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Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth,

and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed

in air) With living hues and odors plain and

hill; 'Vild Spirit, which art moving every

where; Destroyer and preserver; hear, Oh hear!

For whose path the Atlantic's level

powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while

far below The sea-blooms and the cozy woods

which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with

fear, And tremble and despoil themselves :

Oh hear!



Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep

sky's commotion, Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves

are shed, Shook from the tangled boughs of

Heaven and Ocean, Angels of rain and lightning: there are

spread On the blue surface of thine airy surge, Like the bright hair uplifted from the


If I were a dead leafthou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and

share The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boy hood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over

heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er

have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore

need. Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud ! i fail upon the thorns of life! I bleed ! A heavy weight of hours has chained

and bowed One too like thee: tameless, and swift,

and proud.

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the

dim verge Of the horizon to the zenith's height The locks of the approaching storm.

Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing

night Will be the dome of a rast sepulchre, Vaulted with all thy congregated might


Of vapors, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:

Oh hear!


Thou who didst waken from his sum

mer dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, Lulled by the coil of his crystalline

streams, Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser

day, All overgrown with azure

moss and flowers So sweet, the sense faints picturing

them! Thou

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is : What if my leaves are falling like its owul The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take froin both a deep, autumnal

tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou,

spirit fierce, My spirit ! Be thou me, impetuous one ! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new

birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished

hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among

mankind ! Be through my lips to unawakened earth 299

The trumpet of a prophecy! O, wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

1819, 1820.

Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast ;-
Oh! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.

1819. 1822



I ARISE from dreains of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me--who knows how !
To thy chamber window, Sweet !

The wandering airs they faint On the dark, the silent streamAnd the Champak odors fail Like sweet thoughts in a dream; The nightingale's complaint, It dies upon her heart ;As I must on thine, O! beloved as thou art !

The Fountains mingle with the River

And the Rivers with the Ocean, The winds of Heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion ; Nothing in the world is single ;

All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine ? See the mountains kiss high Heaven

And the waves clasp one another ;
No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea :
What are all these kissings worth

If thou kiss not me ? 1819. 1819.

Oh lift me from the grass ! I diel I faint! I fail !

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Prometheus. Monarch of Gods and

Demons, and all Spirits But One, who throng those bright and

rolling worlds Which Thou and I alone of living things Behold with sleepless eyes ! regard this

Earth Made multitudinous with thy slaves,

whom thou Requitest for knee-worship, prayer, and

praise, And toil, and hecatombs of broken

hearts, With fear and self-contempt and barren

hope. Whilst me, who am thy foe, eyeless in

hate, Hast thou made reign and trium to

thy scorn O’er mine own misery and thy vain



Three thousand years of sleep-unshel- Whether one breaks the hoar frost of tered hours,

the morn, And moments aye divided by keen pangs Or starry, dim, and slow, the other Till they seemed years, torture and soli

climbs tude,

The leaden-colored east ; for then they Scorn and despair, these are mine

lead empire;

The wingless, crawling hours, one among More glorious far than that which thou

whom surveyest

-As some dark Priest hales the relucFrom thine unenvied throne, O, Mighty

tant victimGod!

Shall drag thee, cruel King, to kiss the Almighty, had I deigned to share the

blood shame

From these pale feet, which then might Of thine ill tyranny, and hung not here trample thee Nailed to this wall of eagle-bafiling If they disdained not such a prostrate mountain,

slave. Black, wintry, dead, unmeasured ; with- Disdain! Ah no! I pity thee. What out herb,

ruin Insect, or beast, or shape or sound of Will hunt thee undefended thro' the life.

wide Heaven ! Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever! How will thy soul, cloven to its depth

with terror, No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I Gape like a hell within ! I speak in endure.

grief, I ask the Earth, have not the mountains Not exultation, for I hate no more, felt ?

As then ere misery made me wise. The I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun, Has it not seen i The Sea, in storm or Once breathed on thee I would recall. calm,

Ye Mountains, Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread Whose many voiced Echoes, through the below,

mist Have its deaf waves not heard my agony? Of cataracts, flung the thunder of that Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever! spell !

Ye icy Springs, stagnant with wrinkling The crawling glaciers pierce me with

frost, the spears

Which vibrated to hear me, and then of their moon-freezing crystals, the crept bright chains

Shuddering thro' India! Thou serenest Eat with their burning cold into my

Air, bones,

Thro' which the Sun walks burning Heaven's winged hound, polluting from

without beams! thy lips

And ye swift Whirlwinds, who on poised His beak in poison not his own, tears up

wings My heart; and shapeless sights come Hung mute and moveless o'er yon wandering by,

hushed abyss, The ghastly people of the realm of As thunder, louder than your own, made dream,

rock Mocking me: and the Earthquake-fiends The orbéd world! If then my words are charged

had power, To wrench the rivets from my quivering Though I am changed so that aught evil wounds

wish When the rocks split and close again be- Is dead within ; although no memory be hind:

Of what is hate, let them not lose it now! While from their loud abysses howling What was that curse? for ye all heard throng

me speak. The gunii of the storm, urging the rage Of whirlwind, and afflict me with keen

First Voice (from the Mountains) hail. And yet to me welcome is day and night, Thrice three hundred thousand years

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Second Voice (from the Springs) Thunderbolts had parched our water, We had been stained with bitter

blood, And had run mute, 'mid shrieks of

slaughter, Thro'a city and a solitude.

Third Voice (from the Air)
I had clothed, since Earth uprose,

Its wastes in colors not their own,
And oft had my serene repose
Been cloven by many a rending


Fourth Voice (from the Whirlwinds) We had soared beneath these moun

tains Unresting ages ; nor had thunder, Nor yon volcano's flaming fountains,

Nor any power above or under Ever made us mute with wonder.

Cried “Misery!” then; the hollow

Heaven replied, Misery!" and the Ocean's purple

waves, Climbing the land, howled to the lash.

ing winds, And the pale nations heard it," Misery!" Prometheus. I hear a sound of voices :

not the voice Which I gave forth. Mother, thy song

and thou Scorn him, without whose all-enduring

will Beneath the fierce omnipotence of Jove, Both they and thou had vanished, like

thin mist Unrolled on the morning wind. Know

ye not me, The Titan? He who made his agony The barrier to your else all-conquering

foe ? Oh, rock-embosomed lawns, and snow.

fed streams, Now seen athwart frore vapors, deep

below, Thro' whose o'ershadowing woods I

wandered once With Asia, drinking life from her loved

eyes ; Why scorns the spirit which informs ye, To commune with me? me alone, who

checked, As one who checks

a fiend-drawn charioteer, The falsehood and the force of him who

reigns Supreme, and with the groans of pining

slaves Fills your dim glens and liquid wilder

nesses: Why answer ye not, still? Brethren! The Earth.

They dare not. Prometheus. Who dares? for I would

hear that curse again. Ha, what an awful whisper rises up! "Tis scarce like sound ; it tingles thro

the frame As lightning tingles, hovering ere it

strike. Speak, Spirit! from thine inorganic

voice I only know that thou art moving near And love. How cursed I him?

The Earth. How canst thou hear Who knowest not the language of the

dead ? Prometheus. Thou art a living spirit.

speak as they.


First Voice But never bowed our snowy crest As at the voice of thine unrest.

Second Voice Never such a sound before To the Indian waves we bore. A pilot asleep on the howling sea Leaped up from the deck in agony, And heard, and cried, “Al, woe is me!" And died as mad as the wild waves be.

Third Voice By such dread words from Earth to

Heaven My still realm was never riven ; When its wound was closed, there stood Darkness o'er the day like blood.

Fourth Voice And we shrank back; for dreams of ruin To frozen caves our flight pursuing Made us keep silence--thus-and thusThough silence is a hell to us. The Earth. The tongueless Caverns

of the craggy hills

The Earth. I dare not speak like life,

lest Heaven's fell King Should hear, and link me to some wheel

of pain More torturing than the one whereon I

roll. Subtle thou art and good, and tho' the

Gods Hear not this voice, yet thou art more

than God Being wise and kind : earnestly hearken

now. Prometheus. Obscurely thro' my

brain, like shadows dim, Sweep awful thoughts, rapid and thick.

I feel Faint, like one mingled in entwining

love; Yet 'tis not pleasure.

The Earth. No, thou canst not hear ; Thou art immortal, and this tongue iz

known Only to those who die.

Prometheus. And what art thou, 0), melancholy Voice?

The Earth. I am the Earth, Thy mother; slie within whose stony

veins, To the last fibre of the loftiest tree Whose thin leaves trembled in the

frozen air, Joy ran, as blood within a living frame, When thou didst from lier bosom, like a

cloud, Of glory, arise, a spirit of keen joy! And at thy voice her pining sons uplifted Their prostrate brows from the polluting

dust. And our almighty Tyrant with fierce

dread Grew pale, until his thunder chained

thee here. Then, see those million worlds which

burn and roll Around us: their inhabitants beheld My sphered light wane in wide Heaven;

the sea Was lifted by strange tempest, avd new

fire From earthquake-risted mountains of

bright snow Shook its portentous hair beneath

Heaven's frown ; Lightning and Inundation vexed the

plains ; Blue thistles bloomed in cities; foodless

toads Within voluptuous chambers panting

cra vled :

When Plague had fallen on man, and

beast and worm, And Famine; and black blight on herb

and tree; And in the corn, and vines, and meadow

grass, Teemed ineradicable poisonous weeds Draining their growth, for my wan

breast was dry With grief; and the thin air, my breath,

was stained With the contagion of a mother's hate Breathed on her child's destroyer ; aye,

I heard Thy curse, the which, if thou remem

berest not, Yet my innumerable seas and streams, Mountains, and caves, and winds, and

yon wide air, And the inarticulate people of the

dead, Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate In secret joy and hope those dreadful

words But dare not speak them.

Prometheus. Venerable motber! All else who live and suffer take from

thee Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and

happy sounds, And love, though Aeeting; these may

not be mine. But mine own words, I pray, deny me

not. The Earth. They shall be told. Ere

Babylon was dust, The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child, Met his own image walking in the gar

den. That apparition, sole of men, he saw. For know there are two worlds of life

and death : One that which thou beholdest ; but the

other Is underneath the grave, where do in

habit The shadows of all forms that think

and live Till death unite them and they part

no more ; Dreams and the light imaginings of


And all that fate creates or love desires, Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous

shapes. There thou art, and dost hang, a writh

ing shade, 'Mid whirlwind-peopled mountains; all

the gods

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