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As of some hideous engine whose brazen teeth
smash The thin winds and soft waves into thunder ; the
And hissings, crawl fast o'er the smooth ocean
streams, Each sound like a centipede. Near this commo
tion A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean, The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other Is winning his way from the fate of his brother, To his own with the speed of despair. Lo! a boat Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of
thought Urge on the keen keel, - the brine foams. At the
stern Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets
burn In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone 'Tis dwindling and sinking, 'tis now almost gone Of the wreck of the vessel peers out of the sea. With her left hand she grasps it impetuously, With her right hand she sustains her fair infant.
Death, Fear, Love, Beauty, are mixed in the atmosphere, Which trembles and burns with the fervor of dread Around her wild eyes, her bright hand, and her
head, Like a meteor of light o'er the waters! her child Is yet smiling, and playing, and murmuring ; so The false deep ere the storm. Like a sister and
160 impetuously, Shelley, 1820 || convulsively, Harvard MS.
brother The child and the ocean still smile on each other, Whilst
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
In their noonday dreams.
The sweet buds every one,
As she dances about the sun.
And whiten the green plains under,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast ; And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Lightning my pilot sits ;
It struggles and howls at fits;
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea ;
Over the lakes and the plains,
The Spirit he loves remains ; And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead ; As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea be
Its ardors of rest and of love,
From the depth of heaven above,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
By the midnight breezes strewn ;
Which only the angels hear,
The stars peep behind her and peer ;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees, When I widen the rent in
wind-built tent, Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas, Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ; The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
Over a torrent sea,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
Is the million-colored bow ;
While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
I change, but I cannot die.
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
TO A SKYLARK
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
Pourest thy full heart
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
The blue deep thou wingest,
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
Thou dost float and run;
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
To a Skylark || the, Harvard MS. cancelled. Published with Prometheus Unbound, 1820. Composed at Leghorn, 1820.
14 Thou dost || Thy wings, Harvard MS. cancelled.