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T. L. PEACOCK-PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
And tell how now, amid wreck and sor PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY row,
(Dedication of Queen Mab, 1812-13) And lives he still, then? Yes! Old and Whose is the love that, gleaming through hoary
the world, At thirty-nine, from despair and Wards off the poisonous arrow of its woe,
scorn? He lives, enduring what future story Whose is the warm and partial praise, Will never know.
Virtue's most sweet reward ?
Harriet! on thine: thou wert my purer
mind; Thou wert the inspiration of my song; 10
Thine are these early wilding flowers,
Though garlanded by me.
years may roll, Each floweret gathered in my heart It consecrates to thine.
There is a fever of the spirit,
The brand of Cain's unresting doom,
Glows like the lamp in Tullia's tomb:
Like dreams of shadowy smoke depart. When hope, love, life itself, are only Dust
spectral memories dead and
cold The unfed fire burns bright and lonely,
Like that undying lamp of old: And by that drear illumination,
Till time its clay-built home has rent, Thought broods feeling's desola
tion The soul is its own monument.
Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know
first glow, Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee
These common woes I feel. One loss is mine
5 Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore. Thou wert as a lone star, whose light did
shine On some frail bark in winter's midnight
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood In chårnals and on coffins, where black
25 Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve, Hoping to still these obstinate questionings Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease Of thee and thine, by forcing some lone to be.
ghost, Thy messenger, to render up the tale
Of what we are. In lone and silent hours, From ALASTOR
When night makes a weird sound of its
own stillness, Invocation to Nature
Like an inspired and desperate alchemist (1815)
Staking his very life on some dark hope
Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks Earth, Ocean, Air, beloved brotherhood !
With my most innocent love, until strange If our great Mother has imbued my soul
tears, With aught of natural piety to feel Uniting with those breathless kisses, Your love, and recompense the boon with made mine;
Such magic as compels the charmèd night If dewy morn, and odorous noon, and To render up thy charge; and, though
even, With sunset and its gorgeous ministers, Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary, And solemn midnight's tingling silentness; Enough from incommunicable dream, If Autumn's hollow sighs in the sere wood, And twilight phantasms, and deep noonday And Winter robing with pure snow and thought,
Has shone within me, that serenely now Of starry ice the gray grass and bare And moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre boughs:
Suspended in the solitary dome If Spring's voluptuous pantings when she
Of some mysterious and deserted fane, breathes
I wait thy breath, Great Parent, that my Her first sweet kisses — have been dear to
May modulate with murmurs of the air, If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast And motions of the forests and the sea, I consciously have. injured, but still loved
And voice of living beings, and woven And cherished these my kindred; then hymns forgive
Of night and day, and the deep heart of This boast, beloved brethren, and with
draw No portion of your wonted favor now!
HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL Mother of this unfathomable world!
BEAUTY Favor my solemn song, for I have loved
(1816) Thee ever, and thee only; I have
watched Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy The awful shadow of some unseen Power steps,
Floats though unseen amongst us, visitAnd my heart ever gazes on the depth
ing Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my This various world with as inconstant bed
As summer winds that creep from flower
to Aower; — Like moonbeams that behind some piny
Each human heart and countenance; Like hues and harmonies of evening,
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
Love, Hope, and Self-esteem like clouds
depart And come, for some uncertain moments
lent. Man were immortal and omnipotent, Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou
art, Keep with thy glorious train firm state
within his heart.
That wax and wane in lovers' eyes! Thou, that to human thought art nourish
Spirit of Beauty, that dost consecrate With thine own hues all thou dost shine
upon Of human thought or form, where art thou gone?
15 Why dost thou pass away and leave our
state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and
desolate? Ask why the sunlight not forever Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain
river, Why aught should fail and fade that once
- why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope?
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and
sped Through many a listening chamber, cave
and ruin, And starlight wood, with fearful steps
pursuing Hopes of high talk with the departed dead. I called on poisonous names with which
our youth is fed;
When, musing deeply on the lot
wooing All vital things that wake to bring News of birds and blossoming, –
Sudden, thy shadow fell on me: I shrieked, and clasped
my hands in ecstasy!
To sage or poet these responses given; Therefore the names of Dæmon, Ghost,
and Heaven Remain the records of their vain en
deavor, Frail spells, whose uttered charm might
not avail to sever,
The toil which stole from thee so many
an hour Is ended — and the fruit is at thy feet! No longer where the woods to frame a
bower With interlaced branches mix and meet, Or where, with sound like many voices
sweet, Waterfalls leap among
wild islands green Which framed for my lone boat a lone
retreat Of moss-grown trees and weeds, shall
I be seen: But beside thee, where still my heart has
The day becomes more solemn and serene When noon is past
there is a harmony In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, 75 Which through the summer is not heard or
seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not
been! Thus let thy power, which like the
Its calm, to one who worships thee,
Whom, Spirit fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind.
(Dedication of The Revolt of Islam,
So now my summer task is ended, Mary, And I return to thee, mine own heart's
From the near schoolroom voices that,
alas! Were but one echo from a world of
woes The harsh and grating strife of tyrants
and of foes.