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History is but the shadow of their shame,
Art veils her glass, or from the pageant starts
As to oblivion their blind millions fleet,
Staining that Heaven with obscene imagery
Of their own likeness. What are numbers knit
By force or custom? Man who man would be
Must rule the empire of himself; in it
Must be supreme, establishing his throne
On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy
Of hopes and fears, being himself alone.

A BRIDAL SONG

I

THE golden gates of sleep unbar

Where strength and beauty, met together, Kindle their image like a star

In a sea of glassy weather!
Night, with all thy stars look down ;

Darkness, weep thy holiest dew;
Never smiled the inconstant moon

On a pair so true. Let

eyes not see their own delight ;Haste, swift hour, and thy flight

Oft renew.

II

Fairies, sprites, and angels, keep her!

Holy stars, permit no wrong! And return to wake the sleeper,

Dawn, -ere it be long.

6 the || its, Harvard MS. A Bridal Song. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

O joy! O fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun !

Come along!

EPITHALAMIUM

NIGHT, with all thine eyes look down!

Darkness, shed its holiest dew!
When ever smiled the inconstant moon

On a pair so true ?
Hence, coy hour! and quench thy light,
Lest eyes see their own delight!
Hence, swift hour! and thy loved flight

Oft renew.

BOYS

O joy! O fear! what may be done
In the absence of the sun ?

Come along!

The golden gates of sleep unbar!

When strength and beauty meet together, Kindles their image like a star

In a sea of glassy weather.
Hence, coy hour! and quench thy light,
Lest eyes see their own delight !
Hence, swift hour! and thy loved flight

Oft renew.

GIRLS

O joy! O fear! what may be done
In the absence of the sun ?

Come along! Epithalamium. Published by Medwin, Life of Shelley, 1847.

Fairies! sprites! and angels keep her!

Holiest powers, permit no wrong! And return, to wake the sleeper,

Dawn, ere it be long, Hence, swift hour! and quench thy light, Lest eyes see their own delight! Hence, coy hour! and thy loved flight

Oft renew.

BOYS AND GIRLS
O joy ! O fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun ?

Come along!

ANOTHER VERSION

BOYS SING

Night! with all thine eyes look down!

Darkness! weep thy holiest dew!
Never smiled the inconstant moon

On a pair so true.
Haste, coy hour! and quench all light,
Lest eyes see their own delight!
Haste, swift hour! and thy loved flight

Oft renew!

GIRLS SING

Fairies, sprites, and angels, keep her!

Holy stars! permit no wrong!
And return to wake the sleeper,

Dawn, ere it be long !
O joy ! O fear! there is not one
Of us can guess

what
may

be done Another Version. Published by Rossetti, 1870.

In the absence of the sun:

Come along!

BOYS

Oh, linger long, thou envious eastern lamp

In the damp

Caves of the deep!

GIRLS

Nay, return, Vesper! urge thy lazy car!

Swift unbar

The gates of Sleep!

CHORUS

The golden gate of Sleep unbar,

When Strength and Beauty, met together, Kindle their image, like a star

In a sea of glassy weather. May the purple mist of love Round them rise, and with them move, Nourishing each tender gem Which, like flowers, will burst from them. As the fruit is to the tree May their children ever be!

EVENING

PONTE AL MARE, PISA

I

THE sun is set; the swallows are asleep;
The bats are flitting fast in the gray air;

Evening. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

The slow soft toads out of damp corners creep,

And evening's breath, wandering here and there Over the quivering surface of the stream, Wakes not one ripple from its summer dream.

II

There is no dew on the dry grass to-night,

Nor damp within the shadow of the trees; The wind is intermitting, dry, and light;

And in the inconstant motion of the breeze The dust and straws are driven up and down, And whirled about the pavement of the town.

III

Within the surface of the fleeting river

The wrinkled image of the city lay,
Inimovably unquiet, and forever
It trembles, but it never fades

away ;
Go to the
You, being changed, will find it then as now.

IV

The chasm in which the sun has sunk is shut

By darkest barriers of enormous cloud, Like mountain over mountain huddled - but

Growing and moving upwards in a crowd, And over it a space of watery blue, Which the keen evening star is shining through.

i. 6 summer, Mrs. Shelley, 18392 || silent, Mrs. Shelley, 1824. iv. 2 enormous, Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || cinereous, Boscombe MS.

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