Obrázky na stránke

Of the rent ice-cliff which the sunbeams by others, yet the effect of the whole was call, fascinating and delightful.

Mont Blanc was inspired by a view of that mountain and its surrounding peaks and valleys, as he lingered on the Bridge of Arve on his way through the Valley of Chamouni. Shelley makes the following mention of this poem in his publication of Letters from Switserland: "The poem the History of Six Weeks' Tour, and author of the two letters from Chamouni entitled Mont Blanc is written by the and Vevai. It was composed under the

Plunging into the vale-it is the blast
Descending on the pines-the torrents




DEAR home, thou scene of earliest hopes and joys,

The least of which wronged Memory ever makes

Bitterer than all thine unremembered immediate impression of the deep and


powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe; and, as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul, rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untamable wildness and inaccessible solemnity from which those feelings sprang."



A SHOVEL of his ashes took
From the hearth's obscurest nook,
Muttering mysteries as she went.
Helen and Henry knew that Granny
Was as much afraid of ghosts as any,

And so they followed hard-
But Helen clung to her brother's arm,
And her own spasm made her shake.


SHELLEY wrote little during this year. The poem entitled The Sunset was written in the Spring of the year, while still residing at Bishopgate. He spent the summer on the shores of the Lake of Geneva. The Hymn to Intellectual Beauty was conceived during his voyage round the lake with Lord Byron. He occupied himself during this voyage by reading the Nouvelle Héloïse for the first time. The reading it on the very spot where the scenes are laid added to the interest; and he was at once surprised and charmed by the passionate eloquence and earnest enthralling interest that pervade this work. There was something in the character of Saint-Preux, in his abnegation of self, and in the worship he paid to Love, that coincided with Shelley's own disposition; and, though differing in many of the views and shocked

This was an eventful year, and less time was given to study than usual. In the list of his reading I find, in Greek, Theocritus, the Prometheus of Eschylus, several of Plutarch's Lives, and the works of Lucian. In Latin, Lucretius, Pliny's Letters, the Annals and Germany of Tacitus. In French, the History of the French Revolution by Lacretelle. read for the first time, this year, MonHe taigne's Essays, and regarded them ever instructive books in the world. after as one of the most delightful and scanty in English works: Locke's Essay, The list is Political Justice, and Coleridge's Lay Sermon, form nearly the whole. his frequent habit to read aloud to me in It was the evening; in this way we read, this year, the New Testament, Paradise Lost, Spenser's Faery Queen, and Don Quixote.




A PALE dream came to a Lady fair,
And said, A boon, a boon,
I know the secrets of the air,
And things are lost in the glare of day,

Which I can make the sleeping see, If they will put their trust in me.


And thou shalt know of things unknown,
If thou wilt let me rest between
The veiny lids, whose fringe is thrown
Over thine eyes so dark and sheen :
And half in hope, and half in fright,
The Lady closed her eyes so bright.


At first all deadly shapes were driven
Tumultuously across her sleep,
And o'er the vast cope of bending heaven
All ghastly-visaged clouds did sweep;
And the Lady ever looked to spy
If the golden sun shone forth on high.


And as towards the east she turned,
She saw aloft in the morning air,
Which now with hues of sunrise burned,

A great black Anchor rising there; And wherever the Lady turned her eyes, It hung before her in the skies.


The sky was blue as the summer sea,

The depths were cloudless overhead, The air was calm as it could be,

There was no sight or sound of dread, But that black Anchor floating still Over the piny eastern hill.

To see that Anchor ever hanging, And veiled her eyes; she then did hear The sound as of a dim low clanging, And looked abroad if she might know Was it aught else, or but the flow Of the blood in her own veins, to and fro.

VII There was a mist in the sunless air, Which shook as it were with an earthquake's shock,

But the very weeds that blossomed there

Were moveless, and each mighty rock

Stood on its basis steadfastly;

The Anchor was seen no more on high.


But piled around, with summits hid
In lines of cloud at intervals,
Stood many a mountain pyramid

Among whose everlasting walls
Two mighty cities shone, and ever
Through the red mist their domes did


On two dread mountains, from whose crest,

Might seem, the eagle, for her brood, Would ne'er have hung her dizzy nest,

Those tower-encircled cities stood.

A vision strange such towers to see, Sculptured and wrought so gorgeously, Where human art could never be.




From touch of mortal instrument,

The Lady grew sick with a weight of Shot o'er the vales, or lustre lent From its own shapes magnificent.


And columns framed of marble white,

And giant fanes, dome over dome Piled, and triumphant gates, all bright With workmanship, which could not


But still the Lady heard that clang
Filling the wide air far away;
And still the mist whose light did

Among the mountains shook alway, So that the Lady's heart beat fast, As half in joy, and half aghast, On those high domes her look she cast


Sudden, from out that city sprung
A light that made the earth grow red;
Two flames that each with quivering

Licked its high domes, and overhead
Among those mighty towers and fanes
Dropped fire, as a volcano rains
Its sulphurous ruin on the plains.


And hark! a rush as if the deep

Had burst its bonds; she looked behind


And now those raging billows came

Where that fair Lady sate, and she Was borne towards the showering flame By the wild waves heaped tumultuously

And on a little plank, the flow
Of the whirlpool bore her to and fro.


At last her plank an eddy crost,

And bore her to the city's wall,
Which now the flood had reached almost;
It might the stoutest heart appal
To hear the fire roar and hiss
Through the domes of those mighty

And saw over the western steep

A raging flood descend, and wind Through that wide vale; she felt no fear, But said within herself, 'Tis clear These towers are Nature's own, and she For it was filled with sculptures rarest,


To save them has sent forth the sea.

Of forms most beautiful and strange, Like nothing human, but the fairest

Of winged shapes, whose legions range Throughout the sleep of those that are, Like this same Lady, good and fair.


The eddy whirled her round and round
Before a gorgeous gate, which stood
Piercing the clouds of smoke which


The plank whereon that Lady sate

Was driven through the chasms, about and about,

Its aëry arch with light like blood; She looked on that gate of marble clear, With wonder that extinguished fear.


And as she looked, still lovelier grew
Those marble forms;-the sculptor


Was a strong spirit, and the hue
Of his own mind did there endure
After the touch, whose power had


The flames were fiercely vomited

From every tower and every dome, And dreary light did widely shed

O'er that vast flood's suspended foam, Such grace, was in some sad change Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stained cope of heaven's light.



She looked, the flames were dim, the flood

Grew tranquil as a woodland river Winding through hills in solitude; Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver,

Between the peaks so desolate

Of the drowning mountains, in and And their fair limbs to float in motion, Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.

out, As the thistle-beard on a whirlwind



While the flood was filling those hollow And their lips moved; one seemed to vales. speak,

When suddenly the mountains crackt, And through the chasm the flood did break

With an earth-uplifting cataract : The statues gave a joyous scream, And on its wings the pale thin dream Lifted the Lady from the stream.



THUS to be lost and thus to sink and die,
Perchance were death indeed!-Con-
stantia, turn!

In thy dark eyes a power like light doth lie,
Even though the sounds which were
thy voice, which burn
Between thy lips, are laid to sleep;
Within thy breath, and on thy hair,
like odour it is yet,

And from thy touch like fire doth leap.
Even while I write, my burning
cheeks are wet,
Alas, that the torn heart can bleed,
but not forget!


The dizzy flight of that phantom pale

Waked the fair Lady from her sleep, The blood and life within those snowy And she arose, while from the veil


Teach witchcraft to the instrumental strings.

Of her dark eyes the dream did creep, And she walked about as one who knew That sleep has sights as clear and true As any waking eyes can view.

My brain is wild, my breath comes

The blood is listening in my frame,
And thronging shadows, fast and thick,
Fall on my overflowing eyes;
My heart is quivering like a flame;
As morning dew, that in the sunbeam


A breathless awe, like the swift change

Unseen, but felt in youthful slumbers,

Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably


Thou breathest now in fast ascending numbers.

The cope of heaven seems rent and cloven

By the enchantment of thy strain,
And on my shoulders wings are woven,
To follow its sublime career,
Beyond the mighty moons that wane

Upon the verge of nature's utmost sphere,

Till the world's shadowy walls are past and disappear.


Her voice is hovering o'er my soul-it lingers

O'ershadowing it with soft and lulling


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« PredošláPokračovať »