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Tell me, thou star, whose wings of light
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
In what cavern of the night

Will thy pinions close now ?
Tell me, moon, thou pale and gray
Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day

Seekest thou repose now i

Weary wind, who wanderest
Like i he world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow ?

1870. 1824 TIME LONG PAST

As a lizard with the shade

Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismayed ;

Even the signs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not hear.
Let me set my mournful ditty

To a merry measure,
Thou wilt never come for pity,

Thou wilt come for pleasure,
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.
I love all that thou lovest,

Spirit of Delight !
The fresh Earth in new leaves drest,

And the starry night;
Autumn evening, and the morn

When the golden mists are born.
I love snow, and all the forms

Of the radiant frost;
I love waves, and winds, and storms,

Every thing almost
Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by man's misery.
I love tranquil solitude,

And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good ;

Between thee and me
What difference? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.
I love Love-though he has wings,

And like light can flee,
But above all other things,

Spirit, I love thee-
Thou art love and life! Oh come,
Make once more my heart thy home.

1820,1 1891.

LIKE the ghost of a dear friend dead

Is Time long past. A tone which is now forever fled, A hope which is now forever past, A love so sweet it could not last,

Was Time long past. There were sweet dreams in the night

Of Time long past : And, was it sadness or delight, Each day a shadow onward cast Which made us wish it yet might last

That Time long past.

There is regret, almost remorse,

For Time long past. 'Tis like a child's beloved corse A father watches, till at last Beauty is like remembrance, cast

From Time long past.

1820. 1870.





Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven and gazing on the

earth, Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different

birtin,And ever changing, like a joyless eye That finds no object worth its constancy?

L'anima amaute si slancia fuori del creato, e si crea nel infinito un Mondo tutto per essa, diverso assai da questo oscuro e panroso baratro.


SWEET Spirit! Sister of that orphan


Whose empire is the name thou weepest In my heart's temple I suspend to thee These votive wreaths of withered

18.0, 1921.


I Though included by Mrs. Shelley, and by later editors, among the poems of 1531, there is a copy of this poem in the larvard College Manuscripts, dated in Shelley's handwriting, Pist, May,' 1820." See note in Edward Dowolen's Edition of Shelley.


Poor captive bird! who, from thy With those clear drops, which start liko narrow cage,

sacred dew Pourest such music, that it might as- From the twin lights thy sweet soul suage

darkens through, The rugged hearts of those who prisoned Weeping, till sorrow becomes ecstasy : thee,

Then smile on so that it may not die. Were they not deaf to all sweet melody ; This song shall be thy rose : its petals I never thought before my death to pale

see Are dead, indeed, my adored Nightin- Youth's vision thus made perfect. gale!

Emily, But soft and fragrant is the faded I love thee; though the world by no blossom,

thin name And it has no thorn left to wound thy Will hide that love, from its unvalued bosom.


Would we two had been twins of the same High, spirit-winged Heart! who dost

mother ! for ever

Or, that the name my heart lent to Beat thine unfeeling bars with vain en

another dea vor,

Could be a sister's bond for her and Till those bright plumes of thought, in

thee, which arrayed

Blending two beams of one eternity! It over-soared this low and worldly Yet were one lawful and the other true, shade,

These names, though dear, could paint Lie shattered ; and thy panting, wounded

not, as is due, breast

How beyond refuge I am thine. Ah me! Stains with dear blood its unmaternal I am not thine: I am a part of thee.

nest! I weep vain tears : blood would less Sweet Lamp! my moth-like Muse has bitter be,

burnt its wings ; Yet poured forth gladlier, could it profit Or, like a dying swan who soars and thee.


Young Love should teach Time, in his Seraph of fleaven! too gentle to be own gray style, human,

All that thou art. Art thou not void of Veiling beneath that radiant form of

guile, Woman

A lovely soul formed to be blest and All that is insupportable in thee

bless? or light, and love, and immortality! A well of sealed and secret happiness, Sweet Benediction in the eternal Curse ! Whose waters like blithe light and Veiled Glory of this lampless Universe!

music are, Thou Moou beyond the clouds! Thou Vanquishing dissonance and gloom ? A living Form

Star Among the Dead! Thou Star above the Which

not in the moving Storm!

Heavens, alone ? Thou Wonder, and thou Beauty, and A smile amid dark frowns? a gentle thou Terror!

tone Thou Harmony of Nature's art! Thou Amid rude voices ? a beloved light ? Mirror

A Solitude, a Refuge, a Delight? In whom, as in the splendor of the Sun, A Lute which those whom Love has All shapes look glorious which thou

tauglit to play gazest on!

Make music on, to soothe the roughest Ay, even the dim words which obscure day thee now

And lullfond grief asleep? a buried Flash, lightning-like, with

treasure ? tomed glow;

A cradle of young thoughts of wingless I pray thee that thou blot from this sad

pleasure ; song

A violet-shrouded grave of Woe?-1 All of its much mortality and wrong,





The world of fancies, seeking one like

thee, And find-alas! mine own infirmity. She met me, Stranger, upon life's

rough way, And lured me towards sweet Death; as

Night by Day, Winter by Spring, or Sorrow by swift

Hope, Led into light, life, peace. Anantelope, In the suspended impulse of its light

ness, Were less ethereally light: the brightOf her divinest presence trembles

through Her limbs, as underneath a cloud of dew Embodied in the windless Heaven of

June Amid the splendor-wingéd .stars, the

Moon Burns, inextinguishably beautiful: And from her lips, as from a hyacinth

full of honey-dew, a liquid murmur drops, Killing the sense with passion ; sweet

as stops Of planetary music heard in trance. In her mild lights the starry spirits

dance, The sunbeams of those wells which ever

leap Under the lightnings of the soul-too

deep For the brief fathom-line of thought or

sense. The glory of her being, issuing thence, Stains the dead, blank, cold air with a

warm shade Of unentangled intermixture, made By Love, of light and motion : one in

tense Diffusion, ond serene Omnipresence, Whose flowing outlines mingle in their

flowing Around her cheeks and utmost fingers

glowing With the unintermitted blood, which

there Quivers (as in a fleece of snow-like air The crimson pulse of living morning

quirer), Continuously prolonged, and ending

never, Till they are lost, and in that Beauty

furled Which penetrates and clasps and fills

the world;

Scarce visible from extreme loveliness. Warm fragrance seems to fall from her

light dress And her loose hair ; and where some

heavy tress The air of her own speed has disentwined, The sweetness seems to satiate the faint

wind; And in the soul a wild odor is felt, Beyond the sense, like fiery dews that

melt Into the bosom of a frozen bud.See where she stands! a mortal shape

indued With love and life and light and deity, And motion which may change but can.

not die; An image of some bright Eternity ; A shadow of some golden dream ; a

Splendor Leaving the third sphere pilotless ; a

tender Reflection of the eternal Moon of Love Under whose motions life's dull billows

move; A Metaphor of Spring and Youth and

A Vision like incarnate April, warning,
With smiles and tears, Frost the

Into his summer grave.

Ah, woe is me ! What liave I dared ? where am I lifted ?

how Shall I descend, and perish not? I know That Love makes all things equal: I

have heard By mine own heart this joyous truth

averred : The spirit of the worm beneath the sod In love and worship, blends itself with


Spouse ! Sister! Angel! Pilot of the

Fate Whose course has been so starless! Oh,

too late Beloved ! Oh, too soon adored, by me! For in the fields of immortality My spirit should at first have worshipped

thine, A divine presence in a place divine ; Or should have moved beside it on this

earth, A shadow of that substance, from its

birth; But not as now :- I love thee ; yes, I feel That on the fountain of my heart a seal

Is set, to keep its waters pure and bright For thee, since in those tears thou hast

delight. We--are we not formed, as notes of

music are, For one another, though dissimilar; Such difference without discord, as can

make Those sweetest sounds, in which all

spirits shake As trembling leaves in a continuous air?

Mind from its object differs most in

this: Evil from good ; misery from happiness; The baser from the nobler; the impure And frail, from what is clear and must

endure. If you divide suffering and dross, you

may Diminish till it is consumed away; If you divide pleasure and love and

thought, Each part exceeds the whole ; and we

know not How much, while any yet remains un

shared, Of pleasure may be gained, of sorrow

spared : This truth is that deep well, whence The unenvied light of hope; the eternal

law By which those live, to whom this world

of life Is as a garden ravaged, and whose strife Tills for the promise of a later birth The wilderness of this Elysian earth.

sages draw


There was a Being whom my spirit

oft Met on its visioned wanderings, far

aloft, In the clear golden prime of my youth's

dawn, Upon the fairy isles of sunny lawn, Amid the enchanted mountains, and the

Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids

me dare Beacon the rocks on which high hearts

are wrecked. I never was attached to that great sect, Whose doctrine is, that each one should

select Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend, And all the rest, though fair and wise,

commend To cold oblivion, though it is in the

code Of modern morals, and the beaten road Which those poor slaves with weary

footsteps tread, Who travel to their home among the

dead By the broad highway of the world, and With one chained friend, perhaps a

jealous foe, The dreariest and the longest journey go. True Love in this differs from gold

and clay : That to divide is not to take away. Love is like understanding, that grows

bright, Gazing on many truths ; 'tis like thy

light, Imagination ! which from earth and sky, And from the depths of human phan

tasy, As from a thousand prisms and mirrors,

fills The Universe with glorious beams, and

kills Error, the worm, with many a sun-like Of its reverberated lightning. Narrow The heart that loves, the brain that

contemplates, The life that wears, the spirit that

creates One object, and one form, and builds

thereby A sepulchre for its eternity.

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Of wonder-level dream, whose tremu

lous floor Paved her light steps ;-on an imagined

shore, Under the gray beak of some. promon

tory She met me, robed in such exceeding

glory, That I behield her not. In solitudes Her voice came to me through the

whispering woods, And from the fountains, and the odors

deep Of flowers, which, like lips murmuring

in their sleep Of the sweet kisses which had lulled

them there, Breathed but of her to the enamored air; And from the breezes whether low or

loud, And from the rain of every passing cloud,


And from the singing of the summer

birds, And from all sounds, all silence. In

the words Of antique verse and high romance,--in

form, Sound, color-in whatever checks that

Storm Which with the shattered present chokes

the past; And in that best philosophy, whose taste Makes this cold common hell, our life, a

doom As glorious as a fiery martyrdom ; Her Spirit was the harmony of truth.-Then, from the caverns of my dreamy

youth I sprang, as one sandalled with plumes

of fire, And towards the loadstar of my one

desire, I flitted, like a dizzy moth, whose flight Is as a dead leaf's in the owlet light, When it would seek in Hesper's setting

sphere A radiant death, a fiery sepulchre, As if it were a lamp of earthly flame.But She, whom prayers or tears then

could not tame, Passed, like a God throned on a wingéd

planet, Whose burning plumes to tenfold swift

ness fan it, Into the dreary cone of our life's shade ; And as a man with mighty loss dismayed, I would have followed, though the

grave between Yawned like a gulf whose spectres are

unseen: When a voice said :-( Thou of hearts

the weakest, The phantom is beside thee whom thou

seekest.” Then I-" Where?" the world's echo

answered “where!” And in that silence, and in my despair, I questioned every tongueless wind that

flew Over my tower of mourning, if it knew Whither 'twas fled, this soul out of my

soul; And murmured names and spells which

bave control Over the sightless tyrants of our fate ; But neither prayer nor verse could dis

sipate The night which closed on her ; nor


That world within this Chaos, mine and

me, Of which she was the veiled Divinity, The world I say of thoughts that wor

shipped hier: And therefore I went forth, with hope

and fear And every gentle passion sick to death, Feeding my course with expectation's

breath, Into the wintry forest of our life ; And struggling through its error with

vain strife, And stumbling in my weakness and my

haste. And half bewildered by new forms, I past Seeking among those untaught foresters If I could find one form resembling hers, In which she might have masked her

self from me. There, -One, whose voice was venomed

melody Sate by a well, under blue nightshade

bowers ; The breath of her false mouth was like

faint flowers, Her touch was as electric poison.-flame Out of her looks into my vitals came, And from her living cheeks and bosom

flew A killing air, which pierced like honey

dew Into the core of my green heart, and lay Upon its leaves ; until, as hair grown gray O‘er a young brow, they hid its unblown

prime With ruins of unseasonable time.

In many mortal forms I rashly sought The shadow of that idol of my thought. And some were fair--but beauty dies

away: Others were wise--but honeyed words

betray : And One was true-oh! why not true

to me? Then, as a hunted deer that could not

flee, I turned upon my thoughts, and stood

at bay, Wounded and weak and panting ; the

cold day Trembled, for pity of my strife and pain. When, like a noonday dawn, there

shone again Deliverance. One stood on my path

who seemed As like the glorious shape which I had


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