Изображения страниц

and ill-health followed him to the end, but the residence at Pisa agreed with him better than any other, and there in consequence we remained. ...

"We spent the summer at the baths of San Giuliano, four miles from Pisa. These baths were of great use to Shelley in soothing his nervous irritability. We made several excursions in the neighborhood. The country around is fertile, and diversified and rendered picturesque by ranges of near hills and more distant mountains. The peasantry are a handsome, intelligent race, and there was a gladsome sunny heaven spread over us, that rendered home and every scene we visited cheerful and bright.

"Our stay at the baths of San Giuliano was shortened by an accident. At the foot of our garden ran the canal that communicated between the Serchio and the Arno. The Serchio overflowed its banks, and breaking its bounds, this canal also overflowed; all this part of the country is below the level of its rivers, and the consequence was that it was speedily flooded. The rising waters filled the square of the baths, in the lower part of which our house was situated. The canal overflowed in the garden behind; the rising waters on either side at last burst open the doors, and meeting in the house, rose to the height of six feet. It was a picturesque sight at night to see the peasants driving the cattle from the plains below to the hills above the baths. A fire was kept up to guide them across the ford; and the forms of the men and the animals showed in dark relief against the red glare of the flame, which was reflected again in the waters that filled the square.


"We then removed to Pisa, and took up our abode there for the winter. The extreme mildness of the climate suited Shelley, and his solitude was enlivened by an intercourse with several intimate friends. Chance cast us, strangely enough, on this quiet, half-unpeopled town; but its very peace suited Shelley,—its river, the near mountains, and not distant sea, added to its attractions, and were the objects of many delightful excursions. We feared the south of Italy, and a hotter climate, on account of our child; our former bereavement inspiring us with terror. We seemed to take root here, and moved little afterwards; often, indeed, enter

taining projects for visiting other parts of Italy, but still delaying. But for our fears on account of our child, I believe we should have wandered over the world, both being passionately fond of travelling. But human life, besides its great unalterable necessities, is ruled by a thousand Liliputian ties, that shackle at the time, although it is difficult to account afterwards for their influence over our destiny." [Omitted passages bearing on particular poems are placed under these poems.]

246 The Sensitive Plant.

Shelley (from Lerici) to Hunt, June 19, 1822: "Williams is one of the best fellows in the world; and Jane his wife a most delightful person, whom we all agree is the exact antitype of the lady I described in The Sensitive Plant, though this must have been a pure anticipated cognition, as it was written a year before I knew her." Garnett, Relics, p. 111.

Medwin, Life, ii. 6: "He lent me [late in the autumn of 1820] a MS. volume containing his Ode to Liberty, The Sensitive Plant, the exquisite Arethusa and Peneus [Hymn to Pan], and many other of his lyrics, which I devoured and enthusiastically admired. He was surprised at my enthusiasm, and said to me, 'I am disgusted with writing, and were it not for an irresistible impulse that predominates my better reason, should discontinue so doing.' On such occasions he fell into a despondent mood, most distressing to witness, was affected with a prostration of spirits that bent him to the earth, a melancholy too sacred to notice, and which it would have been a vain attempt to dissipate."

TEXT: i. 6 And 18392.

100 delight || the light Dixon conj. ii. 23 the going 18392.

iii. 32 leaf after Rossetti, Forman.

day by 18392.

66 the cancelled lines are put in the text by
Rossetti and Forman.
MS. Harvard.

259 A Vision of the Sea. TEXT: 7 mass Rossetti.

8 them, Rossetti.

sank Forman.

35 from 18391,2, Rossetti, Forman.

61 had 18392.

85 Burst 18391,2.

116 through | from 1820.

MS. Harvard.

267 The Cloud. Rossetti conjectures that this poem belongs

to the year 1818 because of the reference to the Thames in Mrs. Shelley's Note, given with the next poem. TEXT: 3 shades 18391,2.

59 with the 18391,2.

270 To a Skylark. Mrs. Shelley, 18391, I. xi. : "There are others, such as the Ode to the Skylark, and The Cloud, which in the opinion of many critics, bear a purer poetical stamp than any other of his productions. They were written as his mind prompted, listening to the carolling of the bird, aloft in the azure sky of Italy; or marking the cloud as it sped across the heavens, while he floated in his boat on the Thames."

Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iv. 50: “In the spring we spent a week or two near Leghorn, borrowing the house of some friends, who were absent on a journey to England. It was on a beautiful summer evening while wandering among the lanes, whose myrtle hedges were the bowers of the fireflies, that we heard the carolling of the skylark, which inspired one of the most beautiful of his poems."

TEXT: 55 these all editions. The reading of the Harvard MS. seems plain, and is, poetically, to be preferred. MS. Harvard.

274 Ode to Liberty. "Shelley (from Leghorn) to Peacock, July 12, 1820 : "I enclose two additional poems, to be added to those printed at the end of Prometheus; and I send them to you for fear Ollier might not know what to do in case he objected to some expressions in the fifteenth and sixteenth stanzas ; and that you would do me the favor to insert an aster

isk, or asterisks, with as little expense to the sense as may be. The other poem [not identified] I send you, not to make two letters." Peacock, Works, iii. 470. TEXT: i. 1 again: Alfred Forman conj.

2 Nations, Alfred Forman conj. The Harvard MS. sustains the reading of the text.

9 inverse Rossetti.

iv. 5 melody 18391,2, Rossetti.

wild. 18391,2, Rossetti.

vii. 2 "See the Baccha of Euripides," Shelley's Note. viii. 8 love 1820.

11 scattered Rossetti conj.

ix. 14 want 18391,'.

xiii. 13 us! Rossetti conj.

14 west impress, as Rossetti conj.

15 done Time, Rossetti conj. The lines contain a twofold appeal: first, to the future, typified in America; second, to the past, realized in Spanish and English history, or, by paraphrase, great ages that were and that Time will not dare forget, stamp on man's mind, with the clear and fixed impression of a seal, your image or memory. The difficulty arises from the condensation involved in the sudden identification of England and Spain with what they have thought and done, as being ideally what they essentially are, and in the abruptness with which the immortal memory of that achievement is then stated. The words "all ye have thought and done " are to be taken as in the case of address, and the passage read “O England and Spain, great with ages gone, a glory not to be concealed, impress us with that greatness which was, and which still is your true greatness, the source of faith and inspiration for your sons." xv. 2 King.... 18391,2.

xvii. 9 Or 18392, Rossetti.

10 Diving 18391,2.

See also FRAGMENTS, iii. 423.
MS. Harvard, 1–21.

286 Arethusa.

TEXT: ii. 8 congealed Rossetti conj.

9 urns | rime Rossetti conj.


The passage is obscure from the rapidity of the description, which involves a kind of hiatus, but there is no reason to suspect any corruption. "It" is Erymanthus ; urns " is a fitting and finely poetical expression for the forms of mountain snow seen in masses; the meaning is that the bleak south wind, described as "concealed" or kept behind the snowfields, came down in tempest, and, together with the earthquake below and the thunder (which may better be taken as the general sound of the elemental commotion than in its exact signification), loosed the torrent, or, as the words stand, rent the bars of the springs. The word "wind" is to be taken as one of the subjects of "rend," but the verb feels the attraction of its nearer subject to a degree which nearly breaks the continuity of the sentence. 290 Hynın of Apollo. See next note.

291 Hymn of Pan. Mrs. Shelley, Footnote, 1824: "This and the former poem were written at the request of a friend [Williams], to be inserted in a drama on the subject of Midas. Apollo and Pan contended before Tmolus for the prize in music." TEXT: ii. 5 by || with 18391,2.

293 The Question. Signed in The Literary Pocket-Book. TEXT: ii. 6 omit 18391,2.

7 heaven-collected Forman.

iv. 7 bulrushes and reeds, Harvard MS. || bulrushes, and reeds all editions.

MSS. Boscombe, Harvard, Ollier.

295 The Two Spirits.

TEXT: i. 2 would 1824.

iv. 7 moonlight 18392.
vi. 4 makes 18391,2.

297 Letter to Maria Gisborne. Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iv. 50. "He addressed the letter to Mrs. Gisborne from this house [at Leghorn] which was hers; he had made his study of the workshop of her son, who

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »