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Still, Shelley's passion was the ocean; and he wished that our summers, instead of being passed among the hills near Pisa, should be spent on the shores of the sea. It was very difficult to find a spot. We shrank from Naples from a fear that the heats would disagree with Percy: Leghorn had lost its only attraction, since our friends who had resided there were returned to England; and, Monte Nero being the resort of many English, we did not wish to find ourselves in the midst of a colony
Wept o'er the beauty, which like sea retiring,
of chance travellers. No one then thought it possible to reside at Via Reggio, which latterly has become a summer resort. The low lands and bad air of Maremma stretch the whole length of the western shores of the Mediterranean, till broken by the rocks and hills of Spezia. It was a vague idea, but Shelley suggested an excursion to Of my lorn heart, and o'er the grass and Spezia, to see whether it would be feasible to spend a summer there. The beauty of the bay enchanted him. We saw no house to suit us; but the notion took root, and many circumstances, enchained as by fatality, occurred to urge him to execute it.
Had left the earth bare as the waveworn sand
He looked forward this autumn with great pleasure to the prospect of a visit from Leigh Hunt. When Shelley visited Lord Byron at Ravenna, the latter had suggested his coming out, together with the plan of a periodical work in which they should all join. Shelley saw a prospect of good for the fortunes of his friend, and pleasure in his society; and instantly exerted himself to have the plan executed. He did not intend himself joining in the work partly from pride, not wishing to have the air of acquiring readers for his poetry by associating it with the compositions of more popular writers; and also because he might feel shackled in the free expression of his opinions, if any friends to be compromised. By those opinions, carried even to their utmost extent, he wished to live and die, as being in his conviction not only true, but such as alone would conduce to the moral improvement and happiness of mankind. The sale of the work might meanwhile, either really or supposedly, be injured by the free expression of his thoughts; and And this evil he resolved to avoid.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1822
SUMMER was dead and Autumn was expiring,
And infant Winter laughed upon the land
All cloudlessly and cold;-when I, desiring
More in this world than any understand,
Pale for the falsehood of the flattering
Summer was dead, but I yet lived to
The instability of all but weeping; And on the Earth lulled in her winter sleep
I woke, and envied her as she was sleeping.
Too happy Earth! over thy face shall
The wakening vernal airs, until thou, leaping From unremembered dreams, shalt
No death divide thy immortality.
I loved-oh no, I mean not one of ye, Or any earthly one, though ye are dear
human heart to human heart may
loved, I know not what--but this low sphere
all that it contains, contains not thee,
Thou, whom seen nowhere, I feel Can blast not, but which pity kills; the everywhere. dew
From heaven and earth, and all that in Lay on its spotted leaves like tears too them are,
Veiled art thou, like a
The Heavens had wept upon it, but the Earth
Had crushed it on her unmaternal breast.
I bore it to my chamber, and I planted It in a vase full of the lightest mould; The winter beams which out of Heaven slanted
Fell through the window panes, disrobed of cold,
Upon its leaves and flowers; the star which panted
In evening for the Day, whose car has rolled
Over the horizon's wave, with looks of light
Smiled on it from the threshold of the night.
The mitigated influences of air
And light revived the plant, and from it grew
Strong leaves and tendrils, and its flowers fair,
Full as a cup with the vine's burning dew, O'erflowed with golden colours; an atmosphere
Of vital warmth infolded it anew, And every impulse sent to every part The unbeheld pulsations of its heart.
Well might the plant grow beautiful and strong,
Even if the air and sun had smiled not on it;
For one wept o'er it all the winter long Tears pure as Heaven's rain, which fell upon it
Hour after hour; for sounds of softest song
that won it
To leave the gentle lips on which it slept,
Had loosed the heart of him who sat and wept.
Had loosed his heart, and shook the
On which he wept, the while the
Waked by the darkest of December's
Was raving round the chamber hushed
The birds were shivering in their leafless bowers,
The fish were frozen in the pools, the form
Of every summer plant was dead . . .
"SLEEP, sleep on! forget thy pain;
Seal thee from thine hour of woe;
"Sleep, sleep on! I love thee not;
Might have been lost like thee;
"Sleep, sleep, and with the slumber of
The dead and the unborn
Forget thy life and love;
Forget that thou must wake for ever;
Forget the world's dull scorn;
And forget me, for I can never
"The spell is done. How feel you now?"
THE MAGNETIC LADY TO HER You good when suffering and awake?
What cure your head and side?—" "What would cure, that would kill me,
And as I must on earth abide
LINES: "WHEN THE LAMP IS
"Like a cloud big with a May shower,
Spreads like a second youth again.
WHEN the lamp is shattered
When the lute is broken,
When the lips have spoken,
As music and splendour
The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:-
When hearts have once mingled Love first leaves the well-built nest,
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possest.
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
Its passions will rock thee
As the storms rock the ravens on high:
Bright reason will mock thee, Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Leave thee naked to laughter,
Making the wintry world appear
For your cradle, your home, and your Reflection, you may come to-morrow,
Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.
TO JANE: THE INVITATION
And like a prophetess of May
Away, away, from men and towns,
I leave this notice on my door
To take what this sweet hour yields;
Radiant Sister of the Day,
In the deep east, dun and blind,
Billows murmur at our feet,
Now the last day of many days,
All beautiful and bright as thou,
The loveliest and the last, is dead,
The epitaph of glory fled,—
The breath of peace we drew
TO JANE: THE RECOLLECTION There seemed from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain waste,
A thrilling silent life,
Our mortal nature's strife;-
Was one fair form that filled with love
We wandered to the Pine Forest
The smile of Heaven lay;
It seemed as if the hour were one
We paused amid the pines that stood
And soothed by every azure breath,
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,
Like green waves on the sea,
That even the busy woodpecker
We paused beside the pools that lie
Which in the dark earth lay,
More perfect both in shape and hue
There lay the glade and neighbouring
And through the dark green wood The white sun twinkling like the dawn Out of a speckled cloud.
Sweet views which in our world above
With more than truth exprest;