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ODE TO THE WEST WIND 1

Shook from the tangled boughs of

Heaven and Occan,

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() 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

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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!

If even

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.

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Like withered leaves to quicken a new

birth! And, by the incantation of this verse,

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,

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And the stars are shining bright: Are those thoughts of tender gladness I arise from dreams of thee,

Which, like Zephyrs on the billow,
And a spirit in my feet

Make thy gentle soul their pillow.
Hath led me—who knows how !
To thy chamber window, Sweet!

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.
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart;-
As I must on thine,
O! beloved as thou art !

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
Let thy love in kisses rain

Is my heart when thine is near it.
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas !
My heart beats loud and fast ;-

TO WILLIAM SHELLEY
Oh! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.

(With what truth I may say,

Roma! Roma! Roma!

Non è più come era prima!)
CANCELLED PASSAGE OF THE
INDIAN SERENADE

My lost William, thou in whom
O PILLOW cold and wet with tears! Some bright spirit lived, and did
Thou breathest sleep no more! That decaying robe consume

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.
They are robes that fit the wearer-
Those soft limbs of thine, whose
motion

Where art thou, my gentle child ?
Ever falls and shifts and glances

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

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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
A joy was crewhile
In thy voice and thy smile,

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

cleft,

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,

glare

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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
LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY

With a beauty clear and warm.

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