Obrázky na stránke

my face


Turns, tho' it wound not — then with A cruel punishment for one most cruel prostrate head

If such can love, to make that love the Sinks in the dusk and writhes like me

fuel and dies?

Of the mind's hell; hate, scorn, remorse, No: wears a living death of agonies !

despair : As the slow shadows of the pointed But mewhose heart a stranger's tear grass

might wear Mark the eternal periods, his pangs pass As water-drops the sandy fountain-stone, Slow, ever-moving,—making moments Who loved and pitied all things, and be

could moan As mine seem-each an immortality! For woes which others hcar not, and

could see “That you had never seen me-never The absent with the glance of phantasy, heard

And with the poor and trampled sit and My voice, and more than all had ne'er weep, endured

Following the captive to his dungeon The deep pollution of my loathed em

deep; brace

Me-who am as a nerve o'er which do That your eyes ne'er had lied love in


The else unfelt oppressions of this earth, That, like some maniac monk, I had And was to thee the flame upon thy torn out

hearth, The nerves of manhood by their bleeding When all beside was cold--that thou on

root With mine own quivering fingers, so Shouldst rain these plagues of blistering that ne'er

agonyOur hearts had for a moment mingled Such curses are from lips once eloquent there

With love's too partial praise--let none To disunite in horror-these were not

relent With thee, like some suppressed and Who intend deeds too dreadful for a

hideous thought Which fits athwart our musings, but Henceforth, if an example for the same

They seek . . . for thou on me lookedst No rest within a pure and gentle so, and somind ...

And didst speak thus . . . and thus ... Thou sealedst them with many a bare

I live to show broad word

How much men bear and die not! And searedst my memory o'er them,for I heard

“ Thou wilt tell, And can forget not .. they were | With the grimace of hate how horrible ministered

It was to meet my love when thine grew One after one, those curses. Mix them up

Thou wilt admire how I could e'er Like self-destroying poisons in one cup,

address And they will make one blessing which Such features to love's work this thou ne'er

taunt, tho' true, Didst imprecate for, on me,-death. (For indeed nature nor in form nor hue

Bestowed on me her choicest workman



can find

[ocr errors]


" It were

[ocr errors][merged small]


not move

Shall not be thy defence for since thy lip

1. Alas, love! Met mine first, years long past, since Fear me not against thee I would

thine eye kindled With soft fire under mine, I have not A finger in despite. Do I not live dwindled

That thou mayst have less bitter cause Nor changed in mind or body, or in to grieve? aught

I give thee tears for scorn and love for But as love changes what it loveth not

hate ; After long years and many trials. And that thy lot may be less desolate

“ How vain Than his on whom thoa tramplest, I Are words! I thought never to speak

refrain again,

From that sweet sleep which medicines Not even in secret,—not to my own

all pain. heart

Then, when thou speakest of me, never Bụt from my lips the unwilling accents say start,

“He could forgive not.' Here I cast away And from my pen the words flow as I All human passions, all revenge, all write,

pride; Dazzling my eyes with scalding tears I think, speak, act no ill ; I do but hide

Under these words, like embers, every Is dim to see that charactered in vain

spark On this unfeeling leaf which burns the Of that which has consumed me-quick brain

and dark And eats into it .. blotting all things The grave is yawning as its roof fair

shall cover And wise and good which time had My limbs with dust and worms under written there.

and over

So let Oblivion hide this grief . .. "Those who inflict must suffer, for

the air they see

Closes upon my accents, as despair The work of their own hearts and this Upon my heart—let death upon despair!”

must be Our chastisement or recompense —O He ceased, and overcome leant back child !

awhile, I would that thine were like to be more then rising, with a melancholy smile mild

Went to a sofa, and lay down, and slept For both our wretched sakes for A heavy sleep, and in his dreams he thine the most

wept Who seelest already all that thou hast And muttered some familiar name, and

my sight





Without the power to wish it thine Wept without shame in society. again ;

I think I never was impressed so much ; And as slow years pass, a funereal train The man who were not, must have Each with the ghost of some lost hope lacked a touch or friend

Of human nature ... then we lingered Following it like its shadow, wilt thou not, bend

Although our argument was quite forgot, No thought on my dead memory? But calling the attendants, went to dine a blot

At Maddalo's; yet neither cheer nor Or read in gondolas by day or night, wine

Having the little brazen lamp alight, Could give us spirits, for we talked of Unseen, uninterrupted; books are there, him

Pictures, and casts from all those statues And nothing else, till daylight made fair stars dim;

Which were twin-born with poetry, and And we agreed his was some dreadful ill

all Wrought on him boldly, yet unspeakable, We seek in towns, with little to recall By a dear friend ; some deadly change Regrets for the green country. I might in love

sit Of one vowed deeply which he dreamed | In Maddalo's great palace, and his wit not of;

And subtle talk would cheer the winter For whose sake he, it seemed, had fixed night

And make me know myself, and the Of falsehood on his mind which flourished firelight not

Would flash upon our faces, till the day But in the light of all-beholding truth, Might dawn and make me wonder at my And having stamped this canker on his stay : youth

But I had friends in London too: the She had abandoned him -- and how

chief much more

Attraction here, was that I sought relief Might be his woe, we guessed not-he From the deep tenderness that maniac had store

wrought Of friends and fortune once, as we could Within me-- 'twas perhaps an idle guess

thoughtFrom his nice habits and his gentleness ; But I imagined that if day by day These were now lost ... it were a I watched him, and but seldom went grief indeed

away, If he had changed one unsustaining reed And studied all the beatings of his For all that such a man might else adorn. heart The colours of his mind seemed yet With zeal, as men study some stubborn

unworn ; For the wild language of his grief was for their own good, and could by high,

patience find Such as in measure were called poetry,

An entrance to the caverns of his mind, And I remember one remark which then I might reclaim him from this dark Maddalo made. He said : “ Most

estate : wretched men

In friendships I had been most forAre cradled into poetry by wrong, They learn in suffering what they teach Yet never saw I one whom I would call in song."

More willingly my friend ; and this was

all If I had been an unconnected man Accomplished not ; such dreams of baseI, from this moment, should have formed

less good some plan

Ost come and go in crowds or solitude Never to leave sweet Venice,--for to me And leave no trace—but what I now It was delight to ride by the lone sea ; designed And then, the town is silent--one may Made for long years impression on my write





corpses lie.”

me how

The following morning urged by my The stamp of why they parted, how affairs

they met : I left bright Venice.

Yet if thine agèd eyes disdain to wet

After many years Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's And many changes I returned ; the remembered tears,

Ask me no more, but let the silent Of Venice, and its aspect, was the

years same ;

Be closed and cered over their memory But Maddalo was travelling far away As yon mute marble where their Among the mountains of Armenia. His dog was dead. His child had now I urged and questioned still, she told

become A woman ; such as it has been my doom All happened—but the cold world shall To meet with few, a wonder of this earth

not know. Where there is little of transcendant worth,

CANCELLED FRAGMENTS OF Like one of Shakespeare's women :

JULIAN AND MADDALO kindly she, And with a manner beyond courtesy,

“What think you the dead are?” “Why, Received her father's friend ; and when

dust and clay, I asked

What should they be?”. ««'Tis the last of the lorn maniac, she her memory

hour of day. tasked

Look on the west, how beautiful it is And told as she had heard the mournful Vaulted with radiant vapours ! The tale.

deep bliss “ That the poor sufferer's health began Of that unutterable light has made to fail The edges of that cloud

fade Two years from my departure, but that Intoa hue, like some harmonious thought, then

Wasting itself on that which it had The lady who had left him, came

Till it dies

and Her mien had been imperious, but

between she now

The light hues of the tender, pure, Looked meek—perhaps remorse had

serene, brought her low.

And infinite tranquillity of heaven. Her coming made him better, and they Aye, beautiful! but when not.

stayed Together at my father's—for I played As I remember with the lady's shawl-“Perhaps the only comfort which remains I might be six years old — but after Is the unheeded clanking of my chains, all

The which I make, and call it melody.” She left him” Why, her heart must have been tough :

NOTE BY MRS. SHELLEY How did it end?" " And was not

From the Baths of Lucca, in 1818, this enough?

Shelley visited Venice ; and, circumstances They met—they parted”—“Child, is rendering it eligible that we should remain there no more ?”.

a few weeks in the neighbourhood of that “Something within that interval which city, he accepted the offer of Lord Byron, bore

who lent him the use of a villa he rented near Este; and he sent for his family which was interspersed by visits to Venice, from Lucca to join him.

we proceeded southward. I Capuccini was a villa built on the site of a Capuchin convent, demolished when the French suppressed religious houses ; it was situated on the very over

PROMETHEUS UNBOUND hanging brow of a low hill at the foot of a range of higher ones. The house was

A LYRICAL DRAMA cheerful and pleasant ; a vine - trellised walk, a pergola, as it is called in Italian,

IN FOUR ACTS led from the hall-door to a summer-house at the end of the garden, which Shelley AUDISNE HÆC AMPHIARAE, SUB TERRAM made his study, and in which he began

ABDITE? the Prometheus; and here also, as he

PREFACE mentions in a letter, he wrote Julian and Maddalo. A slight ravine, with a road in The Greek tragic writers, in selecting as its depth, divided the garden from the their subject any portion of their national hill, on which stood the ruins of the ancient history or mythology, employed in their castle of Este, whose dark massive wall treatment of it a certain arbitrary discregave forth an echo, and from whose tion. They by no means conceived themruined crevices owls and bats flitted forth selves bound to adhere to the common at night, as the crescent moon sunk behind interpretation or to imitate in story as in the black and heavy battlements. We title their rivals and predecessors. Such looked from the garden over the wide a system would have amounted to a resigplain of Lombardy, bounded to the west nation of those claims to preference over by the far Apennines, while to the east their competitors which incited the comthe horizon was lost in misty distance. position. The Agamemnonian story was After the picturesque but limited view of exhibited on the Athenian theatre with as mountain, ravine, and chestnut-wood, at many variations as dramas. the Baths of Lucca, there was something I have presumed to employ a similar infinitely gratifying to the eye in the wide licence. The “ Prometheus Unbound" of range of prospect commanded by our new Æschylus supposed the reconciliation of abode.

Jupiter with his victim as the price of the Our first misfortune, of the kind from disclosure of the danger threatened to his which we soon suffered even more severely, empire by the consummation of his marhappened here. Our little girl, an infant riage with Thetis. Thetis, according to in whose small features I fancied that I this view of the subject, was given in martraced great resemblance to her father, riage to Peleus, and Prometheus, by the showed symptoms of suffering from the permission of Jupiter, delivered from his heat of the climate. Teething increased captivity by Hercules. Had I framed my her illness and danger. We were at story on this model, I should have done Este, and when we became alarmed, no more than have attempted to restore hastened to Venice for the best advice. the lost drama of Æschylus ; an ambition When we arrived at Fusina, we found which, if my preference to this mode of that we had forgotten our passport, and treating the subject had incited me to the soldiers on duty attempted to prevent cherish, the recollection of the high comour crossing the laguna; but they could parison such an attempt would challenge not resist Shelley's impetuosity at such a might well abate. But, in truth, I was moment. We had scarcely arrived at averse from a catastrophe so feeble as Venice before life fled from the little that of reconciling the Champion with sufferer, and we returned to Este to weep the Oppressor of mankind. The moral her loss.

interest of the fable, which is so powerAfter a few weeks spent in this retreat, fully sustained by the sufferings and

« PredošláPokračovať »