Edgar Allen Poe Parody: The Ravens’ Orlando Brown

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Quoth Orlando Brown “Left Tackle”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten playoff success—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone was gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
“’ Tis some right tackle,” I muttered, “tapping at my office door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak January;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow, the draft;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lamar
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lamar—
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple and black curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before, like a trip to the AFC title game;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ‘Tis some right tackle entreating entrance at my office door—
Some late right tackle entreating entrance at my office door;—
This is it and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Right tackle,” said I, “or left tackle, 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 stillness gave no Lombardi,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lamar?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lamar!”—
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 something at my trophy mantle;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the Cleveland Browns and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Orlando Brown of the Pro Bowl days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my office door—
Perched upon a bust of Jonathan Ogden just above my office door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Orlando Brown wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Ray Plutonian shore!”

Quoth Orlando Brown, “Left Tackle.”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing raven above his office door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his office door,
With such a name as “Left Tackle.”

But Orlando Brown, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

Those two words, as if his soul in that two words 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 Orlando Brown said, “left tackle.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught 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 ‘Left—left tackle’.”

But Orlando Brown still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of the 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 “left tackle.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl 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 lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloated o’er,
She shall press, ah, left tackle!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Right tackle,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lamar;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lamar!”

Quoth Orlando Brown “left tackle.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird 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 Orlando Brown, “left tackle.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lamar
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lamar.”
Quoth Orlando Brown “left tackle.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, Raven or Chief!” 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 the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth Orlando Brown “left tackle.”

And the Chief, never flitting, is no longer sitting,

On the pallid bust of Ogden just above my office door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a Patrick Mahomes 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—left tackle!

Thanks for reading my Edgar Allan Poe parody featuring Orlando Brown and the Baltimore Ravens! For more content, follow me @MrSplashMan19 and OTH Football on Twitter!

Main Image Credit

Orlando Brown
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JANUARY 10: Tackle Orlando Brown Jr. #79 of the Baltimore Ravens blocks at the line of scrimmage during their AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on January 10, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Ravens defeated the Titans 20-13. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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Ryan Potts is an avid football and baseball fan. He covers the NFL and Major League Baseball, focusing on the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Braves.