Which of these stanzas from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe addresses the theme of everlasting love? But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke onlyThat one word, as if its soul in...
- But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing farther 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."
- But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul 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."
In his poem The Raven, Poe addresses the theme of everlasting love through the last lines of the first stanza posted. It is not the raven, but the narrator who utters on the subject; "Other friends have flown before-/On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before". The narrator is speaking about everlasting love and the hopelessness of loss. The phrase referring to other friends "flown before" references people leaving the narrator. Poe also uses the capitalization of "Hopes" to refer to more than mere expectations. The use can be understood to mean a greater emotion, most probably love, the greatest hope of all. The narrator tells the bird he will leave in the morning just as his loves have left him at some point. Poe ties the theme of everlasting love expressed in the last few lines to the opening of the stanza. The raven speaks the word as if his entire soul depends upon its utterance. The narrator feels so strongly at this point to remark upon his past loves, demonstrating the entirety of the love upon his soul.
I think the theme of everlasting love is touched upon in the second stanza you have listed. It is not named outright—this is not one of the more obvious "love" stanzas—but the narrator does say, "But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling," referring to the terrible sadness he feels as a result of the loss of his lover, Lenore. Notice that he does not just call himself "sad," he applies this adjective to his "soul." This helps us to understand how deeply he still cares for her and how fervently he mourns the loss of the object of his love. The reason he is so willing to pull a chair up in front of the raven, to spend time pondering the origin and purpose of this odd bird, is that he is happy to have a distraction from his grief. This affirms that he still loves her deeply because, if he did not, he would not classify his soul as sad, nor would he be so grateful for a respite.