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They breathe their spells toward the departing day, Encompassing the earth, air, stars and sea; Light, sound and motion own the potent sway,

Responding to the charm with its own mystery. The winds are still, or the dry church-tower grass Knows not their gentle motions as they pass.

Thou too, aërial Pile, whose pinnacles

Point from one shrine like pyramids of fire, Obeyest in silence their sweet solemn spells, Clothing in hues of heaven thy dim and distant spire,

Around whose lessening and invisible height
Gather among the stars the clouds of night.

The dead are sleeping in their sepulchres ;

And, mouldering as they sleep, a thrilling sound, Half sense, half thought, among the darkness


Breathed from their wormy beds all living things around;

And mingling with the still night and mute sky Its awful hush is felt inaudibly.

Thus solemnized and softened, death is mild
And terrorless as this serenest night;
Here could I hope, like some inquiring child
Sporting on graves, that death did hide from
human sight

Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep
That loveliest dreams perpetual watch did keep.


POET of Nature, thou hast wept to know
That things depart which never may return;
Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first

Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to


These common woes I feel. One loss is mine, Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore; Thou wert as a lone star whose light did


On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar;
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
Above the blind and battling multitude;
In honored poverty thy voice did weave
Songs consecrate to truth and liberty; -

Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve,
Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.


I HATED thee, fallen tyrant! I did groan
To think that a most unambitious slave,
Like thou, shouldst dance and revel on the grave
Of Liberty. Thou mightst have built thy throne

To Wordsworth. Published with Alastor, 1816.

Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte. Published with Alastor, 1816.

3 thou, shouldst || thee, Rossetti conj., should, Rossetti.

Where it had stood even now: thou didst prefer
A frail and bloody pomp which time has swept
In fragments towards oblivion. Massacre,
For this I prayed, would on thy sleep have crept,
Treason and Slavery, Rapine, Fear, and Lust,

And stifled thee, their minister. I know

Too late, since thou and France are in the dust, That Virtue owns a more eternal foe

Than Force or Fraud: old Custom, Legal Crime,
And bloody Faith, the foulest birth of time.


THE cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,

With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;
The green grass was not seen;
The birds did rest

On the bare thorn's breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o'er many a crack
Which the frost had made between.

Thine eyes glowed in the glare
Of the moon's dying light;

Lines. Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || November, 1815. Pocket-Book, 1823. Published by Hunt, 1823.

The Literary

As a fen-fire's beam

On a sluggish stream

Gleams dimly-so the moon shone there,
And it yellowed the strings of thy tangled hair,
That shook in the wind of night.

The moon made thy lips pale, beloved
The wind made thy bosom chill;
The night did shed

On thy dear head

Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
Might visit thee at will.

iii. 6 tangled, Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || raven, Hunt, 1823.



THERE late was One within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky,
Genius and death contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail, like the trances of the summer air,
When, with the lady of his love, who then
First knew the unreserve of mingled being,
He walked along the pathway of a field,
Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o'er,
But to the west was open to the sky.

There now the sun had sunk; but lines of


Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points
Of the far level grass and nodding flowers,
And the old dandelion's hoary beard,
And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay
On the brown massy woods; and in the east
The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose
Between the black trunks of the crowded trees,
While the faint stars were gathering overhead.
"Is it not strange, Isabel," said the youth,

The Sunset. Published in part by Hunt in The Literary PocketBook, 1823, 9-20, with title, Sunset. From an unpublished poem, and, 28-42, with title, Grief. A Fragment; and, entire, by Mrs. Shelley, 1824. Composed at Bishopsgate in the spring.

4 death, Mrs. Shelley, 1839 1 || youth, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

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