as a newspaper clerk in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Plymouth. He contributed poetry to a variety of magazines, starting with a poem in the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1858.

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