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Oh, that the free would stamp the impious name
Of King into the dust! or write it there,
So that this blot upon the page of fame

Were as a serpent's path, which the light air
Erases, and the flat sands close behind!
Ye the oracle have heard.

Lift the victory-flashing sword,

And cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word,

Which, weak itself as stubble, yet can bind
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,

The axes and the rods which awe mankind;
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperm
Of what makes life foul, cankerous, and abhorred;
Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term,

To set thine armèd heel on this reluctant worm.


Oh, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle

Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, That the pale name of Priest might shrink and


Into the hell from which it first was hurled, A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure; Till human thoughts might kneel alone, Each before the judgment-throne

Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown! Oh, that the words which make the thoughts

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From which they spring, as clouds of glim

mering dew

From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture, Were stripped of their thin masks and various


And frowns and smiles and splendors not their


Till in the nakedness of false and true

They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due.


He who taught man to vanquish whatsoever

Can be between the cradle and the grave Crowned him the King of Life. Oh, vain endeavor! If on his own high will, a willing slave,

He has enthroned the oppression and the oppressor. What if earth can clothe and feed

Amplest millions at their need,

And power in thought be as the tree within the seed?

Oh, what if Art, an ardent intercessor,

Driving on fiery wings to Nature's throne, Checks the great mother stooping to caress her And cries: "Give me, thy child, dominion Over all height and depth?" if Life can breed New wants, and wealth from those who toil and


Rend of thy gifts and hers a thousandfold for



Come thou, but lead out of the inmost cave
Of man's deep spirit, as the morning-star

xvii. 9 Oh, Shelley, 1820 || Or, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.

Beckons the sun from the Eoan wave,

Wisdom. I hear the pennons of her car Self-moving, like cloud charioted by flame; Comes she not, and come ye not,

Rulers of eternal thought,

To judge with solemn truth life's ill-apportioned lot? Blind Love, and equal Justice, and the Fame Of what has been, the Hope of what will be? O Liberty! if such could be thy name

Wert thou disjoined from these, or they from

If thine or theirs were treasures to be bought
By blood or tears, have not the wise and free
Wept tears, and blood like tears? The solemn


Paused, and the Spirit of that mighty singing
To its abyss was suddenly withdrawn ;
Then as a wild swan, when sublimely winging
Its path athwart the thunder-smoke of dawn,
Sinks headlong through the aërial golden light
On the heavy sounding plain,

When the bolt has pierced its brain;
As summer clouds dissolve unburdened of their


As a far taper fades with fading night,

As a brief insect dies with dying day, My song, its pinions disarrayed of might,

Drooped; o'er it closed the echoes far away Of the great voice which did its flight sustain, As waves which lately paved his watery way Hiss round a drowner's head in their tempestuous play.


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

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




From her couch of snows

In the Acroceraunian mountains,
From cloud and from crag,
With many a jag,

Shepherding her bright fountains.
She leapt down the rocks,
With her rainbow locks

Streaming among the streams;

Her steps paved with green

The downward ravine

Which slopes to the western gleams;

And gliding and springing,

She went, ever singing,

To Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

Arethusa. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and dated by her,

Pisa, 1820.

In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The Earth seemed to love her,
And Heaven smiled above her,

As she lingered towards the deep.


Then Alpheus bold,

On his glacier cold,

With his trident the mountains strook;

And opened a chasm

In the rocks with the spasm

All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind

It concealed behind

The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder

The bars of the springs below.
The beard and the hair
Of the River-god were

Seen through the torrent's sweep,
As he followed the light

Of the fleet nymph's flight
To the brink of the Dorian deep.


"Oh, save me! Oh, guide me, And bid the deep hide me, For he grasps me now by the hair!" The loud Ocean heard,

To its blue depth stirred,

And divided at her prayer;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter

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