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FRAGMENTS

PART I

Under FRAGMENTS are included, with a few exceptions, incomplete poems, sketches and cancelled passages, and those more inchoate passages which have been recovered from Shelley's notebooks. The exceptions are the Prologue to Hellas, which has been put with that drama, A Vision of the Sea, published by Shelley with the poems accompanying Prometheus Unbound, and five pieces, To Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, 1814, Death, An Allegory, On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci, and Evening, Pisa, which, though lacking a word or a line, are in effect complete. The order of the FRAGMENTS is not strictly chronological in the first division, and is altogether arbitrary in the second. The dates assigned in the footnotes are those generally accepted, but, as a rule, they are conjectural and approximate only, not exact. The text is derived from the editions of Mrs. Shelley, the studies of Dr. Garnett in the Boscombe MSS., published by him mainly in Relics of Shelley, 1862, or by Rossetti, 1870, and Rossetti's own studies both in the same and other MSS. of which the results were given in his edition. A few pieces, originally published elsewhere, were also gathered by Rossetti and Forman in their editions, and Forman was enabled to add something more from independent MSS. The original publication of each piece is mentioned in the footnotes.

THE DÆMON OF THE WORLD

Nec tantum prodere vati,
Quantum scire licet. Venit ætas omnis in unam
Congeriem, miserumque premunt tot sæcula pectus.
LUCAN, PHARS. v. 176-178.

I

How wonderful is Death,

Death and his brother Sleep!

One, pale as yonder wan and hornèd moon,
With lips of lurid blue;

The other, glowing like the vital morn
When throned on ocean's wave
It breathes over the world;

Yet both so passing strange and wonderful!

Hath then the iron-sceptred Skeleton,
Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres,
To the hell dogs that couch beneath his throne
Cast that fair prey? Must that divinest form,
Which love and admiration cannot view
Without a beating heart, whose azure veins
Steal like dark streams along a field of snow,
Whose outline is as fair as marble clothed
In light of some sublimest mind, decay?
Nor putrefaction's breath
Leave aught of this pure spectacle
But loathsomeness and ruin?
Spare aught but a dark theme,

The Damon of the World. Published with Alastor, 1816.

On which the lightest heart might moralize?
Or is it but that downy-winged slumbers
Have charmed their nurse, coy Silence, near her

lids

To watch their own repose?

Will they, when morning's beam
Flows through those wells of light,

Seek far from noise and day some western cave,
Where woods and streams with soft and pausing

winds

A lulling murmur weave?

Ianthe doth not sleep

The dreamless sleep of death;
Nor in her moonlight chamber silently

Doth Henry hear her regular pulses throb,
Or mark her delicate cheek

With interchange of hues mock the broad moon, Outwatching weary night,

Without assured reward.

Her dewy eyes are closed;

On their translucent lids, whose texture fine Scarce hides the dark blue orbs that burn below

With unapparent fire,

The baby Sleep is pillowed;
Her golden tresses shade
The bosom's stainless pride,

Twining like tendrils of the parasite
Around a marble column.

Hark! whence that rushing sound?
"Tis like a wondrous strain that sweeps
Around a lonely ruin

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