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I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,

Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the


I arise and unbuild it again.


HAIL to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever


In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are bright'ning,

Thou dost float and run;

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

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To a Skylark || the, Harvard MS. cancelled. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820. Composed at Leghorn, 1820.

14 Thou dost | Thy wings, Harvard MS. cancelled.

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Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear

but yet I hear thy shrill de

Until we hardly see we feel that it is there;

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All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,

As when Night is bare

From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is


What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a Poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden

Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded


20 shrill || blithe, Harvard MS. cancelled.

21 Keen as are || Thy notes, like, Harvard MS. cancelled.

33 rainbow clouds there || the rainbows, Harvard MS. cancelled.

Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her



Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,

By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy

wingèd thieves.

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was

Joyous and clear and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, Sprite or Bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine;

45 sweet as love, which || which is love—and, Harvard MS. cancelled.

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53 warm | the, Harvard MS. cancelled.

55 faint || rich, Harvard MS. cancelled; those, Harvard MS. || the, Harvard MS. cancelled, these, Shelley, 1820.

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymeneal,

Or triumphal chant,

Matched with thine, would be all

But an empty vaunt,

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?

What fields or waves or mountains?

What shapes of sky or plain?

What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of


With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be ;

Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee;

Thou lovest - but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep

Thou of death must deem

Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter

72 happy drunken, Harvard MS. cancelled.

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest


Yet if we could scorn

Hate and pride and fear;

If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow The world should listen then


as I am listening


Yet Freedom, yet, thy banner torn but flying,
Streams like a thunder-storm against the wind.


A GLORIOUS people vibrated again

The lightning of the Nations; Liberty, From heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,

104 would, Shelley, 1820 || should, Harvard MS.

Ode to Liberty. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820.

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