Quoth the Auditor, ‘Nevermore’

Adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ – first published in 1845

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
project management halloweenOver many a project artifact until my eyes were sore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my office door –
Only this, and nothing more.’

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my current project a surcease of sorrow for the lost “Project G4” –
For the rare and radiant project whom the PMO named G4-
Nameless here for evermore.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,’ said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my office door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; –
Darkness there, and nothing more.

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 darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `G4!’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `G4!’
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the office turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,’ said I, `surely that is sound coming through the vents;
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!’

project management halloween storyOpen here I flung my door, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately auditor 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, standing outside my office door –
Standing and pointing at me from outside my office door –
Stood, and pointed, and nothing more.

Then this auditor beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thou are no maven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient auditor wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the auditor, `Nevermore.’

Much I marvelled this ungainly auditor to hear discourse so plainly,
Though his answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living project being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing auditor outside his office door –
Man or woman outside the darkened hallway outside his office door,
With such name as `Nevermore.’

But the auditor, standing lonely in the darkened hall, spoke only,
spooky project managementThat one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – not an eyelash 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 auditor said, `Nevermore.’

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Hired from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of “Never-nevermore.”‘

But the auditor still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of auditor and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous auditor –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous auditor
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the being whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the monitor-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the monitor-light gloating o’er,
G4 shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy PMO hath lent thee – by these directors he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of G4!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost G4!’
Quoth the auditor, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if auditor 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 auditor, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if auditor or devil!
By that sky that bends above us – by that PMO we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow specked if, within what the customers expect,
It shall clasp a sainted project whom the PMO named G4 –
Clasp a rare and radiant project, whom the PMO named G4?’
Quoth the auditor, `Nevermore.’

`Be that word our sign of parting, auditor or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting –
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit thy presence outside my door!
Take thy red pen from out my heart, and take thy form from out my door!’
Quoth the auditor, `Nevermore.’

And the auditor, never flitting, still is gritting, unremitting
Standing on the floor just outside my office door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

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