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      1. Poems by Percy Besshe Shelley

        Lines to an Indian Air

        I ARISE from dreams of thee 
        In the first sweet sleep of night, 
        When the winds are breathing low 
        And the stars are shining bright— 
        I arise from dreams of thee, 5 
        And a spirit in my feet 
        Hath led me—who knows how? 
        To thy chamber-window, Sweet! 

        The wandering airs they faint 
        On the dark, the silent stream; 10 
        The champak odours fail 
        Like sweet thoughts in a dream; 
        The nightingale's complaint 
        It dies upon her heart, 
        As I must die on thine, 15 
        O belovèd, as thou art! 

        O lift me from the grass! 
        I die, I faint, I fail! 
        Let thy love in kisses rain 
        On my lips and eyelids pale. 20 
        My cheek is cold and white, alas! 
        My heart beats loud and fast; 
        O press it close to thine again 
        Where it will break at last! 

        "I fear thy kisses gentle maiden"

        I FEAR thy kisses gentle maiden; 
        Thou needest not fear mine; 
        My spirit is too deeply laden 
        Ever to burthen thine. 

        I fear thy mien thy tones thy motion; 5 
        Thou needest not fear mine; 
        Innocent is the heart's devotion 
        With which I worship thine. 

        Love's Philosophy

        THE fountains mingle with the river 
        And the rivers with the ocean  
        The winds of heaven mix for ever 
        With a sweet emotion; 
        Nothing in the world is single 5 
        All things by a law divine 
        In one another's being mingle— 
        Why not I with thine? 

        See the mountains kiss high heaven  
        And the waves clasp one another; 10 
        No sister-flower would be forgiven 
        If it disdain'd its brother; 
        And the sunlight clasps the earth  
        And the moonbeams kiss the sea— 
        What are all these kissings worth 15 
        If thou kiss not me? 

        To the Night

        SWIFTLY walk over the western wave  
        Spirit of Night! 
        Out of the misty eastern cave 
        Where all the long and lone daylight  
        Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear 5 
        Which make thee terrible and dear — 
        Swift be thy flight! 

        Wrap thy form in a mantle gray  
        Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day 10 
        Kiss her until she be wearied out: 
        Then wander o'er city and sea and land  
        Touching all with thine opiate wand— 
        Come long-sought! 

        When I arose and saw the dawn 15 
        I sigh'd for thee; 
        When light rode high and the dew was gone  
        And noon lay heavy on flower and tree  
        And the weary Day turn'd to his rest 
        Lingering like an unloved guest 20 
        I sigh'd for thee. 

        Thy brother Death came and cried  
        Wouldst thou me?  
        Thy sweet child Sleep the filmy-eyed  
        Murmur'd like a noontide bee 25 
        Shall I nestle near thy side? 
        Wouldst thou me? —And I replied  
        No, not thee!  

        Death will come when thou art dead  
        Soon too soon; 30 
        Sleep will come when thou art fled: 
        Of neither would I ask the boon 
        I ask of thee belovèd Night— 
        Swift be thine approaching flight  
        Come soon soon! 35 

        The Flight of Love

        WHEN the lamp is shatter'd 
        The light in the dust lies dead— 
        When the cloud is scatter'd  
        The rainbow's glory is shed. 
        When the lute is broken 5 
        Sweet tones are remember'd not; 
        When the lips have spoken  
        Lov'd accents are soon forgot. 

        As music and splendour 
        Survive not the lamp and the lute 10 
        The heart's echoes render 
        No song when the spirit is mute— 
        No song but sad dirges  
        Like the wind through a ruin'd cell  
        Or the mournful surges 15 
        That ring the dead seaman's knell. 

        When hearts have once mingl'd  
        Love first leaves the well-built nest; 
        The weak one is singl'd 
        To endure what it once possesst. 20 
        O Love! who bewailest 
        The frailty of all things here  
        Why choose you the frailest 
        For your cradle your home and your bier? 

        Its passions will rock thee 25 
        As the storms rock the ravens on high; 
        Bright reason will mock thee 
        Like the sun from a wintry sky. 
        From thy nest every rafter 
        Will rot and thine eagle home 30 
        Leave thee naked to laughter  
        When leaves fall and cold winds come. 

        "One word is too often profaned"

        ONE word is too often profaned 
        For me to profane it  
        One feeling too falsely disdain'd 
        For thee to disdain it. 
        One hope is too like despair 5 
        For prudence to smother  
        And pity from thee more dear 
        Than that from another. 

        I can give not what men call love; 
        But wilt thou accept not 10 
        The worship the heart lifts above 
        And the Heavens reject not: 
        The desire of the moth for the star  
        Of the night for the morrow  
        The devotion to something afar 15 
        From the sphere of our sorrow? 


        RARELY rarely comest thou  
        Spirit of Delight! 
        Wherefore hast thou left me now 
        Many a day and night? 
        Many a weary night and day 5 
        'Tis since thou art fled away. 

        How shall ever one like me 
        Win thee back again? 
        With the joyous and the free 
        Thou wilt scoff at pain. 10 
        Spirit false! thou hast forgot 
        All but those who need thee not. 

        As a lizard with the shade 
        Of a trembling leaf  
        Thou with sorrow art dismay'd; 15 
        Even the sighs of grief 
        Reproach thee that thou art not near  
        And reproach thou wilt not hear. 

        Let me set my mournful ditty 
        To a merry measure; 20 
        Thou wilt never come for pity  
        Thou wilt come for pleasure: 
        Pity then will cut away 
        Those cruel wings and thou wilt stay. 

        I love all that thou lovest 25 
        Spirit of Delight! 
        The fresh earth in new leaves drest 
        And the starry night; 
        Autumn evening and the morn 
        When the golden mists are born. 30 

        I love snow and all the forms 
        Of the radiant frost; 
        I love waves and winds and storms  
        Everything almost 
        Which is Nature's and may be 35 
        Untainted by man's misery. 

        I love tranquil solitude  
        And such society 
        As is quiet wise and good; 
        Between thee and me 40 
        What diff'rence? but thou dost possess 
        The things I seek not love them less. 

        I love Love—though he has wings  
        And like light can flee  
        But above all other things 45 
        Spirit I love thee— 
        Thou art love and life! O come! 
        Make once more my heart thy home! 

        Stanzas Written in Dejection near Naples

        THE sun is warm the sky is clear  
        The waves are dancing fast and bright  
        Blue isles and snowy mountains wear 
        The purple noon's transparent might: 
        The breath of the moist earth is light 5 
        Around its unexpanded buds; 
        Like many a voice of one delight— 
        The winds' the birds' the ocean-floods'— 
        The city's voice itself is soft like solitude's. 

        I see the deep's untrampled floor 10 
        With green and purple seaweeds strown; 
        I see the waves upon the shore 
        Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown. 
        I sit upon the sands alone; 
        The lightning of the noontide ocean 15 
        Is flashing round me and a tone 
        Arises from its measured motion— 
        How sweet did any heart now share in my emotion! 

        Alas! I have nor hope nor health  
        Nor peace within nor calm around; 20 
        Nor that content surpassing wealth  
        The sage in meditation found  
        And walk'd with inward glory crown'd; 
        Nor fame nor power nor love nor leisure. 
        Others I see whom these surround— 25 
        Smiling they live and call life pleasure: 
        To me that cup has been dealt in another measure. 

        Yet now despair itself is mild  
        Even as the winds and waters are; 
        I could lie down like a tired child 30 
        And weep away the life of care 
        Which I have borne and yet must bear — 
        Till death like sleep might steal on me  
        And I might feel in the warm air 
        My cheek grow cold and hear the sea 35 
        Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony. 

        To a Skylark

        HAIL to thee, blithe spirit! 
        Bird thou never wert, 
        That from heaven, or near it, 
        Pourest thy full heart 
        In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. 5 

        Higher still and higher 
        From the earth thou springest, 
        Like a cloud of fire 
        The blue deep thou wingest, 
        And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest. 10 

        In the golden lightning 
        Of the sunken sun, 
        O'er which clouds are bright'ning, 
        Thou dost float and run, 
        Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun. 15 

        The pale purple even 
        Melts around thy flight; 
        Like a star of heaven 
        In the broad daylight, 
        Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight— 20 

        Keen as are the arrows 
        Of that silver sphere, 
        Whose intense lamp narrows 
        In the white dawn clear 
        Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there. 25 

        All the earth and air 
        With thy voice is loud— 
        As, when night is bare, 
        From one lonely cloud 
        The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd. 30 

        What thou art we know not; 
        What is most like thee?— 
        From rainbow clouds there flow not 
        Drops so bright to see 
        As from thy presence showers a rain of melody: 35 

        Like a poet hidden 
        In the light of thought, 
        Singing hymns unbidden, 
        Till the world is wrought 
        To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not: 40 

        Like a high-born maiden 
        In a palace tower, 
        Soothing her love-laden 
        Soul in secret hour 
        With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower: 45 

        Like a glow-worm golden 
        In a dell of dew, 
        Scattering unbeholden 
        Its aerial hue 
        Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view: 50 

        Like a rose embower'd 
        In its own green leaves, 
        By warm winds deflower'd, 
        Till the scent it gives 
        Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingèd thieves. 55 

        Sound of vernal showers 
        On the twinkling grass, 
        Rain-awaken'd flowers— 
        All that ever was 
        Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass. 60 

        Teach us, sprite or bird, 
        What sweet thoughts are thine: 
        I have never heard 
        Praise of love or wine 
        That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine. 65 

        Chorus hymeneal, 
        Or triumphal chaunt, 
        Match'd with thine, would be all 
        But an empty vaunt— 
        A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want. 70 

        What objects are the fountains 
        Of thy happy strain? 
        What fields, or waves, or mountains? 
        What shapes of sky or plain? 
        What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain? 75 

        With thy clear keen joyance 
        Languor cannot be; 
        Shadow of annoyance 
        Never came near thee: 
        Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety. 80 

        Waking or asleep, 
        Thou of death must deem 
        Things more true and deep 
        Than we mortals dream, 
        Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream? 85 

        We look before and after, 
        And pine for what is not: 
        Our sincerest laughter 
        With some pain is fraught; 
        Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. 90 

        Yet if we could scorn 
        Hate, and pride, and fear; 
        If we were things born 
        Not to shed a tear, 
        I know not how thy joy we ever should come near. 95 

        Better than all measures 
        Of delightful sound, 
        Better than all treasures 
        That in books are found, 
        Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground! 100 

        Teach me half the gladness 
        That thy brain must know— 
        Such harmonious madness 
        From my lips would flow, 
        The world should listen then, as I am listening now! 105 

        Ozymandias of Egypt

        I MET a traveller from an antique land 
        Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
        Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand  
        Half sunk a shatter'd visage lies whose frown 
        And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command 5 
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
        Which yet survive stamp'd on these lifeless things  
        The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. 
        And on the pedestal these words appear: 
        My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 10 
        Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!  
        Nothing beside remains: round the decay 
        Of that colossal wreck boundless and bare  
        The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

        To a Lady with a Guitar

        ARIEL to Miranda:—Take 
        This slave of music for the sake 
        Of him who is the slave of thee; 
        And teach it all the harmony 
        In which thou canst and only thou 5 
        Make the delighted spirit glow  
        Till joy denies itself again 
        And too intense is turn'd to pain. 
        For by permission and command 
        Of thine own Prince Ferdinand 10 
        Poor Ariel sends this silent token 
        Of more than ever can be spoken; 
        Your guardian spirit Ariel who 
        From life to life must still pursue 
        Your happiness for thus alone 15 
        Can Ariel ever find his own. 
        From Prospero's enchanted cell  
        As the mighty verses tell  
        To the throne of Naples he 
        Lit you o'er the trackless sea 20 
        Flitting on your prow before  
        Like a living meteor. 
        When you die the silent Moon 
        In her interlunar swoon 
        Is not sadder in her cell 25 
        Than deserted Ariel:— 
        When you live again on earth  
        Like an unseen Star of birth 
        Ariel guides you o'er the sea 
        Of life from your nativity:— 30 
        Many changes have been run 
        Since Ferdinand and you begun 
        Your course of love and Ariel still 
        Has track'd your steps and served your will. 
        Now in humbler happier lot 35 
        This is all remember'd not; 
        And now alas the poor Sprite is 
        Imprison'd for some fault of his 
        In a body like a grave— 
        From you he only dares to crave 40 
        For his service and his sorrow 
        A smile to-day a song to-morrow. 

        The artist who this viol wrought 
        To echo all harmonious thought  
        Fell'd a tree while on the steep 45 
        The woods were in their winter sleep  
        Rock'd in that repose divine 
        On the wind-swept Apennine; 
        And dreaming some of autumn past  
        And some of spring approaching fast 50 
        And some of April buds and showers  
        And some of songs in July bowers  
        And all of love; and so this tree — 
        Oh that such our death may be!— 
        Died in sleep and felt no pain 55 
        To live in happier form again: 
        From which beneath heaven's fairest star  
        The artist wrought this loved guitar; 
        And taught it justly to reply 
        To all who question skilfully 60 
        In language gentle as thine own; 
        Whispering in enamour'd tone 
        Sweet oracles of woods and dells  
        And summer winds in sylvan cells. 
        For it had learnt all harmonies 65 
        Of the plains and of the skies  
        Of the forests and the mountains  
        And the many-voicèd fountains; 
        The clearest echoes of the hills  
        The softest notes of falling rills 70 
        The melodies of birds and bees  
        The murmuring of summer seas  
        And pattering rain and breathing dew  
        And airs of evening; and it knew 
        That seldom-heard mysterious sound 75 
        Which driven on its diurnal round  
        As it floats through boundless day  
        Our world enkindles on its way:— 
        All this it knows but will not tell 
        To those who cannot question well 80 
        The spirit that inhabits it: 
        It talks according to the wit 
        Of its companions; and no more 
        Is heard than has been felt before 
        By those who tempt it to betray 85 
        These secrets of an elder day. 
        But sweetly as its answers will 
        Flatter hands of perfect skill  
        It keeps its highest holiest tone 
        For one beloved Friend alone. 90 

        The Invitation

        BEST and brightest come away — 
        Fairer far than this fair day  
        Which like thee to those in sorrow 
        Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow 
        To the rough year just awake 5 
        In its cradle on the brake. 
        The brightest hour of unborn Spring 
        Through the winter wandering  
        Found it seems the halcyon morn 
        To hoar February born; 10 
        Bending from heaven in azure mirth  
        It kiss'd the forehead of the earth  
        And smiled upon the silent sea  
        And bade the frozen streams be free  
        And waked to music all their fountains 15 
        And breathed upon the frozen mountains  
        And like a prophetess of May 
        Strew'd flowers upon the barren way  
        Making the wintry world appear 
        Like one on whom thou smilest dear. 20 

        Away away from men and towns  
        To the wild woods and the downs— 
        To the silent wilderness  
        Where the soul need not repress 
        Its music lest it should not find 25 
        An echo in another's mind  
        While the touch of Nature's art 
        Harmonizes heart to heart. 

        Radiant Sister of the Day 
        Awake! arise! and come away! 30 
        To the wild woods and the plains  
        To the pools where winter rains 
        Image all their roof of leaves  
        Where the pine its garland weaves 
        Of sapless green and ivy dun 35 
        Round stems that never kiss the sun; 
        Where the lawns and pastures be 
        And the sandhills of the sea; 
        Where the melting hoar-frost wets 
        The daisy-star that never sets 40 
        And wind-flowers and violets 
        Which yet join not scent to hue 
        Crown the pale year weak and new; 

        When the night is left behind 
        In the deep east dim and blind 45 
        And the blue noon is over us  
        And the multitudinous 
        Billows murmur at our feet  
        Where the earth and ocean meet  
        And all things seem only one 50 
        In the universal Sun. 

        The Recollection

        NOW the last day of many days, 
        All beautiful and bright as thou, 
        The loveliest and the last, is dead: 
        Rise, Memory, and write its praise! 
        Up—to thy wonted work! come, trace 5 
        The epitaph of glory fled, 
        For now the earth has changed its face, 
        A frown is on the heaven's brow. 

        We wander'd to the Pine Forest 
        That skirts the ocean's foam. 10 
        The lightest wind was in its nest, 
        The tempest in its home; 
        The whispering waves were half asleep, 
        The clouds were gone to play, 
        And on the bosom of the deep 15 
        The smile of heaven lay: 
        It seem'd as if the hour were one 
        Sent from beyond the skies 
        Which scatter'd from above the sun 
        A light of Paradise! 20 

        We paused amid the pines that stood 
        The giants of the waste, 
        Tortured by storms to shapes as rude 
        As serpents interlaced,— 
        And soothed by every azure breath 25 
        That under heaven is blown, 
        To harmonies and hues beneath, 
        As tender as its own. 
        Now all the tree-tops lay asleep 
        Like green waves on the sea, 30 
        As still as in the silent deep 
        The ocean-woods may be. 

        How calm it was!—The silence there 
        By such a chain was bound, 
        That even the busy woodpecker 35 
        Made stiller by her sound 
        The inviolable quietness; 
        The breath of peace we drew 
        With its soft motion made not less 
        The calm that round us grew. 40 
        There seem'd, from the remotest seat 
        Of the wide mountain waste 
        To the soft flower beneath our feet, 
        A magic circle traced,— 
        A spirit interfused around 45 
        A thrilling silent life; 
        To momentary peace it bound 
        Our mortal nature's strife;— 
        And still I felt the centre of 
        The magic circle there 50 
        Was one fair form that fill'd with love 
        The lifeless atmosphere. 

        We paused beside the pools that lie 
        Under the forest bough; 
        Each seem'd as 'twere a little sky 55 
        Gulf'd in a world below— 
        A firmament of purple light 
        Which in the dark earth lay, 
        More boundless than the depth of night 
        And purer than the day— 60 
        In which the lovely forests grew 
        As in the upper air, 
        More perfect both in shape and hue 
        Than any spreading there. 
        There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn, 65 
        And through the dark-green wood 
        The white sun twinkling like the dawn 
        Out of a speckled cloud. 
        Sweet views which in our world above 
        Can never well be seen 70 
        Were imaged in the water's love 
        Of that fair forest green; 
        And all was interfused beneath 
        With an Elysian glow, 
        An atmosphere without a breath, 75 
        A softer day below. 
        Like one beloved, the scene had lent 
        To the dark water's breast 
        Its every leaf and lineament 
        With more than truth exprest; 80 
        Until an envious wind crept by, 
        Like an unwelcome thought 
        Which from the mind's too faithful eye 
        Blots one dear image out. 
        —Though thou art ever fair and kind, 85 
        The forests ever green, 
        Less oft is peace in Shelley's mind 
        Than calm in waters seen! 

        To the Moon

        ART thou pale for weariness 
        Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth  
        Wandering companionless 
        Among the stars that have a different birth — 
        And ever-changing like a joyless eye 5 
        That finds no object worth its constancy? 

        "A widow bird sate mourning for her Love"

        A WIDOW bird sate mourning for her Love 
        Upon a wintry bough; 
        The frozen wind crept on above  
        The freezing stream below. 

        There was no leaf upon the forest bare. 5 
        No flower upon the ground  
        And little motion in the air 
        Except the mill-wheel's sound. 

        A Dream of the Unknown

        I DREAM'D that as I wander'd by the way 
        Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, 
        And gentle odours led my steps astray, 
        Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring 
        Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay 5 
        Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling 
        Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, 
        But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream. 

        There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, 
        Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth, 10 
        The constellated flower that never sets; 
        Faint oxlips; tender bluebells, at whose birth 
        The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets— 
        Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth— 
        Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, 15 
        When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears. 

        And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, 
        Green cow-bind and the moonlight-colour'd may, 
        And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine 
        Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day; 20 
        And wild roses, and ivy serpentine 
        With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray; 
        And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold, 
        Fairer than any waken'd eyes behold. 

        And nearer to the river's trembling edge 25 
        There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd with white, 
        And starry river-buds among the sedge, 
        And floating water-lilies, broad and bright, 
        Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge 
        With moonlight beams of their own watery light; 30 
        And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green 
        As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen. 

        Methought that of these visionary flowers 
        I made a nosegay, bound in such a way 
        That the same hues, which in their natural bowers 35 
        Were mingled or opposed, the like array 
        Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours 
        Within my hand,—and then, elate and gay, 
        I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come 
        That I might there present it—oh! to Whom? 40 

        Hymn to the Spirit of Nature

        LIFE of Life! thy lips enkindle 
        With their love the breath between them; 
        And thy smiles before they dwindle 
        Make the cold air fire: then screen them 
        In those locks where whoso gazes 5 
        Faints entangled in their mazes. 

        Child of Light! thy limbs are burning 
        Through the veil which seems to hide them  
        As the radiant lines of morning 
        Through thin clouds ere they divide them; 10 
        And this atmosphere divinest 
        Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest. 

        Fair are others: none beholds thee; 
        But thy voice sounds low and tender 
        Like the fairest for it folds thee 15 
        From the sight that liquid splendour; 
        And all feel yet see thee never  
        As I feel now lost for ever! 

        Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest 
        Its dim shapes are clad with brightness 20 
        And the souls of whom thou lovest 
        Walk upon the winds with lightness 
        Till they fail as I am failing  
        Dizzy lost yet unbewailing! 

        Written among the Euganean Hills North Italy

        MANY a green isle needs must be 
        In the deep wide sea of Misery, 
        Or the mariner, worn and wan, 
        Never thus could voyage on 
        Day and night, and night and day, 5 
        Drifting on his dreary way, 
        With the solid darkness black 
        Closing round his vessel's track; 
        Whilst above, the sunless sky 
        Big with clouds, hangs heavily, 10 
        And behind the tempest fleet 
        Hurries on with lightning feet, 
        Riving sail, and cord, and plank, 
        Till the ship has almost drank 
        Death from the o'er-brimming deep, 15 
        And sinks down, down, like that sleep 
        When the dreamer seems to be 
        Weltering through eternity; 
        And the dim low line before 
        Of a dark and distant shore 20 
        Still recedes, as ever still 
        Longing with divided will, 
        But no power to seek or shun, 
        He is ever drifted on 
        O'er the unreposing wave, 25 
        To the haven of the grave. 

        Ay, many flowering islands lie 
        In the waters of wide Agony: 
        To such a one this morn was led 
        My bark, by soft winds piloted. 30 
        —'Mid the mountains Euganean 
        I stood listening to the p?an 
        With which the legion'd rooks did hail 
        The Sun's uprise majestical: 
        Gathering round with wings all hoar, 35 
        Through the dewy mist they soar 
        Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven 
        Bursts; and then—as clouds of even 
        Fleck'd with fire and azure, lie 
        In the unfathomable sky— 40 
        So their plumes of purple grain 
        Starr'd with drops of golden rain 
        Gleam above the sunlight woods, 
        As in silent multitudes 
        On the morning's fitful gale 45 
        Through the broken mist they sail; 
        And the vapours cloven and gleaming 
        Follow down the dark steep streaming, 
        Till all is bright, and clear, and still 
        Round the solitary hill. 50 

        Beneath is spread like a green sea 
        The waveless plain of Lombardy, 
        Bounded by the vaporous air, 
        Islanded by cities fair; 
        Underneath day's azure eyes, 55 
        Ocean's nursling, Venice lies,— 
        A peopled labyrinth of walls, 
        Amphitrite's destined halls, 
        Which her hoary sire now paves 
        With his blue and beaming waves. 60 
        Lo! the sun upsprings behind, 
        Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined 
        On the level quivering line 
        Of the waters crystalline; 
        And before that chasm of light, 65 
        As within a furnace bright, 
        Column, tower, and dome, and spire, 
        Shine like obelisks of fire, 
        Pointing with inconstant motion 
        From the altar of dark ocean 70 
        To the sapphire-tinted skies; 
        As the flames of sacrifice 
        From the marble shrines did rise 
        As to pierce the dome of gold 
        Where Apollo spoke of old. 75 

        Sun-girt City! thou hast been 
        Ocean's child, and then his queen; 
        Now is come a darker day, 
        And thou soon must be his prey, 
        If the power that raised thee here 80 
        Hallow so thy watery bier. 
        A less drear ruin then than now, 
        With thy conquest-branded brow 
        Stooping to the slave of slaves 
        From thy throne among the waves 85 
        Wilt thou be—when the sea-mew 
        Flies, as once before it flew, 
        O'er thine isles depopulate, 
        And all is in its ancient state, 
        Save where many a palace-gate 90 
        With green sea-flowers overgrown, 
        Like a rock of ocean's own, 
        Topples o'er the abandon'd sea 
        As the tides change sullenly. 
        The fisher on his watery way, 95 
        Wandering at the close of day, 
        Will spread his sail and seize his oar 
        Till he pass the gloomy shore, 
        Lest thy dead should, from their sleep, 
        Bursting o'er the starlight deep, 100 
        Lead a rapid masque of death 
        O'er the waters of his path. 

        Noon descends around me now: 
        'Tis the noon of autumn's glow, 
        When a soft and purple mist 105 
        Like a vaporous amethyst, 
        Or an air-dissolvèd star 
        Mingling light and fragrance, far 
        From the curved horizon's bound 
        To the point of heaven's profound, 110 
        Fills the overflowing sky, 
        And the plains that silent lie 
        Underneath; the leaves unsodden 
        Where the infant Frost has trodden 
        With his morning-wingèd feet 115 
        Whose bright print is gleaming yet; 
        And the red and golden vines 
        Piercing with their trellised lines 
        The rough, dark-skirted wilderness; 
        The dun and bladed grass no less, 120 
        Pointing from this hoary tower 
        In the windless air; the flower 
        Glimmering at my feet; the line 
        Of the olive-sandall'd Apennine 
        In the south dimly islanded; 125 
        And the Alps, whose snows are spread 
        High between the clouds and sun; 
        And of living things each one; 
        And my spirit, which so long 
        Darken'd this swift stream of song,— 130 
        Interpenetrated lie 
        By the glory of the sky; 
        Be it love, light, harmony, 
        Odour, or the soul of all 
        Which from heaven like dew doth fall, 135 
        Or the mind which feeds this verse, 
        Peopling the lone universe. 

        Noon descends, and after noon 
        Autumn's evening meets me soon, 
        Leading the infantine moon 140 
        And that one star, which to her 
        Almost seems to minister 
        Half the crimson light she brings 
        From the sunset's radiant springs: 
        And the soft dreams of the morn 145 
        (Which like wingèd winds had borne 
        To that silent isle, which lies 
        'Mid remember'd agonies, 
        The frail bark of this lone being), 
        Pass, to other sufferers fleeing, 150 
        And its ancient pilot, Pain, 
        Sits beside the helm again. 

        Other flowering isles must be 
        In the sea of Life and Agony: 
        Other spirits float and flee 155 
        O'er that gulf: ev'n now, perhaps, 
        On some rock the wild wave wraps, 
        With folding wings they waiting sit 
        For my bark, to pilot it 
        To some calm and blooming cove, 160 
        Where for me, and those I love, 
        May a windless bower be built, 
        Far from passion, pain, and guilt, 
        In a dell 'mid lawny hills 
        Which the wild sea-murmur fills, 165 
        And soft sunshine, and the sound 
        Of old forests echoing round, 
        And the light and smell divine 
        Of all flowers that breathe and shine. 
        —We may live so happy there, 170 
        That the Spirits of the Air 
        Envying us, may ev'n entice 
        To our healing paradise 
        The polluting multitude: 
        But their rage would be subdued 175 
        By that clime divine and calm, 
        And the winds whose wings rain balm 
        On the uplifted soul, and leaves 
        Under which the bright sea heaves; 
        While each breathless interval 180 
        In their whisperings musical 
        The inspirèd soul supplies 
        With its own deep melodies; 
        And the Love which heals all strife 
        Circling, like the breath of life, 185 
        All things in that sweet abode 
        With its own mild brotherhood:— 
        They, not it, would change; and soon 
        Every sprite beneath the moon 
        Would repent its envy vain, 190 
        And the Earth grow young again! 

        Ode to the West Wind

        O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being— 
        Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead 
        Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, 
        Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, 
        Pestilence-stricken multitudes!—O thou 5 
        Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed 
        The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, 
        Each like a corpse within its grave, until 
        Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow 
        Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10 
        (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) 
        With living hues and odours plain and hill— 
        Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere— 
        Destroyer and Preserver—hear, O hear! 

        Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15 
        Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, 
        Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean, 
        Angels of rain and lightning! they are spread 
        On the blue surface of thine airy surge, 
        Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 20 
        Of some fierce M?nad, ev'n from the dim verge 
        Of the horizon to the zenith's height— 
        The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge 
        Of the dying year, to which this closing night 
        Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 25 
        Vaulted with all thy congregated might 
        Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere 
        Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:—O hear! 

        Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams 
        The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 30 
        Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams, 
        Beside a pumice isle in Bai?'s bay, 
        And saw in sleep old palaces and towers 
        Quivering within the wave's intenser day, 
        All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 35 
        So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou 
        For whose path the Atlantic's level powers 
        Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below 
        The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear 
        The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 40 
        Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear 
        And tremble and despoil themselves:—O hear! 

        If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; 
        If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; 
        A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 45 
        The impulse of thy strength, only less free 
        Than thou, O uncontrollable!—if even 
        I were as in my boyhood, and could be 
        The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven, 
        As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 50 
        Scarce seem'd a vision,—I would ne'er have striven 
        As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need. 
        O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! 
        I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! 
        A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 55 
        One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud. 

        Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is: 
        What if my leaves are falling like its own! 
        The tumult of thy mighty harmonies 
        Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 60 
        Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, 
        My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! 
        Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, 
        Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth; 
        And, by the incantation of this verse, 65 
        Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth 
        Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! 
        Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth 
        The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, 
        If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? 70 

        The Poet's Dream

        ON a Poet's lips I slept  
        Dreaming like a love-adept 
        In the sound his breathing kept; 
        Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses  
        But feeds on the aerial kisses 5 
        Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses. 
        He will watch from dawn to gloom 
        The lake-reflected sun illume 
        The blue bees in the ivy-bloom  
        Nor heed nor see what things they be— 10 
        But from these create he can 
        Forms more real than living man  
        Nurslings of Immortality! 

        A Lament

        O WORLD! O Life! O Time! 
        On whose last steps I climb  
        Trembling at that where I had stood before; 
        When will return the glory of your prime? 
        No more—oh never more! 5 

        Out of the day and night 
        A joy has taken flight: 
        Fresh spring and summer and winter hoar 
        Move my faint heart with grief but with delight 
        No more—oh never more! 10 

         "Music when soft voices die"

        MUSIC when soft voices die  
        Vibrates in the memory; 
        Odours when sweet violets sicken  
        Live within the sense they quicken; 

        Rose leaves when the rose is dead 5 
        Are heap'd for the belovèd's bed: 
        And so thy thoughts when thou art gone  
        Love itself shall slumber on.

        Hymn of Pan

        FROM the forests and highlands 
        We come we come; 
        From the river-girt islands  
        Where loud waves are dumb  
        Listening to my sweet pipings. 5 
        The wind in the reeds and the rushes  
        The bees on the bells of thyme  
        The birds on the myrtle bushes  
        The cicale above in the lime  
        And the lizards below in the grass 10 
        Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was  
        Listening to my sweet pipings. 

        Liquid Peneus was flowing  
        And all dark Tempe lay 
        In Pelion's shadow outgrowing 15 
        The light of the dying day  
        Speeded by my sweet pipings. 
        The Sileni and Sylvans and Fauns  
        And the Nymphs of the woods and waves  
        To the edge of the moist river-lawns 20 
        And the brink of the dewy caves  
        And all that did then attend and follow  
        Were silent with love as you now Apollo  
        With envy of my sweet pipings. 

        I sang of the dancing stars 25 
        I sang of the d?dal earth  
        And of heaven and the giant wars  
        And love and death and birth. 
        And then I changed my pipings— 
        Singing how down the vale of M?nalus 30 
        I pursued a maiden and clasp'd a reed: 
        Gods and men we are all deluded thus! 
        It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed. 
        All wept—as I think both ye now would  
        If envy or age had not frozen your blood— 35 
        At the sorrow of my sweet pipings. 


        THE world's great age begins anew  
        The golden years return  
        The earth doth like a snake renew 
        Her winter weeds outworn; 
        Heaven smiles and faiths and empires gleam 5 
        Like wrecks of a dissolving dream. 

        A brighter Hellas rears its mountains 
        From waves serener far; 
        A new Peneus rolls his fountains 
        Against the morning star; 10 
        Where fairer Tempes bloom there sleep 
        Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep. 

        A loftier Argo cleaves the main  
        Fraught with a later prize; 
        Another Orpheus sings again 15 
        And loves and weeps and dies; 
        A new Ulysses leaves once more 
        Calypso for his native shore. 

        O write no more the tale of Troy  
        If earth Death's scroll must be— 20 
        Nor mix with Laian rage the joy 
        Which dawns upon the free  
        Although a subtler Sphinx renew 
        Riddles of death Thebes never knew. 

        Another Athens shall arise 25 
        And to remoter time 
        Bequeath like sunset to the skies  
        The splendour of its prime; 
        And leave if naught so bright may live  
        All earth can take or Heaven can give. 30 

        Saturn and Love their long repose 
        Shall burst more bright and good 
        Than all who fell than One who rose  
        Than many unsubdued: 
        Not gold not blood their altar dowers 35 
        But votive tears and symbol flowers. 

        O cease! must hate and death return? 
        Cease! must men kill and die? 
        Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn 
        Of bitter prophecy! 40 
        The world is weary of the past— 
        O might it die or rest at last! 

        The Moon

        AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,

        Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil, 
        Out of her chamber, led by the insane 
        And feeble wanderings of her fading brain, 
        The mood arose up in the murky east, 5 
        A white and shapeless mass. 

        Art thou pale for weariness

        Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, 
        Wandering companionless 
        Among the stars that have a different birth, 10 
        And ever changing, like a joyless eye 
        That finds no object worth its constancy? 

        The Indian Serenade

        I ARISE from dreams of thee 
        In the first sweet sleep of night, 
        When the winds are breathing low, 
        And the stars are shining bright. 
        I arise from dreams of thee, 5 
        And a spirit in my feet 
        Hath led me—who knows how? 
        To thy chamber window, Sweet! 

        The wandering airs they faint 
        On the dark, the silent stream— 10 
        And the champak's odours [pine] 
        Like sweet thoughts in a dream; 
        The nightingale's complaint, 
        It dies upon her heart, 
        As I must on thine, 15 
        O belovèd as thou art! 

        O lift me from the grass! 
        I die! I faint! I fail! 
        Let thy love in kisses rain 
        On my lips and eyelids pale. 20 
        My cheek is cold and white, alas! 
        My heart beats loud and fast: 
        O press it to thine own again, 
        Where it will break at last! 

        From the Arabic 

        MY faint spirit was sitting in the light 
        Of thy looks my love; 
        It panted for thee like the hind at noon 
        For the brooks my love. 
        Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight 5 
        Bore thee far from me; 
        My heart for my weak feet were weary soon  
        Did companion thee. 

        Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed  
        Or the death they bear 10 
        The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove 
        With the wings of care; 
        In the battle in the darkness in the need  
        Shall mine cling to thee  
        Nor claim one smile for all the comfort love 15 
        It may bring to thee. 


        WHEN the lamp is shatter'd  
        The light in the dust lies dead; 
        When the cloud is scatter'd  
        The rainbow's glory is shed; 
        When the lute is broken 5 
        Sweet tones are remember'd not 
        When the lips have spoken  
        Loved accents are soon forgot. 

        As music and splendour 
        Survive not the lamp and the lute 10 
        The heart's echoes render 
        No song when the spirit is mute— 
        No song but sad dirges  
        Like the wind through a ruin'd cell  
        Or the mournful surges 15 
        That ring the dead seaman's knell. 

        When hearts have once mingled  
        Love first leaves the well-built nest; 
        The weak one is singled 
        To endure what it once possest. 20 
        O Love who bewailest 
        The frailty of all things here  
        Why choose you the frailest 
        For your cradle your home and your bier? 

        Its passions will rock thee 25 
        As the storms rock the ravens on high: 
        Bright reason will mock thee  
        Like the sun from a wintry sky. 
        From thy nest every rafter 
        Will rot and thine eagle home 30 
        Leave thee naked to laughter  
        When leaves fall and cold winds come. 


        AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon  
        Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even: 
        Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon  
        And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven. 
        Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5 
        Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood: 
        Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay: 
        Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude. 

        Away away! to thy sad and silent home; 
        Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10 
        Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come  
        And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth. 
        The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head  
        The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet: 
        But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15 
        Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet. 

        The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose  
        For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep; 
        Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows; 
        Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep. 20 
        Thou in the grave shalt rest:—yet till the phantoms flee  
        Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile  
        Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free 
        From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.

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