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I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.
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
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
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?
We look before and after,
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,
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,
From my lips would flow The world should listen then-as I am listening
ODE TO LIBERTY
Yet Freedom, yet, thy banner torn but flying,
A GLORIOUS people vibrated again
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;
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
And men on men; each heart was as a hell of
i. 4 unto, Harvard MS.
Man, the imperial shape, then multiplied
Temple and prison, to many a swarming million
Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude,
Hung Tyranny; beneath, sate deified
Into the shadow of her pinions wide
The nodding promontories, and blue isles,
And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves
On the unapprehensive wild
The vine, the corn, the olive mild,
Like aught that is which wraps what is to be,
Of Parian stone; and, yet a speechless child,
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
By thunder-zonèd 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 oracle.
Within the surface of Time's fleeting river
It trembles, but it cannot pass away!
Religion veils her eyes; Oppression shrinks
A winged sound of joy, and love, and wonder, Which soars where Expectation never flew,