Versions of The Raven

last updated December 31, 1969

Poe wrote "The Raven" in 1845 but he made several revisions to it over the next couple of years. Listed below are a number of versions of the text. Text "T" is really the latest version that Poe himself authorized and so you would think that this is the version you would find in most places. This is certainly not the case as you can see by reading further. I have listed three books, from 1850, 1882, and 1992, as well as several top ranked internet resources. It is interesting to note that no source is identical to another. For example the Barnes and Noble version "BN" is almost identical to the Richmond Examiner "T" except in stanza 10, line 3 where "T" uses the word "further" and "BN" uses "farther".

KEY:


S (scanned original text)
J. Lorimer Graham copy of The Raven and Other Poems, w/revisions 1846-1849

T (scanned original text)
The Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner, September 25, 1849.
Generally accepted as the final authorized version of the text.
Poestories.com has adopted this version as of May 3, 2007

W (scanned original text)
The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe, 1850, vol. II, pp. 7-11.

TC (book)
Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 1882, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.

BN (book)
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 1992 Barnes and Noble books.

ES (online text)
EServer.org

OL (online text)
Online-Literature.com

HS (online text)
House of Usher

CM (online text)
Cummings Study Guides

CW (audio recording)
Christopher Walken reads The Raven


 

Differences


(stanza 5)
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no [mortal] ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the [stillness] gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore[?]"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"
Merely this and nothing more.

"mortal" in S, T, TC, BN, CW
"mortals" in W, ES, OL, HS, CM

"darkness" in S
"stillness" in T, W, TC, BN, ES, OL, HS, CM, CW

"?" in S, T, W, BN, OL, HS
"!" in TC, ES, CM


(stanza 6)
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping [somewhat] louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice ;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more [!]"

"something" in S, W, TC, OL, HS
"somewhat" in T, BN, ES, CM, CW

"!" in S, T, BN
"." in W, TC, ES, OL, HS, CM


(stanza 7)
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately [Raven] of the saintly days of yore ;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

"Raven" in S, T, W, TC, BN, OL
"raven" in ES, HS, CM


(stanza 8)
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient [Raven] wandering from the Nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore !"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Raven" in S, T, W, TC, BN, OL
"raven" in ES, HS, CM


(stanza 9)
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore ;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was [blessed] with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

"blessed" in S, T, W, TC, BN, OL
"blest" in ES, CM


(stanza 10)
But the [Raven], sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing [further] then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered "[Other] friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my [hopes] have flown before."
Then the bird said "Nevermore."

"Raven" in T, W, TC, BN, OL
"raven" in S, ES, HS, CM

"farther" in S, W, BN, OL, CW
"further" in T, TC, ES, HS, CM

"Other" in S, T, W, TC, BN, OL, HS
"other" in ES, CM

"Hopes" in S, W, TC, BN, OL
"hopes" in T, ES, HS, CM


(stanza 12)
But the [Raven] still beguiling my sad fancy 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."

"Raven" in T, TC, BN, ES, OL, CM
"raven" in S, W, HS


(stanza 16)
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by [Horror] haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead ? - tell me - tell me, I implore !"
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Horror" in S, T, W, BN, OL
"horror" in TC, ES, HS, CM