Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]

(Give me some straw) - must be stowed tenderly; Such as we used, in summer after six, To cram in great-coat pockets, and to mix Hard eggs and radishes and rolls at Eton, And, couched on stolen hay in those green harbors

Farmers called gaps, and we schoolboys called arbors,

Would feast till eight."

With a bottle in one hand,

As if his very soul were at a stand,

Lionel stood, when Melchior brought him steady,

"Sit at the helm-fasten this sheet — all ready!"

The chain is loosed, the sails are spread,

The living breath is fresh behind, As with dews and sunrise fed

Comes the laughing morning wind.
The sails are full, the boat makes head
Against the Serchio's torrent fierce,
Then flags with intermitting course,

And hangs upon the wave, and stems
The tempest of the

Which fervid from its mountain source
Shallow, smooth, and strong, doth come,-
Swift as fire, tempestuously

It sweeps into the affrighted sea;
In morning's smile its eddies coil,
Its billows sparkle, toss, and boil,
Torturing all its quiet light
Into columns fierce and bright.

[ocr errors]

The Serchio, twisting forth Between the marble barriers which it clove At Ripafratta, leads through the dread chasm The wave that died the death which lovers love, Living in what it sought; as if this spasm Had not yet passed, the toppling mountains cling, But the clear stream in full enthusiasm Pours itself on the plain, then wandering,

Down one clear path of effluence crystalline Sends its superfluous waves, that they may fling At Arno's feet tribute of corn and wine; Then, through the pestilential deserts wild Of tangled marsh and woods of stunted pine, It rushes to the Ocean.



SUMMER was dead and Autumn was expiring,
And infant Winter laughed upon the land
All cloudlessly and cold; when I, desiring

More in this world than any understand,
Wept o'er the beauty, which, like sea retiring,
Had left the earth bare as the wave-worn

Of my lorn heart, and o'er the grass and flowers Pale for the falsehood of the flattering hours.

112 then, Boscombe MS. || until, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
114 superfluous, Boscombe MS. || clear, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
117 pine, Boscombe MS. || fir, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

The Zucca. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and dated, January, 1822.

i. 7 lorn, Boscombe MS. || poor, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.


Summer was dead, but I yet lived to weep
The instability of all but weeping;
And on the earth lulled in her winter sleep

I woke, and envied her as she was sleeping.
Too happy Earth! over thy face shall creep

The wakening vernal airs, until thou, leaping From unremembered dreams shalt No death divide thy immortality.



I loved - oh, no, I mean not one of ye,
Or any earthly one, though ye are dear
As human heart to human heart may be;

I loved I know not what - but this low sphere, And all that it contains, contains not thee,

Thou, whom, seen nowhere, I feel everywhere. From heaven and earth, and all that in them are Veiled art thou like a star.


By Heaven and Earth, from all whose shapes thou flowest,

Neither to be contained, delayed, nor hidden; Making divine the loftiest and the lowest,

When for a moment thou art not forbidden To live within the life which thou bestowest;

And leaving noblest things vacant and chidden, iii. 7 Boscombe MS. || Dim object of my soul's idolatry, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

iii. 8 Boscombe MS. || omit, Mrs. Shelley, 18391; Veiled art thou like Mrs. Shelley, 1824. iv. 2 nor, Boscombe MS. || or, 1824.

[ocr errors]

Cold as a corpse after the spirit's flight,
Blank as the sun after the birth of night.


In winds, and trees, and streams, and all things


In music, and the sweet unconscious tone Of animals, and voices which are human,

Meant to express some feelings of their own; In the soft motions and rare smile of woman, In flowers and leaves, and in the grass fresh


Or dying in the autumn, I the most
Adore thee present, or lament thee lost.

[ocr errors]


And thus I went lamenting, when I saw
A plant upon the river's margin lie,
Like one who loved beyond his nature's law,
And in despair had cast him down to die;
Its leaves which had outlived the frost, the thaw
Had blighted, like a heart which hatred's


Can blast not, but which pity kills; the dew
Lay on its spotted leaves like tears too true.


The Heavens had wept upon it, but the Earth
Had crushed it on her unmaternal breast

v. 6 grass fresh, Boscombe MS. || fresh grass, Mrs. Shelley,

vi. 6 like, Boscombe MS. || as, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.


I bore it to my chamber and I planted

It in a vase full of the lightest mould;
The winter beams which out of Heaven slanted

Fell through the window panes, disrobed of cold,

Upon its leaves and flowers; the star which panted
In evening for the Day, whose car has rolled
Over the horizon's wave, with looks of light
Smiled on it from the threshold of the night.


The mitigated influences of air

And light revived the plant, and from it grew Strong leaves and tendrils, and its flowers fair, Full as a cup with the vine's burning dew, O'erflowed with golden colors; an atmosphere Of vital warmth enfolded it anew, And every impulse sent to every part The unbeheld pulsations of its heart.


Well might the plant grow beautiful and strong, Even if the air and sun had smiled not on it; For one wept o'er it all the winter long

Tears pure as Heaven's rain, which fell upon


Hour after hour; for sounds of softest song,
Mixed with the stringèd melodies that won it
To leave the gentle lips on which it slept,
Had loosed the heart of him who sat and wept.

x. 2 air and sun, Boscombe MS. || sun and air, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »