Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store < This Line
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
he’s saying that the raven only knows one word; its vocabulary has but a single item in its entire stock (or store)
what he’s getting at is the big question of the poem — is “Nevermore” a specific message of wisdom (represented by the bust of [Pallas] Athena) sent to the narrator? or was it just a random word that a random bird happened to know? in this verse especially, he’s trying to convince himself of the latter, because the former is just to scary for him to contemplate.
i hope that helps!
What has gathered dust on the shelf. <}:-})