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Thou shadowest forth that mighty
shape in story,
As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet tender :
The light-invested angel Poesy Was drawn from the dim world to welcome thee.
And thou in painting didst transcribe all taught
By loftiest meditations; marble knew The sculptor's fearless soul--and as he wrought,
The grace of his own power and freedom grew.
And more than all, heroic, just, sublime Thou wert among the false-was this thy crime?
Yes; and on Pisa's marble walls the twine
Of direst weeds hangs garlanded-the snake
Inhabits its wrecked palaces;-in thine A beast of subtler venom now doth make
Its lair, and sits amid their glories overthrown,
And thus thy victim's fate is as thine
The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,
And love and freedom blossoms but to wither;
And good and ill like vines entangled
So that their grapes may oft be plucked together;
Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make
Thy heart rejoice for dead Mazenghi's sake.
No record of his crime remains in story, But if the morning bright as evening shone,
It was some high and holy deed, by glory
Pursued into forgetfulness, which won From the blind crowd he made secure and free
The patriot's meed, toil, death, and infamy.
For when by sound of trumpet was declared
A price upon his life, and there was set A penalty of blood on all who shared So much of water with him as might wet
Or as the moonlight fills the open sky Struggling with darkness-as a tube
Peoples some Indian dell with scents which lie
Like clouds above the flower from which they rose,
The singing of that happy nightingale In this sweet forest, from the golden close
Of evening, till the star of dawn may fail,
Was interfused upon the silentness; The folded roses and the violets pale
Heard her within their slumbers, the abyss
Of heaven with all its planets; the dull
Of the night-cradled earth; the loneliness
Of the circumfluous waters, -every sphere
And every flower and beam and cloud and wave,
And every wind of the mute atmosphere,
And every beast stretched in its rugged
And every bird lulled on its mossy bough,
And every silver moth fresh from the grave,
Which is its cradle-ever from below Aspiring like one who loves too fair, too far,
To be consumed within the purest glow
Of one serene and unapproached star, As if it were a lamp of earthly light, Unconscious, as some human lovers
Itself how low, how high beyond all height
The heaven where it would perish!— and every form
That worshipped in the temple of the night
Was awed into delight, and by the charm
Girt as with an interminable zone, Whilst that sweet bird, whose music was a storm
Of sound, shook forth the dull oblivion Out of their dreams; harmony became love
In every soul but one
And so this man returned with axe and
At evening close from killing the tall
The soul of whom by nature's gentle law
Was each a wood-nymph, and kept ever green
The pavement and the roof of the wild
Chequering the sunlight of the blue
With jagged leaves, -and from the forest tops
Singing the winds to sleep-or weeping oft
Fast showers of aërial water drops
Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,
Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness;
Around the cradles of the birds aloft
They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers
Hang like moist clouds :-or, where high branches kiss,
Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis, Surrounded by the columns and the
WRITTEN ON HEARING THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON.
WHAT! alive and so bold, oh earth? Art thou not over bold?
What! leapest thou forth as of old In the light of thy morning mirth, The last of the flock of the starry fold?
Ha! leapest thou forth as of old? Are not the limbs still when the ghost is fled,
And canst thou move, Napoleon being dead?
How! is not thy quick heart cold?
What spark is alive on thy hearth? How! is not his death-knell knolled,
And livest thou still, Mother Earth? Thou wert warming thy fingers old O'er the embers covered and cold Of that most fiery spirit, when it fledWhat, Mother, dost thou laugh now he is dead?
Who has known me of old," replied Earth,
"Or who has my story told? It is thou who art over bold." And the lightning of scorn laughed forth
As she sung, "To my bosom I fold All my sons when their knell is knolled;
And so with living motion all are fed, And the quick spring like weeds out of the dead.
"Still alive and still bold," shouted Earth,
"I grow bolder and still more bold. The dead fill me ten thousand fold Fuller of speed, and splendour, and mirth,
I was cloudy, and sullen, and cold,
Till by the spirit of the mighty dead
"Ay. alive, and still bold," muttered
Napoleon's fierce spirit rolled,
Leave the millions who follow to
The metal before it be cold;
And weave into his shame, which like the dead
Shrouds me, the hopes that from his glory fled."
TO THE MOON.
ART thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven, and gazing of the earth,
Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye That finds no object worth its constancy?
SONG FOR TASSO.
I LOVED-alas! our life is love:
I thought, but not as now I do,
Of all that men had thought before, And all that nature shows, and more.
And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
Sometimes I see before me flee
] still watching it, Till by the grated casement's ledge It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.
THE WANING MOON.
AND like a dying lady, lean and pale, Who totters forth, wrapt in a gaury veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky earth, A white and shapeless mass.
THESE are two friends whose lives were undivided,
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under the grave; let not their bones be parted,
For their two hearts in life were single hearted.
INVOCATION TO MISERY.
Come, be happy !-sit near me:
Misery! we have known each other,
'Tis an evil lot, and yet
There our tent shall be the willow,
Us to slumber, deep and dull.
Ha! thy frozen pulses flutter
Hasten to the bridal bedUnderneath the grave 'tis spread: In darkness may our love be hid, Oblivion be our coverlid
We may rest, and none forbid.
Clasp me till our hearts be grown
We may dream, in that long sleep,
Thou mayst dream of her with me.
Let us laugh, and make our mirth,
All the wide world beside us
Shadows shifting from a scene-
AN ARIETTE FOR MUSIC.
TO A LADY SINGING TO HER ACCOMPANIMENT ON THE GUITAR.
As the moon's soft splendour O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven Is thrown,
So thy voice most tender To the strings without soul has given Its own.
The stars will awaken, Though the moon sleep a full hour later
No leaf will be shaken Whilst the dews of thy melody scatter Delight.
Though the sound overpowers, Sing again, with thy sweet voice revealing
Of some world far from ours, Where music and moonlight and feeling
WITH A GUITAR.
THE artist who this idol wrought,
The artist wrought that loved Guitar,
THE MAGNETIC LADY TO
SLEEP on! sleep on! forget thy pain:
My spirit on thy brain;
My pity on thy heart, poor friend;
Seal thee from thine hour of woe; And brood on thee, but may not blend With thine.
Sleep on! sleep on! I love thee not;
Might have been lost like thee;
Sleep, sleep, and with the slumber of
And forget me, for I can never Be thine.
Like a cloud big with a May shower,
Speaks like a second youth again. By mine thy being is to its deep Possest.
The spell is done. How feel you now? Better-Quite well, replied
The sleeper. What would do You good when suffering and awake? What cure your head and side?— 'Twould kill me what would cure my pain;
And as I must on earth abide Awhile, yet tempt me not to break My chain.
TO THE QUEEN OF MY
SHALL we roam, my love,
* This poem is considered doubtful; but it was published by Captain Medwin as Shelley's.