Hallowe’en – an infra tribute to Poe

Once upon a Friday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary… the challenge of writing an editorial, mulling quaint and curious volumes of infra lore. While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping as of someone gently hacking, writing stories on the news floor. “’Tis some reporter,” I muttered, “tapping at his keyboard – only this and nothing more.”

From that I take some relief, that indeed there will be news to release, but as I ponder furthermore, my mind it turns to Dalmore…

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak October; and each Amber wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the Ruth McMorrow – vainly I had sought to borrow (long tenor, low pricing). From my loan books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Libor – for the reference rate whom the angels name Libor.

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain hustling of each deal closing, thrilled me – filled me with fantastic tenors never seen before; so that now, to still the beating of my bid, I stood repeating “’Tis legal advisor entreating mandate at my office door – some legal advisor entreating entrance at my office door.

This it is and nothing more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, “Assured Guaranty, your forgiveness I implore; but the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came wrapping, and so faintly you came wrapping, wrapping at my bonds galore, that I scarce insure I heard you” – here I opened wide the books; indebtedness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkest gearing, long-term I stood there wondering, fearing; doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; but the market was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, and the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Libor?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Libor!”

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the office turning, all my soul within me burning, soon again I heard a wrapping somewhat louder than before. “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my lenders’ missive; let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore. Let my heart be still a moment and this double A explore.

’Tis the wind farm and nothing more!

Open here I flung the loan book, when, with many a flirt and flutter, in there stepped a stately Rating 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, perched above my office door – perched upon a bust of Russell Dallas just above my office door.

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this credit rater beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, by the Bear Stearns decorum of the countenance it wore, “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, ghastly grim and ancient Rating wandering from the nightly shore – tell me what thy lordly grading is on the night’s rating floor!”

Quoth the Raven “Dalmore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly rater 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 a ratings agency above his office door – Moody’s or S&P upon the sculptured bust above his office door, with such name as “Dalmore.”

But the Rating, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only that one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing farther then he uttered – not a credit rating fluttered – till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before – on the McMorrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Dalmore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, “Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is only stock and shares – caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster till his opinion one burden bore – till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore of ‘Dal—Dalmore’.”

But the Rating still beguiling all my fancy into filing, straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of rater, and bust and door; then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking fancy unto fancy, thinking what this financial tool of yore – what this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous rater of yore meant in croaking “Dalmore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing to the rater 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 gloating o’er, she shall press, ah, Dalmore!

Then, methought, the air grew tender, perfumed from an unseen lender swung by sponsor whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee. Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Libor; quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Libor!”

Quoth the Rater “Dalmore.”

“Profit!” said I, “thing of evil! – profit still, if bond or loan! – 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 infrastructure? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Rater “Dalmore.”

“Profit!” said I, “thing of evil! – profit still, if bank or bond! By that heaven that bends above us – by that bonus we both adore – tell this soul with borrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, it shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Libor – clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Libor.”

Quoth the Rater “Dalmore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bank or bond!” I shrieked, upstarting. “Get thee back to Canary Wharf and the night’s rating floor! Leave no black mark as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my balance sheet unbroken! Quit the bust above my door! Take thy rating from off my books, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Rater “Dalmore.”

And the Rater, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid bust of Russell Dallas just above 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 bonds shall be downgraded – Dalmore!