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ODE TO THE WEST WIND 1
Shook from the tangled boughs of
Heaven and Occan,
() Wild West Wind, thou breath of Angels of rain and lightning: there are Autumn's being,
spread 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,
Of some fierce Manad, even from the Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Of the horizon to the zenith's height l'estilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, The locks of the approaching storm. Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
Thou dirge The winged seeds, where they lie cold of the dying year, to which this closing and low,
night Each like a corpse within its grave, Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, until
Vaulted with all thy congregated might Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Of vapours, from whose solid atmos.
phere ller clarion o'er the dreaming earth, Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst : and fill
Oh hear! (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed
in air) With living hues and odours plain and
Thou who didst waken from his summer hill:
dreams Wild Spirit, which art moving every- The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, where;
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline Destroyer and preserver; hear, Oh streams, hear!
Beside a pumice isle in Baix's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and Thou on whose stream, ʼmid the steep
towers sky's commotion,
Quivering within the wave's intenser Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves
day, are shed, 1 This poem was conceived and chiefly written All overgrown with azure moss and in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence,
flowers and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animat: So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! ing, was collecting the vapours which pour down
Thou the autumnal rains. They began; as I foresaw. For whose path the Atlantic's level at sunset with a viol tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and light
powers ning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.
The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion Cleave themselves into chasms, while of the third stanza is well known to naturalists.
far below The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathises with that The sea-blooms and the oozy woods of the land in the change of seasons, and is
which wear consequently influenced by the winds which
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with Scatter, as from unextinguished fear,
hearth And tremble and despoil themselves: Ashes and sparks, my words among Oh hear!
mankind! Be through my lips to unawakened
earth If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
The trumpet of a prophecy! O, wind, If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; If Winter comes, can Spring be far
behind ? A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
AN EXHORTATION The impulse of thy strength, only less free
CHAMELEONS feed on light and air : Than thou, O uncontrollable!
Poets' food is love and fame : I were as in my boyhood, and could be if in this wide world of care The comrade of thy wanderings over with as little toil as they,
Poets could but find the same heaven,
Would they ever change their hue As then, when to outstrip thy skiey
As the light chameleons do, speed
Suiting it to every ray Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er
Twenty times a day? have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore
Poets are on this cold earth,
As chameleons might be, need.
Hidden from their early birth Oh lift me as a wave, a Icaf, a cloud !
In a cave beneath the sea; I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
Where light is, chameleons change: A heavy weight of hours has chained and
Where love is not, poets do: bowed
Fame is love disguised: if few One too like thee: tameless, and swift, Find either never think it strange and proud.
That poets range.
Yet dare not stain with wealth or power Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is :
A poet's free and heavenly mind: What if my leaves are falling like its If bright chameleons should devour own!
Any food but beams and wind, The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
They would grow as earthly soon
As their brother lizards are. Will take from both a deep, autumnal Children of a sunnier star, tone,
Spirits from beyond the moon, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Oh refuse the boon!
spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
THE INDIAN SERENADE Drive my dead thoughts over the uni.
Like withered leaves to quicken a new
birth! And, by the incantation of this verse,
I arise from dreams of thee
And the stars are shining bright: Are those thoughts of tender gladness I arise from dreams of thee,
Which, like Zephyrs on the billow,
Make thy gentle soul their pillow.
If, whatever face thou paintest
In those eyes, grows pale with pleasure, The wandering airs they saint
If the fainting soul is saintest On the dark, the silent stream
When it hears thy harp's wild measure, And the Champak odours fail
Wonder not that when thou speakest Like sweet thoughts in a dream ;
Of the weak my heart is weakest.
As dew beneath the wind of morning,
As the sea which Whirlwinds waken,
As the birds at thunder's warning, Oh lift me from the grass !
As aught mute yet deeply shaken, I die! I faint! I fail !
As one who feels an unseen spirit
Is my heart when thine is near it.
TO WILLIAM SHELLEY
(With what truth I may say,
Roma! Roma! Roma!
Non è più come era prima!)
My lost William, thou in whom
Which its lustre faintly hid,
Here its ashes find a tomb, TO SOPHIA [MISS STACEY]
But beneath this pyramid
Thou art not-if a thing divine Thou art fair, and few are fairer
Like thee can die, thy funeral shrine of the Nymphs of earth or ocean;
Is thy mother's grief and mine.
Where art thou, my gentle child ?
Let me think thy spirit feeds, As the life within them dances.
With its life intense and mild,
The love of living leaves and weeds,
Among these tombs and ruins wild ;Thy deep eyes, a double Planet,
Let me think that through low seeds Gaze the wisest into madness
Of sweet flowers and sunny grass, With soft clear fire,—the winds that Into their hues and scents may pass fan it
TO WILLIAM SHELLEY Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
The agonies of anguish and of death. Tuy little footsteps on the sands
Of a remote and lonely shore ; The twinkling of thine infant hands,
Yet it is less the horror than the grace Where now the worm will feed no
Which turns the gazer's spirit into
stone; Thy mingled look of love and glee
Whereon the lineaments of that dead When we returned to gaze on thee.
face Are graven, till the characters be grown
Into itself, and thought no more can TO MARY SHELLEY
trace; My dearest Mary, wherefore hast thou
'Tis the melodious hue of beauty
thrown gone, And left me in this dreary world alone! Athwart the darkness and the glare of Thy form is here indeed--a lovely one
pain, But thou art fled, gone down the dreary Which humanise and harmonise the road,
strain. That leads to Sorrow's most obscure abode
And from its head as from one body grow, Thou sittest on the hearth of pale despair,
grass out of a watery rock,
Where Hairs which are vipers, and they curl For thine own sake I cannot follow thee.
and flow And their long tangles in each other
lock, TO MARY SHELLEY
And with unending involutions show The world is dreary,
Their mailed radiance, as it were to And I am weary
mock Of wandering on without thee, Mary;
The torture and the death within, and
The solid air with many a ragged jaw. And ’tis gone, when I should be gone too, Mary.
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, berest
Of sense, has fitted with a mad surARDO DA VINCI IN THE
prise FLORENTINE GALLERY
Out of the cave this hideous light had
And he comes hastening like a moth Ir lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
that hies Upon the cloudy mountain peak After a taper; and the midnight sky supine;
Flares, a light more dread than obscurity. Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;
Its horror and its beauty are divine. Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie 'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror; Loveliness like a shadow, from which For from the serpents gleams a brazen shine,
Kindled by that inextricable error, Wrapt in sweet wild melodiesWhich makes a thrilling vapour of Like an exhalation wreathing the air
To the sound of air low-breathing Become a and ever-shifting mirror Through Æolian pines, which make
Of all the beauty and the terror there-- | A shade and shelter to the lake A woman's countenance, with serpent Whence it rises soft and slow; locks,
ller life-breathing [limbs] did flow Gazing in death on heaven from those in the harmony divine wet rocks.
Of an ever-lengthening line
Which enwrapt her perfect form
With a beauty clear and warm.