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“From far across the sea
I hear a loud lament,
O list, O list!
“With this last year of the life of Shelley these Notes end. They are not what I intended them to be. I began with energy and a burning desire to impart to the world, in worthy language, the sense I have of the virtues and genius of the Beloved and the Lost ; my strength has failed under the task. Recurrence to the past — full of its own deep and unforgotten joys and sorrows, contrasted with succeeding years of painful and solitary struggle—has shaken my health. Days of great suffering have followed my attempts to write, and these again produced a weakness and languor that spread their sinister influence over these Notes. I dislike speaking of myself, but cannot help apologizing to the dead, and to the public, for not having executed in the manner I desired the history I engaged to give of Shelley's writings.”
[The remainder of the Note, though of great interest and written with feeling and power, is almost wholly biographical. It describes the summer at Lerici and Shelley's death. Such portions as refer to specific poems have been placed under those poems. The original MS. of Mrs. Shelley's dirge, in Mr. Frederickson's possession, gives a different version. Her revised version, as published by her, though gaining in finish and compactness, loses in spontaneity and feeling. The original is dated, November, 1827, and is as follows:
“This morn the gallant bark, Love,
Sailed on a sunny sea ;
Ah woe! ah woe!
By spirits of the deep
" Thou liest upon the shore, Love,
Beside the knelling surge,
O come, O come,
From far across the sea, Love,
I hear a wild lament,
O list! O list!
353 Lines. Text: Rossetti follows the Trelawny MS.
Shelley's Note : “For Jane and Williams only to see.”
Medwin, Shelley Papers : “ Shelley was a martyr to a most painful complaint, which constantly menaced to terminate fatally ; and was subject to violent paroxysms which, to his irritable nerves, were each a separate death. I had seen magnetism practised in India and at Paris, and at his earnest request consented to try its efficacy. Mesmer himself could not have hoped for more complete success. The imposition of my hand on his forehead instantaneously put a stop to the
spasm, and threw him into a magnetic sleep, which for want of a better word is called somnambulism. Mrs. Shelley and another lady [Mrs. Williams] were present. The experiment was repeated more than once. During his trances I put some questions to
him. He always pitched his voice in the same tone
my departure from Pisa he was magnetized by a lady, which gave rise to the beautiful stanzas entitled The Magnetic Lady to her Patient, and during which operation he made the same reply to an enquiry as to his disease and its cure as he had done to me, • What would cure me would kill me.' ... Mrs. Shelley also magnetized him, but soon discontinued the practice, from finding that he got up in his sleep, and went one night to the window (fortunately barred), having taken to his old habit of sleep-walking, which I mentioned, in
his boyhood and also in London.” Text: i. 1, ii. 1 Sleep on 18391.
ii. 7 chased 18391,2. iv. 7 Speaks 18391.
MS. Trelawny. 348 To Edward Williams. Shelley to Williams (no date]:
" My dear Williams : Looking over the portfolio in which
my friend used to keep his verses, and in which those I sent you the other day were found, I have lit upon these ; which, as they are too dismal for me to keep, I send you. If any of the stanzas should please you, you may read them to Jane, but to no one else. And yet, on second thoughts, I had rather you would not. Yours ever affectionately, P. B. S.” Rossetti, Note on the poem.
Williams's Journal, Saturday, January 26, 1822 : “S. sent us some beautiful but too melancholy lines (“The Serpent is shut out from Paradise ').” Fortnightly Review, June, 1878. Byron named Shelley the Serpent. [For a further account of the Williamses, see MEMOIR.]
Text: i. 1 which Rossetti.
iv. 2 lately Rossetti.
4 on 18391,2, Rossetti.
7 carnival 18391.
Mrs. Shelley 18391 follows in every particular Ascham, 1834, and made her corrections in 18392. It seemed better to note her readings rather than As
cham's, in the footnotes. 351 Lines. From the Boscombe MS. through Garnett.
Forman unites them with the poem preceding in the
text, by conjecture for which there is no safe ground. 356 To Jane: the Invitation. Williams's Journal, February
2, 1822 : “Fine warm day. Jane accompanies Mary and S. to the seashore through the Cascini. They return about three.” Fortnightly Review, June, 1878.
MS. Trelawny. 359 To Jane : the Recollection. Shelley to Mrs. Williams
with the poem (no date] : "To Jane : not to be opened unless you are alone, or with Williams.” Rossetti,
Note on the poem. Text: v. 36 water Rossetti.
MS. Trelawny. 362 To Jane: with a Guitar. Trelawny, Records, i. 103,
107 : “ The strong light streamed through the opening of the trees. One of the pines, undermined by the water, had fallen into it. Under its lee, and nearly hidden, sat the Poet, gazing on the dark mirror beneath, so lost in his bardish reverie that he did not hear my approach. . . . The day I found Shelley in the pine-forest he was writing verses on a guitar. I picked up a fragment, but could only make out the first two lines. . . . It was a frightful scrawl ; words smeared out with his finger, and one upon the other, over and over in tiers, and all run together 'in most admired disorder ;' it might have been taken for a sketch of a marsh overrun with bulrushes, and the blots for wild ducks ; such a dashed-off daub as self-conceited artists mistake for a manifestation
58 that 1832, 1833, 18391,
MS. Trelawny. 365 To Jane. Shelley to Mrs. Williams with the verses (no
date] : "I sat down to write some words for an ariette which might be profane ; but it was in vain to struggle with the ruling spirit who compelled me to speak of things sacred to yours and to Wilhelm Meister's indulgence. I commit them to your secrecy and your mercy, and will try to do better another time.” Ros
setti, Note on the poem. Text: Transcript, Frederickson in an unknown hand.
ii. 1 soft || pale
5 had then || hath
6 Its || Thine
2 dear || soft
MSS. Trelawny, Frederickson. 366 The Isle. Garnett conjectures that these lines were in
tended for the Unfinished Drama. 366 Dirge. Text : 6 stain all editions. 366 Lines written in the Bay of Lerici. From the Boscombe MS.
The lines were written during the last weeks of Shelley's life, perhaps, as Garnett conjectures, about May 1, the last time that Shelley was at Lerici
at the time of the full moon. Text : 11 though Garnett, Macmillan's || though now Garnett,
Relics. 31 saw Garnett, Macmillan's || watched Garnett, Relics. 37 They omit, Forman, Dowden.