And tell how now, amid wreck and sor- PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY row,

(1792-1822) And want, and sickness, and houseless nights,

TO HARRIETHe bides in calmness the silent morrow,

(Dedication of Queen Mab, 1812-13) That no ray lights. And lives he still, then? Yes! Old and Whose is the love that, gleaming through hoary

the world, At thirty-nine, from despair and ·Wards off the poisonous arrow of its woe,

scorn? He lives, enduring what future story Whose is the warm and partial praise, Will never know.

Virtue's most sweet reward?


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Then press into thy breast this pledge of

love; And know, though time may change and

years may roll, Each floweret gathered in my heart It consecrates to thine.




There is a fever of the spirit,

The brand of Cain's unresting doom, Which in the lone dark souls that bear it

Glows like the lamp in Tullia's tomb: Unlike that lamp, its subtle fire

5 Burns, blasts, consumes its cell, the

heart, Till, one by one, hope, joy, desire,

Like dreams of shadowy smoke depart. When hope, love, life itself, are only Dust – spectral memories - dead and

cold The unfed fire burns bright and lonely,

Like that undying lamp of old: And by that drear illumination,

Till time its clay-built home has rent, Thought broods feeling's desola

tion The soul is its own monument.

Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know
That things depart which never may re-

Childhood and youth, friendship and love's

first glow, Have Aed like sweet dreams, leaving thee


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ne'er yet

'Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood In chårnals and on coffins, where black
Above the blind and battling multitude: 10 death
In honored poverty thy voice did weave Keeps record of the trophies won from
Songs consecrate to truth and liberty
Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve, Hoping to still these obstinate questionings
Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease Of thee and thine, by forcing some lone

Thy messenger, to render up the tale

Of what we are. In lone and silent hours, From ALASTOR

When night makes a weird sound of its

own stillness, Invocation to Nature

Like an inspired and desperate alchemist (1815)

Staking his very life on some dark hope

Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks Earth, Ocean, Air, beloved brotherhood!

With my most innocent love, until strange If our great Mother has imbued my soul

tears, With aught of natural piety to feel Uniting with

with those breathless kisses, Your love, and recompense the boon with made mine;

Such magic as compels the charmèd night If dewy morn, and odorous noon, and

To render up thy charge; and, though even, With sunset and its gorgeous ministers, Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary, And solemn midnight's tingling silentness; Enough from incommunicable dream, If Autumn's hollow sighs in the sere wood, And twilight phantasms, and deep noonday And Winter robing with pure snow and thought,

Has shone within me, that serenely now Of starry ice the gray grass and bare And moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre boughs;

Suspended in the solitary dome If Spring's voluptuous pantings when she

Of some mysterious and deserted fane, breathes

I wait thy breath, Great Parent, that my Her first sweet kisses have been dear to strain me;

May modulate with murmurs of the air, If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast And motions of the forests and the sea, I consciously have. injured, but still loved

And voice of living beings, and woven And cherished these my kindred; then hymns forgive

Of night and day, and the deep heart of This boast, beloved brethren, and with

draw No portion of your wonted favor now!

HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL Mother of this unfathomable world!

BEAUTY Favor my solemn song, for I have loved

(1816) Thee ever, and thee only; I have

watched Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy The awful shadow of some unseen Power steps,

Floats though unseen amongst us, visitAnd my heart ever gazes on the depth

ing Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my This various world with as inconstant bed










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As summer winds that creep from flower

to flower; Like moonbeams that behind some piny

mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance

Each human heart and countenance; Like hues and harmonies of evening,

Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Like memory of music Aed, -
Like aught that for its grace may

Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.








Love, Hope, and Self-esteem like clouds

depart And come, for some uncertain moments

lent. Man were immortal and omnipotent, Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou

art, Keep with thy glorious train firm state

within his heart.
Thou messenger of sympathies,

That wax and wane in lovers' eyes! Thou, that to human thought art nourish

Like darkness to a dying fame!
Depart not as thy shadow came,
Depart' not, - lest the grave should

Like life and fear, a dark reality!

Spirit of Beauty, that dost consecrate With thine own hues all thou dost shine

upon Of human thought or form, where

art thou gone? Why dost thou pass away and leave our

state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and

desolate? Ask why the sunlight not forever Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain

river, Why aught should fail and fade that once

is shown, Why fear and dream and death and

birth Cast on the daylight of this earth Such gloom, — why man has such a

scope For love and hate, despondency and hope?





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While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and

sped Through many a listening chamber, cave

and ruin, And starlight wood, with fearful steps

pursuing Hopes of high talk with the departed dead. I called on poisonous names with which

our youth is fed;
I was not heard, I saw them not

When, musing deeply on the lot
Of life, at the sweet time when winds are

wooing All vital things that wake to bring News of birds and blossoming,

Sudden, thy shadow fell on me: I shrieked, and clasped my hands in



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The toil which stole from thee so many

10 Is ended — and the fruit is at thy feet! No longer where the woods to frame a

bower With interlaced branches mix and meet, Or where, with sound like many voices

sweet, Waterfalls leap among

wild islands green Which framed for my lone boat a lone



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The day becomes more solemn and serene

When noon is past there is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, 75 Which through the summer is not heard or

seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not

been! Thus let thy power, which like the

Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply

Its calm, to one who worships thee,
And every form containing thee,

Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind.



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(Dedication of The Revolt of Islam,




So now my summer task is ended, Mary, And I return to thee, mine own heart's


From the near schoolroom voices that,

alas! Were but one echo from a world of

woes The harsh and grating strife of tyrants

and of foes.


Which crushed and withered mine, that

could not be Aught but a lifeless clog, until revived

by thee.



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Thou Friend, whose presence my wintry heart

55 Fell, like bright Spring upon some herbless

plain : How beautiful and calm and free thou

wert In thy young wisdom, when the mortal

chain Of Custom thou didst burst and rend in

twain, And walk as free as light the clouds

among, Which 'many

envious slave then breathed in vain From his dim dungeon, --- and my spirit

sprung To meet thee from the woes which had

begirt it long!




And from that hour did I with earnest

thought Heap knowledge from forbidden mines of

lore; Yet nothing that my tyrants knew or

taught I cared to learn, but from that secret


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