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Shook the boughs thus laden and heavy and stiff,
And snapped them off with his rigid griff.
When Winter had gone and Spring came back, The Sensitive Plant was a leafless wreck;
But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and docks, and
Rose like the dead from their ruined charnels.
Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Whether that lady's gentle mind,
I dare not guess; but in this life
It is a modest creed, and yet
114 Whether || And if, Harvard MS.
That garden sweet, that lady fair,
For love, and beauty, and delight,
A VISION OF THE SEA
'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale; From the stark night of vapors the dim rain is driven,
And, when lightning is loosed, like a deluge from heaven,
She sees the black trunks of the waterspouts spin
And bend, as if heaven was ruining in,
Which they seemed to sustain with their terrible
As if ocean had sunk from beneath them; they pass
To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of sound,
And the waves and the thunders, made silent around,
A Vision of the Sea. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820. Composed at Pisa, and dated, in the Harvard MS., April, 1820.
6 ruining, Harvard MS. Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || raining, Shelley, 1820.
8 sunk, Harvard MS., Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || sank, Shelley, 1820.
Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, now tossed
Through the low trailing rack of the tempest, is lost In the skirts of the thundercloud; now down the sweep
Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm of the deep It sinks, and the walls of the watery vale
Whose depths of dread calm are unmoved by the gale,
Dim mirrors of ruin, hang gleaming about;
While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like a rout
In fountains spout o'er it. In many a spire
Of the whirlwind that stripped it of branches has passed.
The intense thunder-balls which are raining from heaven
Have shattered its mast, and it stands black and riven.
The chinks suck destruction. The heavy dead hulk
One deck is burst up by the waters below,
And it splits like the ice when the thaw-breezes blow O'er the lakes of the desert! Who sit on the other?
Is that all the crew that lie burying each other, Like the dead in a breach, round the foremast? Are those
Twin tigers who burst, when the waters arose, In the agony of terror, their chains in the hold, (What now makes them tame is what then made them bold)
Who crouch, side by side, and have driven, like a crank,
The deep grip of their claws through the vibrating plank,
Are these all? Nine weeks the tall vessel had lain On the windless expanse of the watery plain, Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at
And there seemed to be fire in the beams of the moon,
Till a lead-colored fog gathered up from the deep, Whose breath was quick pestilence; then, the cold sleep
Crept, like blight through the ears of a thick field
O'er the populous vessel. And even and morn, With their hammocks for coffins, the seamen
Like dead men the dead limbs of their comrades cast
35 by, Harvard MS. | from, Shelley, 1820.
37 sits, Harvard MS.
38 crew who, Harvard MS.
Down the deep, which closed on them above and around,
And the sharks and the dogfish their graveclothes unbound,
And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down
From God on their wilderness. One after one
His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, from the deck
An oak-splinter pierced through his breast and his back,
And hung out to the tempest, a wreck on the wreck.
No more? At the helm sits a woman more fair Than heaven when, unbinding its star-braided hair,
It sinks with the sun on the earth and the sea.
Of the air and the sea; with desire and with wonder
It is beckoning the tigers to rise and come near; It would play with those eyes where the radiance of fear
Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high, The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye, 61 had, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.