Poems by Percy Besshe Shelley

Lines to an Indian Air

I ARISE from dreams of thee?
In the first sweet sleep of night,?
When the winds are breathing low?
And the stars are shining bright—?
I arise from dreams of thee, 5?
And a spirit in my feet?
Hath led me—who knows how??
To thy chamber-window, Sweet!?

The wandering airs they faint?
On the dark, the silent stream; 10?
The champak odours fail?
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;?
The nightingale's complaint?
It dies upon her heart,?
As I must die on thine, 15?
O belovèd, as thou art!?

O lift me from the grass!?
I die, I faint, I fail!?
Let thy love in kisses rain?
On my lips and eyelids pale. 20?
My cheek is cold and white, alas!?
My heart beats loud and fast;?
O press it close to thine again?
Where it will break at last!?

"I fear thy kisses gentle maiden"

I FEAR thy kisses gentle maiden;?
Thou needest not fear mine;?
My spirit is too deeply laden?
Ever to burthen thine.?

I fear thy mien thy tones thy motion; 5?
Thou needest not fear mine;?
Innocent is the heart's devotion?
With which I worship thine.?

Love's Philosophy

THE fountains mingle with the river?
And the rivers with the ocean ?
The winds of heaven mix for ever?
With a sweet emotion;?
Nothing in the world is single 5?
All things by a law divine?
In one another's being mingle—?
Why not I with thine??

See the mountains kiss high heaven ?
And the waves clasp one another; 10?
No sister-flower would be forgiven?
If it disdain'd its brother;?
And the sunlight clasps the earth ?
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—?
What are all these kissings worth 15?
If thou kiss not me??

To the Night

SWIFTLY walk over the western wave ?
Spirit of Night!?
Out of the misty eastern cave?
Where all the long and lone daylight ?
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear 5?
Which make thee terrible and dear —?
Swift be thy flight!?

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray ?
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day 10?
Kiss her until she be wearied out:?
Then wander o'er city and sea and land ?
Touching all with thine opiate wand—?
Come long-sought!?

When I arose and saw the dawn 15?
I sigh'd for thee;?
When light rode high and the dew was gone ?
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree ?
And the weary Day turn'd to his rest?
Lingering like an unloved guest 20?
I sigh'd for thee.?

Thy brother Death came and cried ?
Wouldst thou me? ?
Thy sweet child Sleep the filmy-eyed ?
Murmur'd like a noontide bee 25?
Shall I nestle near thy side??
Wouldst thou me? —And I replied ?
No, not thee! ?

Death will come when thou art dead ?
Soon too soon; 30?
Sleep will come when thou art fled:?
Of neither would I ask the boon?
I ask of thee belovèd Night—?
Swift be thine approaching flight ?
Come soon soon! 35?

The Flight of Love

WHEN the lamp is shatter'd?
The light in the dust lies dead—?
When the cloud is scatter'd ?
The rainbow's glory is shed.?
When the lute is broken 5?
Sweet tones are remember'd not;?
When the lips have spoken ?
Lov'd accents are soon forgot.?

As music and splendour?
Survive not the lamp and the lute 10?
The heart's echoes render?
No song when the spirit is mute—?
No song but sad dirges ?
Like the wind through a ruin'd cell ?
Or the mournful surges 15?
That ring the dead seaman's knell.?

When hearts have once mingl'd ?
Love first leaves the well-built nest;?
The weak one is singl'd?
To endure what it once possesst. 20?
O Love! who bewailest?
The frailty of all things here ?
Why choose you the frailest?
For your cradle your home and your bier??

Its passions will rock thee 25?
As the storms rock the ravens on high;?
Bright reason will mock thee?
Like the sun from a wintry sky.?
From thy nest every rafter?
Will rot and thine eagle home 30?
Leave thee naked to laughter ?
When leaves fall and cold winds come.?

"One word is too often profaned"

ONE word is too often profaned?
For me to profane it ?
One feeling too falsely disdain'd?
For thee to disdain it.?
One hope is too like despair 5?
For prudence to smother ?
And pity from thee more dear?
Than that from another.?

I can give not what men call love;?
But wilt thou accept not 10?
The worship the heart lifts above?
And the Heavens reject not:?
The desire of the moth for the star ?
Of the night for the morrow ?
The devotion to something afar 15?
From the sphere of our sorrow??


RARELY rarely comest thou ?
Spirit of Delight!?
Wherefore hast thou left me now?
Many a day and night??
Many a weary night and day 5?
'Tis since thou art fled away.?

How shall ever one like me?
Win thee back again??
With the joyous and the free?
Thou wilt scoff at pain. 10?
Spirit false! thou hast forgot?
All but those who need thee not.?

As a lizard with the shade?
Of a trembling leaf ?
Thou with sorrow art dismay'd; 15?
Even the sighs of grief?
Reproach thee that thou art not near ?
And reproach thou wilt not hear.?

Let me set my mournful ditty?
To a merry measure; 20?
Thou wilt never come for pity ?
Thou wilt come for pleasure:?
Pity then will cut away?
Those cruel wings and thou wilt stay.?

I love all that thou lovest 25?
Spirit of Delight!?
The fresh earth in new leaves drest?
And the starry night;?
Autumn evening and the morn?
When the golden mists are born. 30?

I love snow and all the forms?
Of the radiant frost;?
I love waves and winds and storms ?
Everything almost?
Which is Nature's and may be 35?
Untainted by man's misery.?

I love tranquil solitude ?
And such society?
As is quiet wise and good;?
Between thee and me 40?
What diff'rence? but thou dost possess?
The things I seek not love them less.?

I love Love—though he has wings ?
And like light can flee ?
But above all other things 45?
Spirit I love thee—?
Thou art love and life! O come!?
Make once more my heart thy home!?

Stanzas Written in Dejection near Naples

THE sun is warm the sky is clear ?
The waves are dancing fast and bright ?
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear?
The purple noon's transparent might:?
The breath of the moist earth is light 5?
Around its unexpanded buds;?
Like many a voice of one delight—?
The winds' the birds' the ocean-floods'—?
The city's voice itself is soft like solitude's.?

I see the deep's untrampled floor 10?
With green and purple seaweeds strown;?
I see the waves upon the shore?
Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown.?
I sit upon the sands alone;?
The lightning of the noontide ocean 15?
Is flashing round me and a tone?
Arises from its measured motion—?
How sweet did any heart now share in my emotion!?

Alas! I have nor hope nor health ?
Nor peace within nor calm around; 20?
Nor that content surpassing wealth ?
The sage in meditation found ?
And walk'd with inward glory crown'd;?
Nor fame nor power nor love nor leisure.?
Others I see whom these surround— 25?
Smiling they live and call life pleasure:?
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.?

Yet now despair itself is mild ?
Even as the winds and waters are;?
I could lie down like a tired child 30?
And weep away the life of care?
Which I have borne and yet must bear —?
Till death like sleep might steal on me ?
And I might feel in the warm air?
My cheek grow cold and hear the sea 35?
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.?

To a Skylark

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. 5?

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 singest. 10?

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. 15?

The pale purple even?
Melts around thy flight;?
Like a star of heaven?
In the broad daylight,?
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight— 20?

Keen as are the arrows?
Of that silver sphere,?
Whose intense lamp narrows?
In the white dawn clear?
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there. 25?

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 overflow'd. 30?

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: 35?

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 not: 40?

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 bower: 45?

Like a glow-worm golden?
In a dell of dew,?
Scattering unbeholden?
Its aerial hue?
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view: 50?

Like a rose embower'd?
In its own green leaves,?
By warm winds deflower'd,?
Till the scent it gives?
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingèd thieves. 55?

Sound of vernal showers?
On the twinkling grass,?
Rain-awaken'd flowers—?
All that ever was?
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass. 60?

Teach us, sprite or bird,?
What sweet thoughts are thine:?
I have never heard?
Praise of love or wine?
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine. 65?

Chorus hymeneal,?
Or triumphal chaunt,?
Match'd with thine, would be all?
But an empty vaunt—?
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want. 70?

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 pain? 75?

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. 80?

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? 85?

We look before and after,?
And pine for what is not:?
Our sincerest laughter?
With some pain is fraught;?
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. 90?

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. 95?

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! 100?

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 now! 105?

Ozymandias of Egypt

I MET a traveller from an antique land?
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone?
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand ?
Half sunk a shatter'd visage lies whose frown?
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command 5?
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read?
Which yet survive stamp'd on these lifeless things ?
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.?
And on the pedestal these words appear:?
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 10?
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! ?
Nothing beside remains: round the decay?
Of that colossal wreck boundless and bare ?
The lone and level sands stretch far away.?

To a Lady with a Guitar

ARIEL to Miranda:—Take?
This slave of music for the sake?
Of him who is the slave of thee;?
And teach it all the harmony?
In which thou canst and only thou 5?
Make the delighted spirit glow ?
Till joy denies itself again?
And too intense is turn'd to pain.?
For by permission and command?
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand 10?
Poor Ariel sends this silent token?
Of more than ever can be spoken;?
Your guardian spirit Ariel who?
From life to life must still pursue?
Your happiness for thus alone 15?
Can Ariel ever find his own.?
From Prospero's enchanted cell ?
As the mighty verses tell ?
To the throne of Naples he?
Lit you o'er the trackless sea 20?
Flitting on your prow before ?
Like a living meteor.?
When you die the silent Moon?
In her interlunar swoon?
Is not sadder in her cell 25?
Than deserted Ariel:—?
When you live again on earth ?
Like an unseen Star of birth?
Ariel guides you o'er the sea?
Of life from your nativity:— 30?
Many changes have been run?
Since Ferdinand and you begun?
Your course of love and Ariel still?
Has track'd your steps and served your will.?
Now in humbler happier lot 35?
This is all remember'd not;?
And now alas the poor Sprite is?
Imprison'd for some fault of his?
In a body like a grave—?
From you he only dares to crave 40?
For his service and his sorrow?
A smile to-day a song to-morrow.?

The artist who this viol wrought?
To echo all harmonious thought ?
Fell'd a tree while on the steep 45?
The woods were in their winter sleep ?
Rock'd in that repose divine?
On the wind-swept Apennine;?
And dreaming some of autumn past ?
And some of spring approaching fast 50?
And some of April buds and showers ?
And some of songs in July bowers ?
And all of love; and so this tree —?
Oh that such our death may be!—?
Died in sleep and felt no pain 55?
To live in happier form again:?
From which beneath heaven's fairest star ?
The artist wrought this loved guitar;?
And taught it justly to reply?
To all who question skilfully 60?
In language gentle as thine own;?
Whispering in enamour'd tone?
Sweet oracles of woods and dells ?
And summer winds in sylvan cells.?
For it had learnt all harmonies 65?
Of the plains and of the skies ?
Of the forests and the mountains ?
And the many-voicèd fountains;?
The clearest echoes of the hills ?
The softest notes of falling rills 70?
The melodies of birds and bees ?
The murmuring of summer seas ?
And pattering rain and breathing dew ?
And airs of evening; and it knew?
That seldom-heard mysterious sound 75?
Which driven on its diurnal round ?
As it floats through boundless day ?
Our world enkindles on its way:—?
All this it knows but will not tell?
To those who cannot question well 80?
The spirit that inhabits it:?
It talks according to the wit?
Of its companions; and no more?
Is heard than has been felt before?
By those who tempt it to betray 85?
These secrets of an elder day.?
But sweetly as its answers will?
Flatter hands of perfect skill ?
It keeps its highest holiest tone?
For one beloved Friend alone. 90?

The Invitation

BEST and brightest come away —?
Fairer far than this fair day ?
Which like thee to those in sorrow?
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow?
To the rough year just awake 5?
In its cradle on the brake.?
The brightest hour of unborn Spring?
Through the winter wandering ?
Found it seems the halcyon morn?
To hoar February born; 10?
Bending from heaven in azure mirth ?
It kiss'd the forehead of the earth ?
And smiled upon the silent sea ?
And bade the frozen streams be free ?
And waked to music all their fountains 15?
And breathed upon the frozen mountains ?
And like a prophetess of May?
Strew'd flowers upon the barren way ?
Making the wintry world appear?
Like one on whom thou smilest dear. 20?

Away away from men and towns ?
To the wild woods and the downs—?
To the silent wilderness ?
Where the soul need not repress?
Its music lest it should not find 25?
An echo in another's mind ?
While the touch of Nature's art?
Harmonizes heart to heart.?

Radiant Sister of the Day?
Awake! arise! and come away! 30?
To the wild woods and the plains ?
To the pools where winter rains?
Image all their roof of leaves ?
Where the pine its garland weaves?
Of sapless green and ivy dun 35?
Round stems that never kiss the sun;?
Where the lawns and pastures be?
And the sandhills of the sea;?
Where the melting hoar-frost wets?
The daisy-star that never sets 40?
And wind-flowers and violets?
Which yet join not scent to hue?
Crown the pale year weak and new;?

When the night is left behind?
In the deep east dim and blind 45?
And the blue noon is over us ?
And the multitudinous?
Billows murmur at our feet ?
Where the earth and ocean meet ?
And all things seem only one 50?
In the universal Sun.?

The Recollection

NOW the last day of many days,?
All beautiful and bright as thou,?
The loveliest and the last, is dead:?
Rise, Memory, and write its praise!?
Up—to thy wonted work! come, trace 5?
The epitaph of glory fled,?
For now the earth has changed its face,?
A frown is on the heaven's brow.?

We wander'd to the Pine Forest?
That skirts the ocean's foam. 10?
The lightest wind was in its nest,?
The tempest in its home;?
The whispering waves were half asleep,?
The clouds were gone to play,?
And on the bosom of the deep 15?
The smile of heaven lay:?
It seem'd as if the hour were one?
Sent from beyond the skies?
Which scatter'd from above the sun?
A light of Paradise! 20?

We paused amid the pines that stood?
The giants of the waste,?
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude?
As serpents interlaced,—?
And soothed by every azure breath 25?
That under heaven is blown,?
To harmonies and hues beneath,?
As tender as its own.?
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep?
Like green waves on the sea, 30?
As still as in the silent deep?
The ocean-woods may be.?

How calm it was!—The silence there?
By such a chain was bound,?
That even the busy woodpecker 35?
Made stiller by her sound?
The inviolable quietness;?
The breath of peace we drew?
With its soft motion made not less?
The calm that round us grew. 40?
There seem'd, from the remotest seat?
Of the wide mountain waste?
To the soft flower beneath our feet,?
A magic circle traced,—?
A spirit interfused around 45?
A thrilling silent life;?
To momentary peace it bound?
Our mortal nature's strife;—?
And still I felt the centre of?
The magic circle there 50?
Was one fair form that fill'd with love?
The lifeless atmosphere.?

We paused beside the pools that lie?
Under the forest bough;?
Each seem'd as 'twere a little sky 55?
Gulf'd in a world below—?
A firmament of purple light?
Which in the dark earth lay,?
More boundless than the depth of night?
And purer than the day— 60?
In which the lovely forests grew?
As in the upper air,?
More perfect both in shape and hue?
Than any spreading there.?
There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn, 65?
And through the dark-green wood?
The white sun twinkling like the dawn?
Out of a speckled cloud.?
Sweet views which in our world above?
Can never well be seen 70?
Were imaged in the water's love?
Of that fair forest green;?
And all was interfused beneath?
With an Elysian glow,?
An atmosphere without a breath, 75?
A softer day below.?
Like one beloved, the scene had lent?
To the dark water's breast?
Its every leaf and lineament?
With more than truth exprest; 80?
Until an envious wind crept by,?
Like an unwelcome thought?
Which from the mind's too faithful eye?
Blots one dear image out.?
—Though thou art ever fair and kind, 85?
The forests ever green,?
Less oft is peace in Shelley's mind?
Than calm in waters seen!?

To the Moon

ART thou pale for weariness?
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth ?
Wandering companionless?
Among the stars that have a different birth —?
And ever-changing like a joyless eye 5?
That finds no object worth its constancy??

"A widow bird sate mourning for her Love"

A WIDOW bird sate mourning for her Love?
Upon a wintry bough;?
The frozen wind crept on above ?
The freezing stream below.?

There was no leaf upon the forest bare. 5?
No flower upon the ground ?
And little motion in the air?
Except the mill-wheel's sound.?

A Dream of the Unknown

I DREAM'D that as I wander'd by the way?
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring,?
And gentle odours led my steps astray,?
Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring?
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay 5?
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling?
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,?
But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.?

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,?
Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth, 10?
The constellated flower that never sets;?
Faint oxlips; tender bluebells, at whose birth?
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets—?
Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth—?
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, 15?
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.?

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,?
Green cow-bind and the moonlight-colour'd may,?
And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine?
Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day; 20?
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine?
With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;?
And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold,?
Fairer than any waken'd eyes behold.?

And nearer to the river's trembling edge 25?
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd with white,?
And starry river-buds among the sedge,?
And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,?
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge?
With moonlight beams of their own watery light; 30?
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green?
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.?

Methought that of these visionary flowers?
I made a nosegay, bound in such a way?
That the same hues, which in their natural bowers 35?
Were mingled or opposed, the like array?
Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours?
Within my hand,—and then, elate and gay,?
I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come?
That I might there present it—oh! to Whom? 40?

Hymn to the Spirit of Nature

LIFE of Life! thy lips enkindle?
With their love the breath between them;?
And thy smiles before they dwindle?
Make the cold air fire: then screen them?
In those locks where whoso gazes 5?
Faints entangled in their mazes.?

Child of Light! thy limbs are burning?
Through the veil which seems to hide them ?
As the radiant lines of morning?
Through thin clouds ere they divide them; 10?
And this atmosphere divinest?
Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.?

Fair are others: none beholds thee;?
But thy voice sounds low and tender?
Like the fairest for it folds thee 15?
From the sight that liquid splendour;?
And all feel yet see thee never ?
As I feel now lost for ever!?

Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest?
Its dim shapes are clad with brightness 20?
And the souls of whom thou lovest?
Walk upon the winds with lightness?
Till they fail as I am failing ?
Dizzy lost yet unbewailing!?

Written among the Euganean Hills North Italy

MANY a green isle needs must be?
In the deep wide sea of Misery,?
Or the mariner, worn and wan,?
Never thus could voyage on?
Day and night, and night and day, 5?
Drifting on his dreary way,?
With the solid darkness black?
Closing round his vessel's track;?
Whilst above, the sunless sky?
Big with clouds, hangs heavily, 10?
And behind the tempest fleet?
Hurries on with lightning feet,?
Riving sail, and cord, and plank,?
Till the ship has almost drank?
Death from the o'er-brimming deep, 15?
And sinks down, down, like that sleep?
When the dreamer seems to be?
Weltering through eternity;?
And the dim low line before?
Of a dark and distant shore 20?
Still recedes, as ever still?
Longing with divided will,?
But no power to seek or shun,?
He is ever drifted on?
O'er the unreposing wave, 25?
To the haven of the grave.?

Ay, many flowering islands lie?
In the waters of wide Agony:?
To such a one this morn was led?
My bark, by soft winds piloted. 30?
—'Mid the mountains Euganean?
I stood listening to the p?an?
With which the legion'd rooks did hail?
The Sun's uprise majestical:?
Gathering round with wings all hoar, 35?
Through the dewy mist they soar?
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven?
Bursts; and then—as clouds of even?
Fleck'd with fire and azure, lie?
In the unfathomable sky— 40?
So their plumes of purple grain?
Starr'd with drops of golden rain?
Gleam above the sunlight woods,?
As in silent multitudes?
On the morning's fitful gale 45?
Through the broken mist they sail;?
And the vapours cloven and gleaming?
Follow down the dark steep streaming,?
Till all is bright, and clear, and still?
Round the solitary hill. 50?

Beneath is spread like a green sea?
The waveless plain of Lombardy,?
Bounded by the vaporous air,?
Islanded by cities fair;?
Underneath day's azure eyes, 55?
Ocean's nursling, Venice lies,—?
A peopled labyrinth of walls,?
Amphitrite's destined halls,?
Which her hoary sire now paves?
With his blue and beaming waves. 60?
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,?
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined?
On the level quivering line?
Of the waters crystalline;?
And before that chasm of light, 65?
As within a furnace bright,?
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,?
Shine like obelisks of fire,?
Pointing with inconstant motion?
From the altar of dark ocean 70?
To the sapphire-tinted skies;?
As the flames of sacrifice?
From the marble shrines did rise?
As to pierce the dome of gold?
Where Apollo spoke of old. 75?

Sun-girt City! thou hast been?
Ocean's child, and then his queen;?
Now is come a darker day,?
And thou soon must be his prey,?
If the power that raised thee here 80?
Hallow so thy watery bier.?
A less drear ruin then than now,?
With thy conquest-branded brow?
Stooping to the slave of slaves?
From thy throne among the waves 85?
Wilt thou be—when the sea-mew?
Flies, as once before it flew,?
O'er thine isles depopulate,?
And all is in its ancient state,?
Save where many a palace-gate 90?
With green sea-flowers overgrown,?
Like a rock of ocean's own,?
Topples o'er the abandon'd sea?
As the tides change sullenly.?
The fisher on his watery way, 95?
Wandering at the close of day,?
Will spread his sail and seize his oar?
Till he pass the gloomy shore,?
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep,?
Bursting o'er the starlight deep, 100?
Lead a rapid masque of death?
O'er the waters of his path.?

Noon descends around me now:?
'Tis the noon of autumn's glow,?
When a soft and purple mist 105?
Like a vaporous amethyst,?
Or an air-dissolvèd star?
Mingling light and fragrance, far?
From the curved horizon's bound?
To the point of heaven's profound, 110?
Fills the overflowing sky,?
And the plains that silent lie?
Underneath; the leaves unsodden?
Where the infant Frost has trodden?
With his morning-wingèd feet 115?
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;?
And the red and golden vines?
Piercing with their trellised lines?
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;?
The dun and bladed grass no less, 120?
Pointing from this hoary tower?
In the windless air; the flower?
Glimmering at my feet; the line?
Of the olive-sandall'd Apennine?
In the south dimly islanded; 125?
And the Alps, whose snows are spread?
High between the clouds and sun;?
And of living things each one;?
And my spirit, which so long?
Darken'd this swift stream of song,— 130?
Interpenetrated lie?
By the glory of the sky;?
Be it love, light, harmony,?
Odour, or the soul of all?
Which from heaven like dew doth fall, 135?
Or the mind which feeds this verse,?
Peopling the lone universe.?

Noon descends, and after noon?
Autumn's evening meets me soon,?
Leading the infantine moon 140?
And that one star, which to her?
Almost seems to minister?
Half the crimson light she brings?
From the sunset's radiant springs:?
And the soft dreams of the morn 145?
(Which like wingèd winds had borne?
To that silent isle, which lies?
'Mid remember'd agonies,?
The frail bark of this lone being),?
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing, 150?
And its ancient pilot, Pain,?
Sits beside the helm again.?

Other flowering isles must be?
In the sea of Life and Agony:?
Other spirits float and flee 155?
O'er that gulf: ev'n now, perhaps,?
On some rock the wild wave wraps,?
With folding wings they waiting sit?
For my bark, to pilot it?
To some calm and blooming cove, 160?
Where for me, and those I love,?
May a windless bower be built,?
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,?
In a dell 'mid lawny hills?
Which the wild sea-murmur fills, 165?
And soft sunshine, and the sound?
Of old forests echoing round,?
And the light and smell divine?
Of all flowers that breathe and shine.?
—We may live so happy there, 170?
That the Spirits of the Air?
Envying us, may ev'n entice?
To our healing paradise?
The polluting multitude:?
But their rage would be subdued 175?
By that clime divine and calm,?
And the winds whose wings rain balm?
On the uplifted soul, and leaves?
Under which the bright sea heaves;?
While each breathless interval 180?
In their whisperings musical?
The inspirèd soul supplies?
With its own deep melodies;?
And the Love which heals all strife?
Circling, like the breath of life, 185?
All things in that sweet abode?
With its own mild brotherhood:—?
They, not it, would change; and soon?
Every sprite beneath the moon?
Would repent its envy vain, 190?
And the Earth grow young again!?

Ode to the West Wind

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being—?
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead?
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,?
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,?
Pestilence-stricken multitudes!—O thou 5?
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed?
The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,?
Each like a corpse within its grave, until?
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow?
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10?
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)?
With living hues and odours plain and hill—?
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere—?
Destroyer and Preserver—hear, O hear!?

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15?
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,?
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,?
Angels of rain and lightning! they are spread?
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,?
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 20?
Of some fierce M?nad, ev'n from the dim verge?
Of the horizon to the zenith's height—?
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge?
Of the dying year, to which this closing night?
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 25?
Vaulted with all thy congregated might?
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere?
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:—O hear!?

Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams?
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 30?
Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,?
Beside a pumice isle in Bai?'s bay,?
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers?
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,?
All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 35?
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou?
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers?
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below?
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear?
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 40?
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear?
And tremble and despoil themselves:—O hear!?

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;?
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;?
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 45?
The impulse of thy strength, only less free?
Than thou, O uncontrollable!—if even?
I were as in my boyhood, and could be?
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,?
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 50?
Scarce seem'd a vision,—I would ne'er have striven?
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.?
O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!?
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!?
A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 55?
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.?

Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is:?
What if my leaves are falling like its own!?
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies?
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 60?
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,?
My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!?
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,?
Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;?
And, by the incantation of this verse, 65?
Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth?
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!?
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth?
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,?
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? 70?

The Poet's Dream

ON a Poet's lips I slept ?
Dreaming like a love-adept?
In the sound his breathing kept;?
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses ?
But feeds on the aerial kisses 5?
Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses.?
He will watch from dawn to gloom?
The lake-reflected sun illume?
The blue bees in the ivy-bloom ?
Nor heed nor see what things they be— 10?
But from these create he can?
Forms more real than living man ?
Nurslings of Immortality!?

A Lament

O WORLD! O Life! O Time!?
On whose last steps I climb ?
Trembling at that where I had stood before;?
When will return the glory of your prime??
No more—oh never more! 5?

Out of the day and night?
A joy has taken flight:?
Fresh spring and summer and winter hoar?
Move my faint heart with grief but with delight?
No more—oh never more! 10?

?"Music when soft voices die"

MUSIC when soft voices die ?
Vibrates in the memory;?
Odours when sweet violets sicken ?
Live within the sense they quicken;?

Rose leaves when the rose is dead 5?
Are heap'd for the belovèd's bed:?
And so thy thoughts when thou art gone ?
Love itself shall slumber on.

Hymn of Pan

FROM the forests and highlands?
We come we come;?
From the river-girt islands ?
Where loud waves are dumb ?
Listening to my sweet pipings. 5?
The wind in the reeds and the rushes ?
The bees on the bells of thyme ?
The birds on the myrtle bushes ?
The cicale above in the lime ?
And the lizards below in the grass 10?
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was ?
Listening to my sweet pipings.?

Liquid Peneus was flowing ?
And all dark Tempe lay?
In Pelion's shadow outgrowing 15?
The light of the dying day ?
Speeded by my sweet pipings.?
The Sileni and Sylvans and Fauns ?
And the Nymphs of the woods and waves ?
To the edge of the moist river-lawns 20?
And the brink of the dewy caves ?
And all that did then attend and follow ?
Were silent with love as you now Apollo ?
With envy of my sweet pipings.?

I sang of the dancing stars 25?
I sang of the d?dal earth ?
And of heaven and the giant wars ?
And love and death and birth.?
And then I changed my pipings—?
Singing how down the vale of M?nalus 30?
I pursued a maiden and clasp'd a reed:?
Gods and men we are all deluded thus!?
It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed.?
All wept—as I think both ye now would ?
If envy or age had not frozen your blood— 35?
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.?


THE world's great age begins anew ?
The golden years return ?
The earth doth like a snake renew?
Her winter weeds outworn;?
Heaven smiles and faiths and empires gleam 5?
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.?

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains?
From waves serener far;?
A new Peneus rolls his fountains?
Against the morning star; 10?
Where fairer Tempes bloom there sleep?
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.?

A loftier Argo cleaves the main ?
Fraught with a later prize;?
Another Orpheus sings again 15?
And loves and weeps and dies;?
A new Ulysses leaves once more?
Calypso for his native shore.?

O write no more the tale of Troy ?
If earth Death's scroll must be— 20?
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy?
Which dawns upon the free ?
Although a subtler Sphinx renew?
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.?

Another Athens shall arise 25?
And to remoter time?
Bequeath like sunset to the skies ?
The splendour of its prime;?
And leave if naught so bright may live ?
All earth can take or Heaven can give. 30?

Saturn and Love their long repose?
Shall burst more bright and good?
Than all who fell than One who rose ?
Than many unsubdued:?
Not gold not blood their altar dowers 35?
But votive tears and symbol flowers.?

O cease! must hate and death return??
Cease! must men kill and die??
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn?
Of bitter prophecy! 40?
The world is weary of the past—?
O might it die or rest at last!?

The Moon

AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,

Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,?
Out of her chamber, led by the insane?
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,?
The mood arose up in the murky east, 5?
A white and shapeless mass.?

Art thou pale for weariness

Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,?
Wandering companionless?
Among the stars that have a different birth, 10?
And ever changing, like a joyless eye?
That finds no object worth its constancy??

The Indian Serenade

I ARISE from dreams of thee?
In the first sweet sleep of night,?
When the winds are breathing low,?
And the stars are shining bright.?
I arise from dreams of thee, 5?
And a spirit in my feet?
Hath led me—who knows how??
To thy chamber window, Sweet!?

The wandering airs they faint?
On the dark, the silent stream— 10?
And the champak's odours [pine]?
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;?
The nightingale's complaint,?
It dies upon her heart,?
As I must on thine, 15?
O belovèd as thou art!?

O lift me from the grass!?
I die! I faint! I fail!?
Let thy love in kisses rain?
On my lips and eyelids pale. 20?
My cheek is cold and white, alas!?
My heart beats loud and fast:?
O press it to thine own again,?
Where it will break at last!?

From the Arabic?

MY faint spirit was sitting in the light?
Of thy looks my love;?
It panted for thee like the hind at noon?
For the brooks my love.?
Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight 5?
Bore thee far from me;?
My heart for my weak feet were weary soon ?
Did companion thee.?

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed ?
Or the death they bear 10?
The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove?
With the wings of care;?
In the battle in the darkness in the need ?
Shall mine cling to thee ?
Nor claim one smile for all the comfort love 15?
It may bring to thee.?


WHEN the lamp is shatter'd ?
The light in the dust lies dead;?
When the cloud is scatter'd ?
The rainbow's glory is shed;?
When the lute is broken 5?
Sweet tones are remember'd not?
When the lips have spoken ?
Loved accents are soon forgot.?

As music and splendour?
Survive not the lamp and the lute 10?
The heart's echoes render?
No song when the spirit is mute—?
No song but sad dirges ?
Like the wind through a ruin'd cell ?
Or the mournful surges 15?
That ring the dead seaman's knell.?

When hearts have once mingled ?
Love first leaves the well-built nest;?
The weak one is singled?
To endure what it once possest. 20?
O Love who bewailest?
The frailty of all things here ?
Why choose you the frailest?
For your cradle your home and your bier??

Its passions will rock thee 25?
As the storms rock the ravens on high:?
Bright reason will mock thee ?
Like the sun from a wintry sky.?
From thy nest every rafter?
Will rot and thine eagle home 30?
Leave thee naked to laughter ?
When leaves fall and cold winds come.?


AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon ?
Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even:?
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon ?
And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.?
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5?
Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood:?
Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay:?
Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.?

Away away! to thy sad and silent home;?
Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10?
Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come ?
And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.?
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head ?
The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet:?
But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15?
Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet.?

The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose ?
For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep;?
Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows;?
Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep. 20?
Thou in the grave shalt rest:—yet till the phantoms flee ?
Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile ?
Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free?
From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.

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