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The dizzy flight of that phantom pale
Waked the fair Lady from her sleep,
Thus to be lost and thus to sink and die, Perchance were death indeed! - Constantia,
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 odor it
And from thy touch like fire doth leap.
wetAlas, that the torn heart can bleed, but not
A breathless awe, like the swift change
To Constantia. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824.
Wild, sweet, but uncommunicably strange,
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,
O’ershadowing it with soft and lulling wings; The blood and life within those snowy fingers
Teach witchcraft to the instrumental strings. My brain is wild, my breath comes quick
The blood is listening in my frame,
Fall on my overflowing eyes;
As morning dew, that in the sunbeam dies,
Whilst, like the world-surrounding air, thy song Flows on, and fills all things with melody.
Now is thy voice a tempest swift and strong, On which, like one in trance upborne,
Secure o'er rocks and waves I sweep, Rejoicing like a cloud of morn;
Now 'tis the breath of summer night, Which, when the starry waters sleep,
Round western isles, with incense-blossoms bright, Lingering, suspends my soul in its voluptuous flight.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The country's curse is on thee, darkest crest
Of that foul, knotted, many-headed worm Which rends our Mother's bosom! — Priestly Pest !
Masked Resurrection of a buried Form !
Thy country's curse is on thee! Justice sold,
Truth trampled, Nature's landmarks overthrown, And heaps of fraud-accumulated gold,
Plead, loud as thunder, at Destruction's throne.
And, whilst that sure slow Angel, which aye stands
Watching the beck of Mutability,
And let a daughter's hope be on thy tomb; To the Lord Chancellor. Published without title by Mrs. Shelley, v.-ix. and xiv., 18391, and with title, i.-xvi., 18392. The authorities enumerated below support the text except in cases noted.
iii. 1 sure slow, Harvard MS., Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Forman, Frederickson') || slow sure, Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Forman, Frederickson”), 18392.
iii. 1 Angel, which aye || cancelled, by Shelley, for Fate which ever, Frederickson?.
Be both, on thy gray head, a leaden cowl
To weigh thee down to thine approaching doom !
I curse thee! By a parent's outraged love,
By hopes long cherished and too lately lost, – By gentle feelings thou couldst never prove,
By griefs which thy stern nature never crossed ;
By those infantine smiles of happy light,
Which were a fire within a stranger's hearth, Quenched even when kindled, — in untimely
night, Hiding the promise of a lovely birth;
By those unpractised accents of young speech,
Which he who is a father thought to frame To gentlest lore, such as the wisest teach Thou strike the lyre of mind ! - oh, grief and
By all the happy see in children's growth,
That undeveloped flower of budding years — Sweetness and sadness interwoven both,
Source of the sweetest hopes and saddest fears
iv. 3 Be || And, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Forman) 18392.
4 thine || thy, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Forman). vi. 4 promises of lovely, Mrs. Shelley, 18391. vii. 3 lore || love, Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Frederickson 1, 2). viii. 3 intermingled, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson“).
4 the saddest, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson").
By all the days under an hireling's care,
Of dull constraint and bitter heaviness, – Oh, wretched ye if ever any were,
Sadder than orphans, yet not fatherless!
By the false cant which on their innocent lips
Must hang like poison on an opening bloom, By the dark creeds which cover with eclipse
Their pathway from the cradle to the tomb —
By thy most impious Hell, and all its terror;
By all the grief, the madness, and the guilt Of thine impostures, which must be their error That sand on which thy crumbling Power is
By thy complicity with lust and hate —
Thy thirst for tears thy hunger after gold — The ready frauds which ever on thee wait
The servile arts in which thou hast grown old —
ix. 1 an || a, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson"), 18391,2.
3 any ever, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson?).
4 yet not fatherless || cancelled by Shelley for why not fatherless, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson').
xi. crossed by Shelley and marked dele, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson”). xi. 1 most, omit, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson?).
1 terrors, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson2), 18392.
3 errors, Mrs. Shelley, transcript (Frederickson2), 18392. xii. 4 hast || art, Mrs. Shelley, transcripts (Forman, one, Frederickson”).