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Medwin's copy is inferior throughout to Mrs. Shelley's, but doubtless embodies an early state as well as errors of his own.
221 Stanzas written in dejection near Naples. See preceding
TEXT: i. 4 light 18391,2.
5 air 18392.
These lines, as printed, are beyond doubt.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1819
[The material parts of Mrs. Shelley's note are given under the poems to which they refer.]
226 Lines written during the Castlereagh Administration. TEXT: i. 4 death omit 18391,2, Forman, Dowden.
iv. 1 festal Forman.
4 which 18391,2, Rossetti, Forman, Dowden.
v. 4 God 18391,2, Forman, Dowden.
5 thy Forman.
MSS. Harvard, Frederickson.
228 To Sidmouth and Castlereagh.
TEXT: ii. 2 hue 18391,2, Rossetti.
4 morn 18391,2.
229 England in 1819. Shelley (from Florence) to Hunt, November 23, 1819: "I send you a Sonnet. I don't expect you to publish it, but you may show it to whom you please." Hunt, Lord Byron, etc., i. 399. TEXT: 9 wield, 18392; wield, — Rossetti; wield Forman, Dowden.
232 Ode to Heaven.
230 National Anthem. See below, note on Ode written October, 1819. TEXT : iii. 6 Where'er Rossetti conj. Mrs. Shelley, Essays and Letters, I. xii. : Shelley was a disciple of the immaterial philosophy of Berkeley. This theory gave unity and grandeur to his ideas, while it opened a wide field for his imagination. The creation, such as it was perceived by his mind a unit in immensity, was slight and narrow compared with the interminable forms of thought that might exist beyond, to be perceived per
haps hereafter by his own mind; all of which are
"Peace! the abyss is wreathed in scorn
he expresses his despair of being able to conceive, far
234 An Exhortation. Shelley to Mrs. Gisborne, May 8, 1820: "As an excuse for mine and Mary's incurable stupidity, I send a little thing about poets, which is itself a kind of excuse for Wordsworth." Shelley Memorials, p. 141. MS. Harvard.
235 Ode to the West Wind. Shelley's Note: "This poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapors which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.
"The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well known to naturalists. The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathizes with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it."
TEXT: i. 13 are 18391.
ii. 11 doom 18392.
iv. 8 the 18392.
238 An Ode written October, 1819, before the Spaniards had recovered their Liberty. Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18392, p.
251: "Shelley loved the people, and respected them as often more virtuous, as always more suffering, and, therefore, more deserving of sympathy, than the great. He believed that a clash between the two classes of society was inevitable, and he eagerly ranged himself on the people's side. He had an idea of publishing a series of poems adapted expressly to commemorate their circumstances and wrongs - he wrote a few, but in those days of prosecution for libel they could not be printed. They are not among the best of his productions, a writer being always shackled when he endeavors to write down to the comprehension of those who could not understand or feel a highly imaginative style; but they show his earnestness, and with what heartfelt compassion he went home to the direct point of injury that oppression is detestable, as being the parent of starvation, nakedness, and ignorance. Besides these outpourings of compassion and indignation, he had meant to adorn the cause he loved with loftier poetry of glory and triumph such is the scope of the Ode to the Assertors of Liberty. He sketched also a new version of our national anthem, as addressed to Liberty."
Rossetti adopts Mrs. Shelley's title, and notes that the poem is inspired by the Manchester massacre and addressed to Englishmen.
MS. Montagu, with additional stanza. See FRAGMENTS, iii. 423.
240 On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine
Gallery. Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iv. 49: "We spent the latter part of the year 1819 in Florence, where Shelley passed several hours daily in the Gallery, and made various notes on its ancient works of art."
TEXT: i. 5 seem 1824.
6 shrine 1824, 18391,2.
iv. 2 these 18391,2.
242 The Indian Serenade. Medwin, Life, ii. 126: "For her [Mrs. Williams] were composed the exquisite lines, "I arise from dreams of thee," adapted to the cele
brated Persian air sung by the Knautch girls, Tazee be tazee no be no." Shelley first met the Williamses in the spring of 1821. He gave a copy of this poem to Miss Sophia Stacey in 1819.
Browning to Leigh Hunt, October 6, 1857: "Is it not strange that I should have transcribed for the first time last night the Indian Serenade that, together with some verses of Metastasio, accompanied that book? [the volume of Keats found in Shelley's pocket and burned with his body]—that I should have been reserved to tell the present possessor of them, to whom they were given by Captain Roberts, what the poem was, and that it had been published? It is preserved religiously; but the characters are all but illegible, and I needed a good magnifying-glass to be quite sure of such of them as remain. The end is that I have rescued three or four variations in the reading of that divine little poem -as one reads it, at least, in the Posthumous Poems. It is headed The Indian Serenade (not Lines to an Indian Air). In the first stanza, the seventh line is Hath led me.' In the second, the third line is, And the champak's odors fail'; and the eighth, 'O! Beloved as thou art.' In the last stanza, the seventh line was, 'Oh, press it to thine own again.' Are not all these better readings -even to the 'Hath' for 'Has.' There I give them you as you gave us Milton's hair." Hunt, Correspondence, ii. 266, 267.
Garnet, Relics, p. 99: "Several fragmentary versions of the piece exist among Shelley's MSS., all differing more or less from the printed text and each other." Forman states, on the authority of a friend of Mrs. Williams, that the air, sung by Mrs. Williams, was widely known in India.
TEXT: i. 7 has 18392.
ii. 3 And the Forman, Dowden.
7 die omit, Forman, Dowden.
TEXT: iii. 7 it to thine own again Forman, Dowden.
MSS. Harvard, Stacey, Browning.
The version adopted in this edition is equally sup
ported with any other, and seems to the editor intrinsically the best.
243 To Sophia. From the Stacey MS. Mrs. Shelley (from
Florence) to Mrs. Gisborne, December 1, 1819: "There are some ladies come to this house who knew Shelley's family: the younger one was entousiasmée to see him. . . . The younger lady was a ward of one of Shelley's uncles. She is lively and unaffected. She sings well for an English débutante and, if she would learn the scales, would sing exceedingly well, for she has a sweet voice." Shelley Memorials, p. 128. Miss Sophia Stacey was a ward of Mr. Parker, of Bath, an uncle by marriage of Shelley.
244 Love's Philosophy. Shelley wrote this poem, with two others, in a copy of Hunt's Literary Pocket-Book, 1819, and gave it to Miss Stacey, December 29, 1820. TEXT: i. 7 In one spirit meet and Forman, Dowden. ii. 7 is all this sweet work Forman, Dowden.
These readings are poetically inferior, and are, at least, of no higher authority than Hunt's and Mrs. Shelley's.
MSS. Stacey, Harvard.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1820
Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18392, pp. 278, 279: . . . "There was something in Florence that disagreed excessively with his health, and he suffered far more pain than usual; so much so that we left it sooner than we intended, and removed to Pisa, where we had some friends, and, above all, where we could consult the celebrated Vaccà, as to the cause of Shelley's sufferings. He, like every other medical man, could only guess at that, and gave little hope of immediate relief; he enjoined him to abstain from all physicians and medicine, and to leave his complaint to nature. As he had vainly consulted medical men of the highest repute in England, he was easily persuaded to adopt this advice. Pain