Saturday, February 13, 2010


by Ranger

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over quite 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.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Open here I flung the door, when, with grim footstep and yawn,
In there stepped a stately Top of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a word he dropped or gave me
But, with glare of fearsome force he stood there in my chamber door-
Stood with glare that froze the blood, before my chamber door-
Stood and stared, and nothing more.

The stare upon this man dropped the book from out my hand,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance he wore.
"Though the time is rather late" I said, "I'm sure that bed can wait,
Ghastly grim and ancient Top wandering from the upper floor! Give me but
leave to read here but a little more."

Quoth the Top, "Nevermore."

Nothing further then he uttered- not an eye he further fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "All my friends have flown
On the morrow I will move me, early bedward- let me read here I implore!"

Quoth the Top, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what you utter is only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy Top who's brat would never come to bed,
Who spoke again again and hopeless, not like I!" I did implore.
"Before the night's fair moon can wane I will come to bed again, let me read
one chapter more!"

Quoth the Top "Nevermore."

And the Top stood still, a glaring all my fancy into staring,
And I stood with knees a knocking 'fore that ice man in the door;
Then I swallowed, brow now sinking, I betook myself to thinking
while the book from nerveless hand did drop unguarded to the floor.
"Ancient top!" I cried, "For pity! Will you break this ghastly ditty! Will
you tell me once, for all!
If I with you stairs come climbing, will it save me from your whining? Will
I sit as in days of yore?"

Quoth the Top "Nevermore."

And that Top, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the bedside waiting for me now, inside the bedroom door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the

And the bathroom light fades away- and there's still no hope of day- and I
know what he will say when I go through that bedroom door-

For no brat of his can sit by the firelight late like this, nor prevaricate,
insist, or stall for just one chapter more-

"Young man, nevermore!"

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Most of the artwork on the blog is by Canadian artist Steve Walker.

Rolf and Ranger’s Next Book will be called The Mary Ellen Carter. The Mary Ellen Carter and other works in progress can be read at either the Falls Chance Ranch Discussion Group or the Falls Chance Forum before they are posted here at the blog. So come and talk to the authors and be a part of a work in progress.

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