How does the narrator respond in "The Raven" to his first encounter with the raven?
As Poe's poem begins, the despondent narrator, who has been delving into "quaint" volumes in his melancholy, is startled by a tapping at his door. Believing it to be nothing more than "some visitor entreating entrance," he rises, declaring that he was napping and did not hear the light tapping. Seeing no one, he peers into the darkness, whispering the name of his lost love: "Lenore?" Her name echoes in a similar whisper, and there is no other sound. After he returns to his room, the narrator hears a tapping at the shutter, so he flings it open, and with a fluttering of his wings, a raven walks in with the "mien of a lord or lady." Taken by the "grave and stern decorum" of the bird, the narrator alludes to Pluto, the Greek god of the Underworld, as he asks the bird's "lordly name"; the Raven merely says "Nevermore." This one word ("Nevermore") then becomes the refrain for the remainder of the poem, and the narrator begins to perceive the bird as rather ominous: "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted—nevermore!"
The raven flies into the speaker's chamber in the 6th stanza; and he first responds to the raven in the 7th stanza. In this stanza, the first line states, "Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling." By this, the speaker means that at first the raven turns his sad, mournful face into a smile. After this initial response, and still in the same stanza, his next response is to question who this raven is and why it came.
After this first reaction, the speaker starts to see the raven in a different light; it becomes more evil than good.