Obrázky na stránke

of that which is Whence thou hast fled, whither thou

must return

Charged with the load that makes thee faint and mourn?

Wrapt in the

to us

The health of life's own life.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


Shelley loved the People; and respected them as often more virtuous, as always more suffering, and therefore more deserving of sympathy, than the great.



He believed that a clash between the two classes of society was inevitable, and he eagerly ranged himself on the people's side. He had an idea of publishing a series of poems adapted expressly to commemorate their circumstances and He wrote a few; but, in those days of prosecution for libel, they could And their breath was mixed with fresh not be printed. They are not among the best of his productions, a writer being always shackled when he endeavours to write down to the comprehension of those who could not understand or feel a highly imaginative style; but they show his earnestness, and with what heartfelt compassion he went home to the direct point of injury that oppression is detestable as being the parent of starvation, nakedness, and ignorance. Besides these outpourings of compassion and indignation, he had

meant to adorn the cause he loved with And the Naiad-like lily of the vale, Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale,

loftier poetry of glory and triumph: such is the scope of the Ode to the Assertors of Liberty. He sketched also a new version of our national anthem, as addressed to Liberty.

That the light of its tremulous bells is

But none ever trembled and panted with bliss

In the garden, the field, or the wilder


Like a doe in the noontide with love's sweet want,

As the companionless Sensitive Plant.

The snowdrop, and then the violet,
Arose from the ground with warm rain


odour, sent

the turf, like the voice and the instrument.


the pied wind-flowers and the
tulip tall,

And narcissi, the fairest among them all,
Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's


Till they die of their own dear loveliness;


Through their pavilions of tender green;

And the hyacinth purple, and white, Were all paved with daisies and delicate and blue,


Which flung from its bells a sweet peal As fair as the fabulous asphodels,

And flowrets which drooping as day drooped too

Fell into pavilions, white, purple, and blue,

And the rose like a nymph to the bath To roof the glow-worm from the even

ing dew.


Of music so delicate, soft, and intense,
It was felt like an odour within the



Which unveiled the depth of her glowing And from this undefiled Paradise


The flowers (as an infant's awakening eyes

Smile on its mother, whose singing

Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air
The soul of her beauty and love lay



And the wand-like lily, which lifted up, Can first lull, and at last must awaken As a Mænad, its moonlight-coloured


[blocks in formation]

The beams which dart from many a And snatches of its Elysian chant


Were mixed with the dreams of the
Sensitive Plant.)

Of the flowers whose hues they bear afar;

The plumèd insects swift and free,
Like golden boats on a sunny sea,
Laden with light and odour, which pass
Over the gleam of the living grass;

The Sensitive Plant was the earliest
Up-gathered into the bosom of rest;
A sweet child weary of its delight,
The feeblest and yet the favourite,
Cradled within the embrace of night.


The unseen clouds of the dew, which lie Like fire in the flowers till the sun rides high,

There was a Power in this sweet place, Then wander like spirits among the An Eve in this Eden; a ruling grace Which to the flowers did they waken or dream,


Each cloud faint with the fragrance it bears;

Was as God is to the starry scheme.

A Lady, the wonder of her kind,
Whose form was upborne by a lovely

Which, dilating, had moulded her mien

and motion

The quivering vapours of dim noontide,
Which like a sea o'er the warm earth
In which every sound, and odour, and
Move, as reeds in a single stream;
Each and all like ministering angels were
For the Sensitive Plant sweet joy to

Like a sea-flower unfolded beneath the

Tended the garden from morn to even : And the meteors of that sublunar heaven, Whilst the lagging hours of the day Like the lamps of the air when night

walks forth,

went by Like windless clouds o'er a tender sky. And when evening descended from heaven above,

She had no companion of mortal race, And the Earth was all rest, and the air But her tremulous breath and her flush

was all love,

ing face

And delight, tho' less bright, was far Told, whilst the morn kissed the sleep more deep, from her eyes

And the day's veil fell from the world That her dreams were less slumber than of sleep, Paradise:

(Only overhead the sweet nightingale Ever sang more sweet as the day might fail,

Laughed round her footsteps up from the Earth!

And the beasts, and the birds, and the As if some bright Spirit for her sweet insects were drowned sake

In an ocean of dreams without a sound; Had deserted heaven while the stars Whose waves never mark, tho' they

were awake,

ever impress

As if yet around her he lingering were, The light sand which paves it, conscious- Tho' the veil of daylight concealed him from her.


Her step seemed to pity the grass it prest;
You might hear by the heaving of her


« PredošláPokračovať »