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I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the

I arise and unbuild it again.


Hail to thee, blithe Spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever


In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright’ning,

Thou dost float and run ;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;

To a Skylark || the, Harvard MS. cancelled. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820. Composed at Leghorn, 1820.

14 Thou dost || Thy wings, Harvard MS. cancelled.

Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight Thou art unseen, — but yet I hear thy shrill de


Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear
Until we hardly see we feel that it is there ;

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As when Night is bare

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is


What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a Poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded


20 shrill || blithe, Harvard MS. cancelled. 21 Keen as are || Thy notes, like, Harvard MS. cancelled. 33 rainbow clouds there || the rainbows, Harvard MS. cancelled.

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, — which overflows her



Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from

the view :

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy

winged thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, Sprite or Bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine; 45 sweet as love, which || which is love and, Harvard MS. cancelled.

53 warm || the, Harvard MS. cancelled.

55 faint || rich, Harvard MS. cancelled ; those, Harvard MS. || the, Harvard MS. cancelled, these, Shelley, 1820.

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymeneal,

Or triumphal chant,
Matched with thine, would be all

But an empty vaunt,
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?
What fields or waves or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain ?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of

pain ?

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be ;
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee;
Thou lovest - but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep

Thou of death, must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not ;
Our sincerest laughter

72 happy || drunken, Harvard MS. cancelled.

With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest


Yet if we could scorn

Hate and pride and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow
The world should listen then - as I am listening



Yet Freedom, yet, thy banner torn but flying,
Streams like a thunder-storm against the wind.



A GLORIOUS people vibrated again

The lightning of the Nations ; Liberty, From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,

104 would, Shelley, 1820 || should, Harvard MS. Ode to Liberty. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820.

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