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Cold as a corpse after the spirit's flight,
Blank as the sun after the birth of night.


In winds, and trees, and streams, and all things


In music, and the sweet unconscious tone Of animals, and voices which are human,

Meant to express some feelings of their own; In the soft motions and rare smile of woman,

In flowers and leaves, and in the grass fresh shown

Or dying in the autumn, I the most
Adore thee present, or lament thee lost.


And thus I went lamenting, when I saw
A plant upon the river's margin lie,
Like one who loved beyond his nature's law,
And in despair had cast him down to die;
Its leaves which had outlived the frost, the thaw
Had blighted, like a heart which hatred's


Can blast not, but which pity kills; the dew
Lay on its spotted leaves like tears too true.


The Heavens had wept upon it, but the Earth
Had crushed it on her unmaternal breast

v. 6 grass fresh, Boscombe MS. || fresh grass, Mrs. Shelley,

vi. 6 like, Boscombe MS. || as, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.


I bore it to my chamber and I planted

It in a vase full of the lightest mould;
The winter beams which out of Heaven slanted

Fell through the window panes, disrobed of cold,

Upon its leaves and flowers; the star which panted
In evening for the Day, whose car has rolled
Over the horizon's wave, with looks of light
Smiled on it from the threshold of the night.


The mitigated influences of air

And light revived the plant, and from it grew Strong leaves and tendrils, and its flowers fair, Full as a cup with the vine's burning dew, O'erflowed with golden colors; an atmosphere Of vital warmth enfolded it anew, And every impulse sent to every part The unbeheld pulsations of its heart.


Well might the plant grow beautiful and strong, Even if the air and sun had smiled not on it; For one wept o'er it all the winter long

Tears pure as Heaven's rain, which fell upon it

Hour after hour; for sounds of softest song,

Mixed with the stringèd melodies that won it To leave the gentle lips on which it slept, Had loosed the heart of him who sat and wept.

x. 2 air and sun, Boscombe MS. || sun and air, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

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Had loosed his heart, and shook the leaves and flowers

On which he wept, the while the savage storm Waked by the darkest of December's hours

Was raving round the chamber hushed and


The birds were shivering in their leafless bowers,
The fish were frozen in the pools, the form
Of every summer plant was dead
Whilst this



We meet not as we parted,

We feel more than all may see;
My bosom is heavy-hearted,

And thine full of doubt for me.
One moment has bound the free.


That moment is gone forever,

Like lightning that flashed and died,
Like a snowflake upon the river,

Like a sunbeam upon the tide,
Which the dark shadows hide.


That moment from time was singled
As the first of a life of pain;

Lines. Published by Garnett, 1862, and dated, 1822.

The cup of its joy was mingled-
Delusion too sweet though vain!
Too sweet to be mine again.


Sweet lips, could my heart have hidden
That its life was crushed by you,
Ye would not have then forbidden
The death which a heart so true
Sought in your briny dew.

Methinks too little cost
For a moment so found, so lost!


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