Author’s Note: I'm trying to write this in the same general meter used by Poe in his immortal “The Raven.” I recently completed the poem for FanFiction.net and I'm offering it, all at once, right here. It is, I hope, a bit funnier than Poe's gloomy version was . . . Quoth Our Raven by Cyborg (with all due apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)Once around the midnight hour, as I labored in the Tower, To repair the broken shower in a leaky bathroom stall; While I worked with wrench and hammer, suddenly there came a clamor— I knew it for Beast Boy’s yammer, as he paced out in the hall. “’Tis just the grass stain,” I muttered, “talking nonsense in the hall— Only this, and that is all!” Ah, distinct my recollection, as I sealed a new connection I heard him voice his affection for she who had his heart in thrall. (She was our most creepy member, cold in June as in December; Once made Doctor Light a trembler; I swear I heard him squall. She enshrouded him in darkness till like a baby he did squall! We all saw him cringe and bawl.) “Sure,” thought I, “he’s just rehearsing, ere he tries with her conversing, And then will he require nursing when her reply makes his face fall? When she breaks his poor heart in half; perhaps she’ll sneer, perhaps she’ll laugh At his most monumental gaffe, when at last he confesses all? Confesses that he loves her true, not just now but for the long haul? Will he sulk or will he bawl?” “Raven, please,” I now heard him sigh, “Let us give it an honest try; Surely this thing of ‘I don’t need a social life’ must someday pall? May I escort you to the dance, there to waltz and there to prance; Is there at least a little chance that you’ll be my date, you doll? To spin around the floor and perhaps enjoy the Costume Ball?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” Her voice left me dumb with wonder—at last he had dared confront her?— “Found the nerve to try, by thunder!” I mused within that shower stall. “To tell her plainly to her face that he yearns to her embrace, ‘Cause in his heart she takes first place as the fairest of them all! And now he's begging for a date—I wonder if perhaps he'll crawl To coax her to dare the Ball?” This I had to see quite clearly—from their voices, they were nearly Right outside the bathroom where I lurked within the shower stall. Eager now, I sought one gadget to make a hole (yes, I'd patch it!)— Though I knew I’d really catch it if they heard me use the awl, Carefully I pressed it forward and quiet as a fly's footfall Poked a hole through the drywall! Wishing to watch if they feuded, delicately I extruded A fiber-optic spycam through the tiny peephole in the wall; There she stood with stance innately bound to be quite still and stately, While the boy who yearned so greatly for her to be his faithful doll Was all fidgety as he tried to woo her there within the hall; (From then on, I saw it all!) The grass stain’s cheeks were slightly red, but he gulped and then he pled, “Was it too hasty to invite you to next week's costume ball? Perhaps I ask too much too soon, but this is only early June— Could you sing a different tune, if I tried again for fall? When leaves now green are falling red, could you please dance with me in fall?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” Something odd my brain now heeded—why had Raven not proceeded Down the hall while yet he pleaded to escort her to a Ball? He wanted it very badly, but she (if annoyed) would gladly Leave a fool behind to madly beat his head 'gainst a brick wall By still begging for the date which she'd refused and scorned withal. But had she left? Not at all. Beast Boy made another trial: “Maybe dancing's not your style, But tell me what you'd like and I'll shut up about the silly ball. There must be something that a pal could do with you in some locale; As long as it won't make you scowl, I will try it once—big or small! Is there aught we could do jointly to give you glee, however small?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” Over two things now I puzzled: That such punishment he guzzled By rephrasing his entreaties each time her words made his hopes fall; And that Raven, so resistant to his begging so persistent, Kept repeating so consistently one phrase as her rebuttal; Kept repeating like a mantra the same three words out in the hall; Kept responding: Not at all. “Now that's a shocking thing to hear from one who's been an ally dear, Not just for me, but for all the team whenever there's a brawl; And now it seems you'd find no cheer, month after month, year after year, In anything we'd engineer to create fun for one and all? I suppose you even hated that time we played some stankball?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” Beast Boy’s brow began to furrow; he gave this a study thorough; It seemed he had found food for thought in her comment about stankball. “Tell me, Raven,” he said coolly, “if it does not strain unduly; Say it quick and say it truly: Do you want me to leave withal? To drop this topic here and now, and quick and quiet leave withal?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” I began to see his theory: If he phrased a tricky query, He might receive that same dreary automatic Not at all— In a context where that chilly negative reply meant really By logic airtight—but silly—something “positive” after all. Such as “encouragement” to stay and sweet-talk her in that dark hall? You had to respect his gall! “Ah!” he said, his grin now thriving; in his eye, a gleam conniving; “Then sure, I won’t be depriving you of my company after all. And as long as we are sharing this quiet time, I’ll be daring; I’ll ask if it would be scaring you if I kissed you in this hall? Yes! Do you want to leave without kissing, here and now, in this hall?” Quoth our Raven: “Not at all.” You can guess how he responded—in a flash their lips seemed bonded As he wrapped his arms around her—that gutsy little goofball! And his pointy ears were twitching as he kissed this girl bewitching; Rob and Star would both be itching to know what happened in that hall! So while watching, I was storing the live feed coming through the wall; On DVD, burned it all! Any moment I expected him to scream as if dissected, After Raven had collected her wits and punished his sheer gall; So I waited for some slugging, but instead I saw her snuggling Closer to him; yes, the hugging became an action mutual. At last they broke for air before hypoxia made them fall. Did she look mad? Not at all. “That was clever, Beast Boy, dearest,” she said in her tone sincerest; “’Twas a curse of spite severest, to discourage true love’s call. Any time the talk got mushy, from a boy who’d got all crushy, And inside I felt all blushy—I’d scorn suggestions, one and all. Overtures and hopeful questions must gain rejections, one and all! (I think it began last fall.) “Milder than the curse on Snow White—but similar in hindsight— ‘True Love’s First Kiss' would set it right, if that event could me befall; But real wooers don’t force kisses on their most beloved Misses; Hence the victim sneers and hisses, or calls his tender words ‘banal’; ‘The same old words, the same old lines, the same old sentiments banal.’ Did you guess this, you green doll?” In my brain I somehow doubted whether Beast Boy, when he spouted Trick questions to get permission had guessed there was a curse at all. I’d guess he thought her endless gruff repeating of the same rebuff Was now a habit strong enough to let him try her bluff to call, By asking if she objected to friendly kissing in the hall— And prayed she'd say: Not at all? Now he said, “You should know, Raven, that a friend has been so craven As to spy upon our confab as we stood here in this hall. Earlier I heard him working—then all was quiet; he was shirking His repairs and just plain lurking right behind that bathroom wall. Do you see that little glitter, in that new hole, low in the wall? Cyborg’s spycam saw it all!” My metal nails I was chewing, for I feared what might be brewing In Raven’s head if my viewing of their smooching, from this shower stall, Struck her as a sin malicious that required something vicious To ensure it would not recur after she had made me crawl. (“Should I charge out through the doorway and go racing down the hall? Or just smash right through a wall?”) But my presence now dismissing, she said, “That’ll wait; I’ve been missing Months and months of proper kissing, which the pesky curse did forestall. So for lost time let's start making up until the dawn is breaking— Did I mention you'll be taking me to that silly Costume Ball? But later I will find Cyborg and then I’ll really make him squall!” (Did he argue? Not at all.) And those lovebirds still are kissing, still are kissing, still are kissing, In that quiet corridor near the bathroom with the leaky stall; Still are snuggling—so I gather from the fact that I don’t have her Chasing me cross-country; rather, she must still be in that hall. If I get a thousand-mile lead, I may survive till grudges pall. So now I flee—wouldn’t y’all?