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No, now all's right." "Those bottles of warm tea
With a bottle in one hand,
"Sit at the helm-fasten this sheetall ready!"
(Give me some straw)-must be stowed
The chain is loosed, the sails are
The living breath is fresh behind,
The sails are full, the boat makes
Against the Serchio's torrent fierce,
The tempest of the ..
Which fervid from its mountain
Shallow, smooth and strong doth
Swift as fire, tempestuously
The Serchio, twisting forth Between the marble barriers which it clove
At Ripafratta, leads through the dread chasm
The wave that died the death which
Such as we used, in summer after six,
Farmers called gaps, and we schoolboys
But the clear stream in full enthusiasm Pours itself on the plain, then wandering Down one clear path of effluence crystalline, Sends its superfluous waves, that they may fling
As the scent of a violet withered up,
As one who drinks from a charmed cup Of foaming, and sparkling and murmuring wine,
Whom, a mighty Enchantress filling up,
HERE lieth One whose name was writ on water."
But, ere the breath that could erase it blew,
When the hot noon has drained its dewy Death, in remorse for that fell slaughter, Death, the immortalising winter, flew Athwart the stream, -and time's printless torrent grew
And mist there was none its thirst to
And the violet lay dead while the odour A scroll of crystal, blazoning the name flew
On the wings of the wind o'er the waters blue
FRAGMENT ON KEATS,
WHO DESIRED THAT ON HIS TOMB
FRAGMENT: "METHOUGHT I
METHOUGHT I was a billow in the crowd Of common men, that stream without a shore,
That ocean which at once is deaf and FRAGMENT: "I FAINT, I PERISH loud;
WITH MY LOVE!"
That I, a man, stood amid many more
Where mighty shapes-pyramid, dome, and towerGleamed like a pile of crags.
WHERE art thou, beloved To-morrow? When young and old and strong and weak,
Rich and poor, through joy and sorrow,
IF I walk in Autumn's even
Something is not there which was.
FRAGMENT: A WANDERER
HE wanders, like a day-appearing dream, Through the dim wildernesses of the mind;
Through desert woods and tracts, which
Like ocean, homeless, boundless, unconfined.
FRAGMENT: PEACE SUR-
THE babe is at peace within the womb,
1 Perhaps in continuation of "To-morrow."—ED.
I FAINT, I perish with my love! I
Under the evening's ever-changing glow:
FRAGMENT: "O THOU
I do adjure thy power and thee
By all that he has been and yet must be!
Who wander o'er the paradise of fame,
One of the crowd thou art without a
"Ah, friend, 'tis the false laurel that I wear;
FRAGMENT: FALSE LAURELS
Bright though it seem, it is not the same As that which bound Milton's immortal hair;
Its dew is poison and the hopes that quicken
Under its chilling shade, though seeming fair,
Are flowers which die almost before they sicken."
does not appear to me more inexplicably framed than that of one who can dissect and probe past woes, and repeat to the
O thou immortal deity
Whose throne is in the depth of human public ear the groans drawn from them in the throes of their agony.
"What art thou, Presumptuous, who profanest
The wreath to mighty poets only due, Even whilst like a forgotten moon thou
NOTE ON POEMS OF 1821, BY
My task becomes inexpressibly painful
66 peep and botanise Upon his mother's grave,"
The year 1821 was spent in Pisa, or at We were not, the Baths of San Giuliano. as our wont had been, alone; friends had and, when Memory recurs to the past, she gathered round us. Nearly all are dead, wanders among tombs. The genius, with all his blighting errors and mighty powers; the companion of Shelley's ocean-wanderings, and the sharer of his fate, than whom no man ever existed more gentle, generous, and fearless, and others, who found in ledge and warm sympathy, delight, inShelley's society, and in his great knowstruction, and solace; have joined him beyond the grave. A few survive who
Touch not those leaves which for the have felt life a desert since he left it.
What misfortune can equal death?
upset; a wetting was all the harm done, except that the intense cold of his drenched clothes made Shelley faint. Once I went down with him to the mouth of the Arno, where the stream, then high and swift, met the tideless sea, and disturbed its sluggish waters. It was a waste and dreary scene; the desert sand stretched into a point surrounded by waves that broke idly though perpetually around; it was a scene very similar to Lido, of which he had said
There is much in the Adonais which seems now more applicable to Shelley himself than to the young and gifted poet whom he mourned. The poetic view he takes of death, and the lofty scorn he displays towards his calumniators, are as a prophecy on his own destiny when received among immortal names, and the poisonous breath of critics has vanished into emptiness before the fame he inherits.
Shelley's favourite taste was boating; when living near the Thames or by the Lake of Geneva, much of his life was spent on the water. On the shore of every lake or stream or sea near which he dwelt, he had a boat moored. He had latterly enjoyed this pleasure again. There are no pleasure-boats on the Arno; and the shallowness of its waters (except in winter-time, when the stream is too turbid and impetuous for boating) rendered it difficult to get any skiff light enough to float. Shelley, however, overcame the diffi-aziola cooed in the quiet evening. culty; he, together with a friend, contrived a boat such as the huntsmen carry about with them in the Maremma, to cross the sluggish but deep streams that intersect the forests, -a boat of laths and pitched canvas. It held three persons; and he was often seen on the Arno in it, to the horror of the Italians, who remonstrated on the danger, and could not understand how any one could take pleasure in an exercise that risked life. "Ma va per la vita!" they exclaimed. I little thought how true their words would prove. He once ventured, with a friend, on the glassy | sea of a calm day, down the Arno and round the coast to Leghorn, which, by keeping close in shore, was very practicable. They returned to Pisa by the canal, when, missing the direct cut, they got entangled among weeds, and the boat
"I love all waste
Our little boat was of greater use, unaccompanied by any danger, when we removed to the Baths. Some friends lived at the village of Pugnano, four miles off, and we went to and fro to see them, in our boat, by the canal; which, fed by the Serchio, was, though an artificial, a full and picturesque stream, making its way under verdant banks, sheltered by trees that dipped their boughs into the murmuring waters. By day, multitudes of ephemera darted to and fro on the surface; at night, the fireflies came out among the shrubs on the banks; the cicale at noonday kept up their hum; the It was a pleasant summer, bright in all but Shelley's health and inconstant spirits; yet he enjoyed himself greatly, and became more and more attached to the part of the country where chance appeared to cast us. Sometimes he projected taking a farm situated on the height of one of the near hills, surrounded by chestnut and pine woods, and overlooking a wide extent of country: or settling still farther in the maritime Apennines, at Massa. Several of his slighter and unfinished poems were inspired by these scenes, and by the companions around us. It is the nature of that poetry, however, which overflows from the soul oftener to express sorrow and regret than joy; for it is when oppressed by the weight of life, and away from those he loves, that the poet has recourse to the solace of expression in verse.