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thoughts as a perfect combination of the purely ideal and possibly real as Constantia Dudley." Peacock, Works, iii. 409, 410. The verses were addressed to Miss Clairmont, and are said to have been published in a newspaper at the time. The first draft of the poem exists, unpublished.
193 To the Lord Chancellor. "His heart, attuned to every kindly affection, was full of burning love for his offspring. No words can express the anguish he felt when his elder children were torn from him. In his first resentment against the Chancellor, on the passing of the decree, he had written a curse, in which there breathes, besides haughty indignation, all the tenderness of a father's love, which could imagine and fondly dwell upon its loss and the consequences." Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iii. 207, 208. The decree was pronounced in August. For the circumstances, see Memoir.
TEXT: iv. 3 Be || And Rossetti.
xiii. 2 snares and nets Rossetti.
The Harvard MS. book contains this poem in Shelley's hand, much corrected, as if composed upon the page itself.
There are four transcripts by Mrs. Shelley. Forman describes two, Hunt's and Charles Cowden Clarke's, without distinguishing exactly between them. The other two,
referred to as Frederickson1, and Frederickson2, are in the possession of Mr. C. W. Frederickson. The first of these is corrected in Shelley's hand and deserves attention; the second is later and carelessly made.
197 To William Shelley. Born at Bishopsgate, January 24, 1816, baptized at St.-Giles-in-the-Fields March 9, 1818, died at Rome, June 7, 1819. "At one time, while the question was still pending, the Chancellor had said some words that seemed to intimate that Shelley should not be permitted the care of any of his children, and for a moment he feared that our infant son would be torn from us. He did not hesitate to resolve, if such were menaced, to abandon country, fortune, everything, and to escape with his child;
and I find some unfinished stanzas addressed to this son, whom afterwards we lost at Rome, written under the idea that we might suddenly be forced to cross the sea, so to preserve him. This poem, as well as the one previously quoted, were not written to exhibit the pangs of distress to the public; they were the spontaneous outbursts of a man who brooded over his wrongs and woes, and was impelled to shed the grace of his genius over the uncontrollable emotions of his heart. [Here follows the poem.]
"When afterwards this child died at Rome, he wrote, apropos of the English burying-ground in that city, 'This spot is the repository of a sacred loss, of which the yearnings of a parent's heart are now prophetic; he is rendered immortal by love, as his memory is by death. My beloved child lies buried here. I envy death the body far less than the oppressors the minds of those whom they have torn from me. The one can only kill the body, the other crushes the affections."" Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iii. 209, 210. The lines were composed before September 2, when Clara was born.
TEXT: i. 5 thou omit Rossetti.
ii. 8 fearless are Rossetti.
199 On Fanny Godwin. Daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and Gilbert Imlay, and adopted by Godwin. She committed suicide, by taking laudanum, at an inn at Swansea, October 9, 1816. Shelley had recently seen her in London.
200 Lines. The date is from the edition of 1824. 202 Death. TEXT: i. 4 the omit 18391,2.
5 called 1824.
201 Sonnet: Ozymandias. Signed Glirastes. See note on Sonnet: To the Nile.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1818
Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18392, pp. 229, 230: . . . “I Capuccini was a villa built on the site of a Capuchin convent, de
molished when the French suppressed religious houses; it was situated on the very overhanging brow of a low hill at the foot of a range of higher ones. The house was cheerful and pleasant; a vine-trellised walk, a pergola, as it is called in Italian, led from the hall door to a summer-house at the end of the garden, which Shelley made his study, and in which he began the Prometheus ; and here also, as he mentions in a letter, he wrote Julian and Maddalo; a slight ravine, with a road in its depth, divided the garden from the hill, on which stood the ruins of the ancient castle of Este, whose dark massive wall gave forth an echo, and from whose ruined crevices, owls and bats flitted forth at night, as the crescent moon sunk behind the black and heavy battlements. We looked from the garden over the wide plain of Lombardy, bounded to the west by the far Apennines, while to the east, the horizon was lost in misty distance. After the picturesque but limited view of mountain, ravine, and chestnut wood at the Baths of Lucca, there was something infinitely gratifying to the eye in the wide range of prospect commanded by our new abode.
"Our first misfortune, of the kind from which we soon suffered even more severely, happened here. Our little girl, an infant in whose small features I fancied that I traced great resemblance to her father, showed symptoms of suffering from the heat of the climate. Teething increased her illness and danger. We were at Este, and when we became alarmed, hastened to Venice for the best advice. When we arrived at Fusina, we found that we had forgotten our passport, and the soldiers on duty attempted to prevent our crossing the laguna; but they could not resist Shelley's impetuosity at such a moment. We had scarcely arrived at Venice, before life fled from the little sufferer, and we returned to Este to weep her loss.
"After a few weeks spent in this retreat, which were interspersed by visits to Venice, we proceeded southward. We often hear of persons disappointed by a first visit to Italy. This was not Shelley's case — the aspect of its nature, its sunny sky, its majestic storms; of the luxuriant vegetation of the country, and the noble marble-built cities, enchanted
him. The sight of the works of art was full [of] enjoyment and wonder; he had not studied pictures or statues before; he now did so with the eye of taste, that referred not to the rules of schools, but to those of nature and truth. The first entrance to Rome opened to him a scene of remains of antique grandeur that far surpassed his expectations; and the unspeakable beauty of Naples and its environs added to the impression he received of the transcendent and glorious beauty of Italy. As I have said, he wrote long letters during the first year of our residence in this country, and these, when published, will be the best testimonials of his appreciation of the harmonious and beautiful in art and nature, and his delicate taste in discerning and describing them.
"Our winter was spent at Naples. Here he wrote the fragments of Marenghi and The Woodman and the Nightingale, which he afterwards threw aside. At this time Shelley suffered greatly in health. He put himself under the care of a medical man, who promised great things, and made him endure severe bodily pain, without any good results. Constant and poignant physical suffering exhausted him; and though he preserved the appearance of cheerfulness, and often greatly enjoyed our wanderings in the environs of Naples, and our excursions on its sunny sea, yet many hours were passed when his thoughts, shadowed by illness, became gloomy, and then he escaped to solitude, and in verses, which he hid from fear of wounding me, poured forth morbid but too natural bursts of discontent and sadness. One looks back with unspeakable regret and gnawing remorse to such periods; fancying that had one been more alive to the nature of his feelings, and more attentive to soothe them, such would not have existed — and yet enjoying, as he appeared to do, every sight or influence of earth or sky, it was difficult to imagine that any melancholy he showed was aught but the effect of the constant pain to which he was a martyr.
"We lived in utter solitude - and such is often not the nurse of cheerfulness; for then, at least with those who have been exposed to adversity, the mind broods over its sorrows too intently; while the society of the enlightened, the witty,
and the wise, enables us to forget ourselves by making us the sharers of the thoughts of others, which is a portion of the philosophy of happiness. Shelley never liked society in numbers, it harassed and wearied him; but neither did he like loneliness, and usually when alone sheltered himself against memory and reflection, in a book. But with one or two whom he loved, he gave way to wild and joyous spirits, or in more serious conversation expounded his opinions with vivacity and eloquence. If an argument arose, no man ever argued better he was clear, logical, and earnest, in supporting his own views; attentive, patient, and impartial, while listening to those on the adverse side. Had not a wall of prejudice been raised at this time between him and his countrymen, how many would have sought the acquaintance of one, whom to know was to love and to revere! how many of the more enlightened of his contemporaries have since regretted that they did not seek him! how very few knew his worth while he lived, and of those few, several were withheld by timidity or envy from declaring their sense of it. But no man was ever more enthusiastically loved — more looked up to as one superior to his fellows in intellectual endowments and moral worth, by the few who knew him well, and had sufficient nobleness of soul to appreciate his superiority. His excellence is now acknowledged; but even while admitted, not duly appreciated. For who, except those who were acquainted with him, can imagine his unwearied benevolence, his generosity, his systematic forbearance? And still less is his vast superiority in intellectual attainments sufficiently understood — his sagacity, his clear understanding, his learning, his prodigious memory; all these, as displayed in conversation, were known to few while he lived, and are now silent in the tomb :
"Ahi orbo mondo ingrato,
Gran cagion hai di dever pianger meco;
Chè quel ben ch' era in te, perdut' hai seco.'"'
203 Sonnet: To the Nile. Keats to his brothers, February 16, "The Wednesday before last Shelley, Hunt, and I, wrote each a sonnet on the river Nile; some