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Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind passed ;
And the gusty winds waked the winged seeds
The water-blooms under the rivulet
Then the rain came down, and the broken stalks
Between the time of the wind and the snow
speck, Like the water-snake's belly and the toad's back.
And thistles, and nettles, and darnels rank,
And plants, at whose names the verse feels loath, Filled the place with a monstrous undergrowth, Prickly, and pulpous, and blistering, and blue, Livid, and starred with a lurid dew.
And agarics and fungi, with mildew and mould,
Spawn, weeds, and filth, a leprous scum,
And hour by hour, when the air was still,
And unctuous meteors from spray to
The Sensitive Plant, like one forbid,
For the leaves soon fell, and the branches soon
63 mists, Harvard MS.
Their moss rotted off them, flake by flake,
Shelley, 1820, Harvard MS. cancelled, omit, Mrs. Shelley, 18391.
The sap shrank to the root through every pore,
For Winter came; the wind was his whip;
His breath was a chain which without a sound
Then the weeds which were forms of living death
And under the roots of the Sensitive Plant
First there came down a thawing rain,
And a northern whirlwind, wandering about
96 and their sudden flight from the, Harvard MS. 98 And, omit, Harvard MS.
Shook the boughs thus laden and heavy and
stiff, And snapped them off with his rigid griff.
When Winter had gone and Spring came back,
Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that
Whether that lady's gentle mind,
I dare not guess; but in this life
It is a modest creed, and yet
114 Whether || And if, Harvard MS. 118 Whether || Or if, Harvard MS.
That garden sweet, that lady fair,
For love, and beauty, and delight,
A VISION OF THE SEA
'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale ; From the stark night of vapors the dim rain is
driven, And, when lightning is loosed, like a deluge from
heaven, She sees the black trunks of the waterspouts
spin And bend, as if heaven was ruining in, Which they seemed to sustain with their terrible
As if ocean had sunk from beneath them; they
pass To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of
sound, And the waves and the thunders, made silent
around, A Vision of the Sea. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820. Composed at Pisa, and dated, in the Harvard MS., April, 1820.
6 ruining, Harvard MS. Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || raining, Shelley, 1820.
8 sunk, Harvard MS., Mrs. Shelley, 18391 || sank, Shelley, 1820.