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ODE TO THE WEST WIND1

I

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O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Angels of rain and lightning: there are Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the On the blue surface of thine airy surge, leaves dead Like the bright hair uplifted from the Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter head fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic
red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged 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 (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving every-
where;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, Oh
hear!

Shook from the tangled boughs of
Heaven and Ocean,

II

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,

Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,

Of some fierce Mænad, even 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,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmos-
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:
phere

Oh hear !

III

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams

The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baia's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and
towers

Quivering within the wave's intenser
day,

1 This poem was conceived and chiefly written All overgrown with azure moss and in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animat! ing, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.

The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well known to naturalists. The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathises with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it.

flowers

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

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The love of living leaves and weeds, Among these tombs and ruins wild;— Let me think that through low seeds Of sweet flowers and sunny grass,

II

Thy deep eyes, a double Planet,
Gaze the wisest into madness

With soft clear fire, the winds that Into their hues and scents may pass

fan it

A portion-

TO WILLIAM SHELLEY

THY little footsteps on the sands

Of a remote and lonely shore;
The twinkling of thine infant hands,
Where now the worm will feed no

more:

Thy mingled look of love and glee
When we returned to gaze on thee.

TO MARY SHELLEY

My dearest Mary, wherefore hast thou
gone,

And left me in this dreary world alone!
Thy form is here indeed—a lovely one-
But thou art fled, gone down the dreary
road,

That leads to Sorrow's most obscure
abode
Thou sittest on the hearth of pale despair,

For thine own sake I cannot follow thee.

TO MARY SHELLEY

THE world is dreary,
And I am weary

Of wandering on without thee, Mary;
A joy was erewhile

In thy voice and thy smile,
And 'tis gone, when I should be gone
too, Mary.

III

And from its head as from one body grow, As grass out of a watery rock, Where Hairs which are vipers, and they curl

and flow

I

Ir lieth, gazing on the midnight sky, Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine;

Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
The agonies of anguish and of death.

Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;

Its horror and its beauty are divine. Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,

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And their long tangles in each other lock,

IV

And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes;

ON THE MEDUSA OF LEON. Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad sur-
prise
Out of the cave this hideous light had
cleft,

ARDO DA VINCI IN THE
FLORENTINE GALLERY

And with unending involutions show
Their mailed radiance, as it were to
mock
The torture and the death within, and

saw

The solid air with many a ragged jaw.

And he comes hastening like a moth that hies

After a taper; and the midnight sky
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.

V

'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror; For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare

Kindled by that inextricable error,
Which makes a thrilling vapour of
the air
Become a and ever-shifting mirror
Of all the beauty and the terror there-
A woman's countenance, with serpent
locks,

Gazing in death on heaven from those In the harmony divine
wet rocks.

LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY

I

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;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?—

11

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

FRAGMENT: "FOLLOW TO THE
DEEP WOOD'S WEEDS"
FOLLOW to the deep wood's weeds,
Follow to the wild briar dingle,
Where we seek to intermingle,
And the violet tells her tale
To the odour-scented gale,
For they two have enough to do
Of such work as I and you.

THE BIRTH OF PLEASURE

AT the creation of the Earth
Pleasure, that divinest birth,
From the soil of Heaven did rise,

Wrapt in sweet wild melodies-
Like an exhalation wreathing
To the sound of air low-breathing
Through Æolian pines, which make
A shade and shelter to the lake
Whence it rises soft and slow;
Her life-breathing [limbs] did flow

Of an ever-lengthening line
Which enwrapt her perfect form
With a beauty clear and warm.

FRAGMENT: LOVE THE

UNIVERSE

AND who feels discord now or sorrow?
Love is the universe to-day-
These are the slaves of dim to-morrow,
Darkening Life's labyrinthine way.

FRAGMENT: "A GENTLE STORY
OF TWO LOVERS YOUNG"

A GENTLE story of two lovers young,
Who met in innocence and died in
sorrow,

And of one selfish heart, whose rancour

clung

Like curses on them; are ye slow to
borrow

The lore of truth from such a tale?
Or in this world's deserted vale,
Do ye not see a star of gladness
Pierce the shadows of its sadness,
When ye are cold, that love is a light

sent

From Heaven, which none shall quench,
to cheer the innocent?

FRAGMENT: LOVE'S ATMO

SPHERE

THERE is a warm and gentle atmo-
sphere

About the form of one we love, and
thus

As in a tender mist our spirits are

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