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TO WORDSWORTH

Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know

That things depart which never may return; Childhood and yoạth, friendship and love's first

glow, Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to

mourn. These common woes I feel. One loss is mine,

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 roar; Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood

Above the blind and battling multitude;

In honored poverty thy voice did weave
Songs consecrate to truth and liberty ;-

Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve,
Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.

FEELINGS OF A REPUBLICAN ON THE

FALL OF BONAPARTE

I HATED thee, fallen tyrant! I did groan

To think that a most unambitious slave,
Like thou, shouldst dance and revel on the grave
Of Liberty. Thou mightst have built thy throne

To Wordsworth. Published with Alastor, 1816.

Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte. Published with Alastor, 1816.

3 thou, shouldst || thee, Rossetti conj., should, Rossetti.

Where it had stood even now: thou didst prefer

A frail and bloody pomp which time has swept
In fragments towards oblivion. Massacre,

For this I prayed, would on thy sleep have crept, Treason and Slavery, Rapine, Fear, and Lust,

And stifled thee, their minister. I know

Too late, since thou and France are in the dust, That Virtue owns a more eternal foe

Than Force or Fraud : old Custom, Legal Crime, And bloody Faith, the foulest birth of time.

LINES

The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;

And all around,

With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow

Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;
The

green grass was not seen ;
The birds did rest

On the bare thorn's breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o'er many a crack

Which the frost had made between.

Thine eyes glowed in the glare

Of the moon's dying light; Lines. Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || November, 1815. The Literary Pocket-Book, 1823. Published by Hunt, 1823.

As a fen-fire's beam

On a sluggish stream Gleams dimly - so the moon shone there, And it yellowed the strings of thy tangled hair,

That shook in the wind of night.

The moon made thy lips pale, beloved
The wind made thy bosom chill;

The night did shed

On thy dear head
Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
Where the bitter breath of the naked sky

Might visit thee at will.
iii. 6 tangled, Mrs. Shelley, 1824 || raven, Hunt, 1823.

POEMS WRITTEN IN 1816

THE SUNSET

THERE late was One within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky,
Genius and death contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail, like the trances of the summer air,
When, with the lady of his love, who then
First knew the unreserve of mingled being,
He walked along the pathway of a field,
Which to the east a hoar wood shadowed o'er,
But to the west was open to the sky.
There now the sun had sunk; but lines of

gold
Hung on the ashen clouds, and on the points
Of the far level grass and nodding flowers, ,
And the old dandelion's hoary beard,
And, mingled with the shades of twilight, lay
On the brown massy woods; and in the east
The broad and burning moon lingeringly rose
Between the black trunks of the crowded trees,
While the faint stars were gathering overhead.
“ Is it not strange, Isabel,” said the youth,

The Sunset. Published in part by Hunt in The Literary PocketBook, 1823, 9–20, with title, Sunset. From an unpublished poem, and, 28-42, with title, Grief. A Fragment; and, entire, by Mrs. Shelley, 1824. Composed at Bishopsgate in the spring.

4 death, Mrs. Shelley, 1839 1 || youth, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

“ I never saw the sun ? We will walk here To-morrow; thou shalt look on it with me.”

That night the youth and lady mingled lay
In love and sleep; but when the morning came
The lady found her lover dead and cold.
Let none believe that God in mercy gave
That stroke. The lady died not, nor grew wild,
But

year by year lived on ; in truth I think
Her gentleness and patience and sad smiles,
And that she did not die, but lived to tend
Her aged father, were a kind of madness,
If madness 'tis to be unlike the world.
For but to see her were to read the tale
Woven by some subtlest bard to make hard hearts
Dissolve away in wisdom-working grief. .
Her eyes were black and lustreless and wan,
Her eyelashes were worn away with tears,
Her lips and cheeks were like things dead - So

pale ; Her hands were thin, and through their wandering

veins And weak articulations might be seen Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day, Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee!

“Inheritor of more than earth can give, Passionless calm and silence unreproved, Whether the dead find, oh, not sleep, but rest, And are the uncomplaining things they seem,

22 sunrise? We will wake, Forman conj. 37 Hunt, 1823 || omit, Mrs. Shelley, 1824.

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