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The poem takes place in a young man's room or study in his home, at night. It must be late at night because the young man is drowsy. He is perusing some old books, perhaps history books, or ancient texts of some type. He refers to them as "quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore" so perhaps he is reading The Iliad or The Odessey (I'm extrapolating here).
He must be bored, because he starts to fall asleep
While I nodded, nearly napping
When suddenly, he hears a tapping "at his chamber door." He thinks it is the wind, "and nothing more," but it continues, and finally THE RAVEN flies in and freaks him out.
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