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I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymeneal,

Or triumphal chant,

Matched with thine, would be all

But an empty vaunt,

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

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?

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.

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?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not;

Our sincerest laughter

72 happy drunken, Harvard MS. cancelled.

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest


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.

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!

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

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The lightning of the Nations; Liberty, From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,

104 would, Shelley, 1820 || should, Harvard MS.

Ode to Liberty. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820.

Scattering contagious fire into the sky, Gleamed. My soul spurned the chains of its dismay, And in the rapid plumes of song

Clothed itself, sublime and strong;

As a young eagle soars the morning clouds among, Hovering in verse o'er its accustomed prey;

Till from its station in the Heaven of fame The Spirit's whirlwind rapt it, and the ray Of the remotest sphere of living flame Which paves the void was from behind it flung, As foam from a ship's swiftness, when there came A voice out of the deep: I will record the same.


The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth;
The burning stars of the abyss were hurled
Into the depths of heaven. The dædal earth,
That island in the ocean of the world,
Hung in its cloud of all-sustaining air;
But this divinest universe

Was yet a chaos and a curse,

For thou wert not; but power from worst producing worse,

The spirit of the beasts was kindled there,

And of the birds, and of the watery forms, And there was war among them, and despair Within them, raging without truce or terms. The bosom of their violated nurse

Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms

on worms,

And men on men; each heart was as a hell of storms.

i. 4 unto, Harvard MS.


Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied
His generations under the pavilion
Of the Sun's throne; palace and pyramid,

Temple and prison, to many a swarming million Were as to mountain wolves their ragged caves. This human living multitude

Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude,

For thou wert not; but o'er the populous solitude,
Like one fierce cloud over a waste of waves,
Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate deified
The sister-pest, congregator of slaves;

Into the shadow of her pinions wide

Anarchs and priests who feed on gold and blood Till with the stain their inmost souls are dyed, Drove the astonished herds of men from every side.


The nodding promontories, and blue isles,

And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles Of favoring heaven; from their enchanted caves Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.

On the unapprehensive wild

The vine, the corn, the olive mild, Grew savage yet, to human use unreconciled; And, like unfolded flowers beneath the sea, Like the man's thought dark in the infant's brain,

Like aught that is which wraps what is to be, Art's deathless dreams lay veiled by many a


Of Parian stone; and, yet a speechless child,
Verse murmured, and Philosophy did strain
Her lidless eyes for thee; when o'er the Ægean


Athens arose; a city such as vision

Builds from the purple crags and silver towers Of battlemented cloud, as in derision Of kingliest masonry: the ocean floors Pave it; the evening sky pavilions it; Its portals are inhabited

By thunder-zoned winds, each head Within its cloudy wings with sun-fire garlanded,A divine work! Athens, diviner yet,

Gleamed with its crest of columns, on the will Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;

For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill Peopled, with forms that mock the eternal dead In marble immortality, that hill

Which was thine earliest throne and latest



Within the surface of Time's fleeting river
Its wrinkled image lies, as then it lay
Immovably unquiet, and forever

It trembles, but it cannot pass away!
The voices of thy bards and sages thunder
With an earth-awakening blast

Through the caverns of the past; Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks aghast.

A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder,

Which soars where Expectation never flew,

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