Sabine first published this poem in praise of The Literary Gift Company‘s “suppoet” on her personal blog a few years ago. While the kittens have now grown up — and one of them is sadly no longer with us —, The Literary Gift Company’s service is still exactly as superb as it was in 2013.
Check them out when you need a gift!
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious memory of the day that went before,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, flapping something on the floor.
“ ’Tis the kittenses,” I muttered, “slapping feathers on the floor —
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying chocolate wrought its wrap upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had tried to borrow
From cocoa surcease of sorrow — sorrow from the day before —
When I realised with horror that the earrings that I wore —
Lay on the table no more.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of my kittens playing
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis the kittenses who have them, playing with them on the floor —
They are pawing, clawing, drawing my earrings across the floor; —
This it is, and nothing more.”
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Cats,” said I, “my kittens, truly your behaviour I deplore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came tapping,
And so faintly you came snapping, snapping what was mine before,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” — here I kneeled upon the floor; —
Poe was there, but nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I knelt there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, stretching where no weekly hoover stretched to clean before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were a hissing and a roar.
Then I whispered, and an echo hissed again and gave a roar.
Merely this, and nothing more.
Then towards the sofa turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I had inspected all the cushions, crevices and more.
“Surely,” said I, “surely I will find the raven when we’re moving;
Let me see, then, if I find it, and this mystery explore —
Let us take apart the sofa and this mystery explore;—
’When we move, and not before!”
On the day of relocation, we, with many a flirt and flutter,
Took apart our stately sofa of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made we; not an instant stopped or stayed we;
But, with miens of lord and lady, threw the pieces on the floor —
And it went to be recycled, all in pieces on the floor —
Filling, wood, but nothing more.
Then I wrote a message to the company who sold the earrings,
On the social media outlet of this brilliant online store,
“I have lost the raven earring, and,” I said, “I’m greatly fearing,
Ghastly ’tis, my cats did eat it, playing with it on the floor —
Tell me how I can retrieve the raven earring from your store!”
Quoth the owner, “Fear no more.”
Much I marvelled when I came back to my desk that Tuesday morning,
After a long weekend resting — my full powers to restore;
For I cannot help confessing: never would I have been guessing
How the lovely team on facebook planned the raven to restore —
In an envelope they sent him and no payment asked me for:
I stood gasping, “Nevermore.”
But the raven, sitting lonely on my messy desk, spoke only
The name “Poe”, as if his soul in that one name he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “They have been good heretofore —
But tomorrow I shall praise them, as I’ve never done before.”
Quoth the raven, “Take the floor.”