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Until an envious wind crept by,
WERE not the crocuses that grew
WITH A GUITAR, TO JANE
ARIEL to Miranda.-Take
Is not sadder in her cell
Than deserted Ariel.
When you live again on earth,
The artist who this idol wrought,
The artist wrought this loved Guitar,
All this it knows, but will not tell
It talks according to the wit
TO JANE: "THE KEEN STARS
SHE left me at the silent time When the moon had ceased to climb The azure path of Heaven's steep, And like an albatross asleep, Balanced on her wings of light, Hovered in the purple night, The guitar was tinkling, Ere she sought her ocean nest But the notes were not sweet till you In the chambers of the West. sung them
THE keen stars were twinkling, And the fair moon was rising among them, Dear Jane!
As the moon's soft splendour
O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then The soft vibration of her touch,
As if her gentle hand, even now,
The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later, Her presence had made weak and tame
All passions, and I lived alone
No leaf will be shaken
ROUGH wind, that moanest loud
Wail, for the world's wrong!
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
LINES WRITTEN IN THE BAY
Though the sound overpowers, Sing again, with your dear voice revealing A tone
Of some world far from ours, Where music and moonlight and feeling Are one.
She left me, and I stayed alone
I sat and saw the vessels glide
O'er some serenest element
And spear about the low rocks damp
LINES: "WE MEET NOT AS WE PARTED"
WE meet not as we parted,
We feel more than all may see, My bosom is heavy-hearted,
And thine full of doubt for me.
That moment is gone for ever,
Like lightning that flashed and died, Like a snowflake upon the river,
Like a sunbeam upon the tide, Which the dark shadows hide.
That moment from time was singled
-Delusion too sweet though vain!
Sweet lips, could my heart have hidden
The death which a heart so true Sought in your briny dew.
Methinks too little cost
For a moment so found, so lost!
THERE was a little lawny islet
And its roof was flowers and leaves
With which the clouds and mountains
A lake's blue chasm.
FRAGMENT: TO THE MOON BRIGHT wanderer, fair coquette of heaven,
To whom alone it has been given
THESE are two friends whose lives were undivided;
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under the grave; let not their bones be parted, For their two hearts in life were singlehearted.
The winter of 1822 was passed in Pisa, if we might call that season winter in which autumn merged into spring after the interval of but few days of bleaker weather. Spring sprang up early, and with extreme beauty. Shelley had conceived the idea of writing a tragedy on the subject of Charles I. It was one that he believed adapted for a drama; full of intense interest, contrasted character, and busy passion. He had recommended it long before, when he encouraged me to attempt a play. Whether the subject proved more difficult than he anticipated, or whether in fact he could not bend his mind away from the broodings and wanderings of thought, divested from human interest, which he best loved, I cannot tell; but he proceeded slowly, and threw it aside for one of the most mystical of his poems, the Triumph of Life, on which he was employed at the last.
His passion for boating was fostered at this time by having among our friends several sailors. His favourite companion, Edward Ellerker Williams, of the 8th Light Dragoons, had begun his life in the navy, and had afterwards entered the army; he had spent several years in India, and his love for adventure and manly exercises accorded with Shelley's taste. It was their favourite plan to build a boat such as they could manage themselves, and, living on the sea-coast, to enjoy at every hour and season the pleasure they loved best. Captain Roberts, R. N., undertook to build the boat at Genoa, where he was also occupied in building the Bolivar for Lord Byron. Ours was to be an open boat, on a model taken from one of the royal dockyards. I have
since heard that there was a defect in this
model, and that it was never seaworthy. In the month of February, Shelley and his friend went to Spezia to seek for houses for us. Only one was to be found at all suitable; however, a trifle such as not finding a house could not stop Shelley;
from so confused a mass, interlined and broken into fragments, so that the sense could only be deciphered and joined by guesses which might seem rather intuitive than founded on reasoning. Yet I believe no mistake was made.
the one found was to serve for all. It was unfurnished; we sent our furniture by sea, and with a good deal of precipitation, arising from his impatience, made our removal. We left Pisa on the 26th of April.
heaven bathed the scene in bright and ever-varying tints.
The natives were wilder than the place. Our near neighbours of San Terenzo were more like savages than any people I ever before lived among. Many a night they passed on the beach, singing, or rather howling; the women dancing about among the waves that broke at their feet, the men leaning against the rocks and joining in their loud wild chorus. We could get no provisions nearer than Sarzana, at a distance of three miles and a half off, with the torrent of the Magra between; and even there the supply was very deficient. Had we been wrecked on an island of the South Seas, we could scarcely have felt ourselves farther from civilisation and comfort; but, where the sun shines, the latter becomes an unnecessary luxury, and we had enough society among ourselves. Yet I confess housekeeping became rather a toilsome task, especially as I was suffering in my health, and could not exert myself actively.
The Bay of Spezia is of considerable extent, and divided by a rocky promontory into a larger and smaller one. The town of Lerici is situated on the eastern point, and in the depth of the smaller bay, which bears the name of this town, is the village of San Terenzo. Our house, Casa Magni, was close to this village; the sea came up to the door, a steep hill sheltered it behind. The proprietor of the estate on which it was situated was insane; he had begun to erect a large house at the summit of the hill behind, but his malady prevented its being finished, and it was falling into ruin. He had (and this to the Italians had seemed a glaring symptom of very decided madness) rooted up the olives on the hillside, and planted forest trees. These were mostly young, but the plantation was more in English taste than I ever elsewhere saw in Italy; some fine walnut and ilex trees intermingled their dark massy foliage, and formed groups which still haunt my memory, as then they satiated the eye with a sense of loveliness. The scene was indeed of unimaginable beauty. The blue extent of waters, the almost landlocked bay, the near castle of Lerici shutting it in to the east, and distant Porto Venere to the west; the varied forms of the precipitous rocks that bound in the beach, over which there was only a winding rugged footpath towards Lerici, and none on the other side; the tideless sea leaving no sands nor shingle, formed a picture such as one sees in Salvator Rosa's landscapes only. Sometimes the sunshine vanished when the sirocco raged-the "ponente" the wind was called on that shore. The gales and squalls that hailed our first arrival surrounded the bay with foam; the howl-comed Death, he having disguised his ing wind swept round our exposed house, grim form in a pleasing mask! The time and the sea roared unremittingly, so that of the friends was now spent on the sea; we almost fancied ourselves on board ship. the weather became fine, and our whole At other times sunshine and calm invested party often passed the evenings on the sea and sky, and the rich tints of Italian water when the wind promised pleasant
At first the fatal boat had not arrived, and was expected with great impatience. On Monday, 12th May, it came. Williams records the long-wished - for fact in his journal: "Cloudy and threatening weather. M. Maglian called; and after dinner, and while walking with him on the terrace, we discovered a strange sail coming round the point of Porto Venere, which proved at length to be Shelley's boat. She had left Genoa on Thursday last, but had been driven back by the prevailing bad winds. A Mr. Heslop and two English seamen brought her round, and they speak most highly of her performances. She does indeed excite my surprise and admiration. Shelley and I walked to Lerici, and made a stretch off the land to try her: and I find she fetches whatever she looks at. In short, we have now a perfect plaything for the summer."—It was thus that short-sighted mortals wel