Dirge For The Year

I.
Orphan Hours, the Year is dead,
Come and sigh, come and weep!
Merry Hours, smile instead,
For the Year is but asleep.
See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
Mocking your untimely weeping.

II.
As an earthquake rocks a corse
In its coffin in the clay,
So White Winter, that rough nurse,
Rocks the death-cold Year to-day;
Solemn Hours! wail aloud
For your mother in her shroud.

III.
As the wild air stirs and sways
The tree-swung cradle of a child,
So the breath of these rude days
Rocks the Year:—be calm and mild,
Trembling Hours, she will arise
With new love within her eyes.

IV.
January gray is here,
Like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave,
And April weeps--but, O ye Hours!
Follow with May's fairest flowers.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Evening. To Harriet

O thou bright Sun! beneath the dark blue line
Of western distance that sublime descendest,
And, gleaming lovelier as thy beams decline,
Thy million hues to every vapour lendest,
And, over cobweb lawn and grove and stream
Sheddest the liquid magic of thy light,
Till calm Earth, with the parting splendour bright,
Shows like the vision of a beauteous dream;
What gazer now with astronomic eye
Could coldly count the spots within thy sphere?
Such were thy lover, Harriet, could he fly
The thoughts of all that makes his passion dear,
And, turning senseless from thy warm caress,--
Pick flaws in our close-woven happiness.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Eyes : A Fragment

How eloquent are eyes!
Not the rapt poet's frenzied lay
When the soul's wildest feelings stray
Can speak so well as they.
How eloquent are eyes!
Not music’s most impassioned note
On which Love’s warmest fervours float
Like them bids rapture rise.

Love, look thus again,--
That your look may light a waste of years,
Darting the beam that conquers cares
Through the cold shower of tears.
Love, look thus again!

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Faint With Love, The Lady Of The South

Faint with love, the Lady of the South
Lay in the paradise of Lebanon
Under a heaven of cedar boughs: the drouth
Of love was on her lips; the light was gone
Out of her eyes--

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Feelings Of A Republican On The Fall Of Bonaparte

I hated thee, fallen tyrant! I did groan
To think that a most unambitious slave,
Like thou, shouldst dance and revel on the grave
Of Liberty. Thou mightst have built thy throne
Where it had stood even now: thou didst prefer
A frail and bloody pomp which Time has swept
In fragments towards Oblivion. Massacre,
For this I prayed, would on thy sleep have crept,
Treason and Slavery, Rapine, Fear, and Lust,
And stifled thee, their minister. I know
Too late, since thou and France are in the dust,
That Virtue owns a more eternal foe
Than Force or Fraud: old Custom, legal Crime,
And bloody Faith the foulest birth of Time.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
fragment: "To the Moon"

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing Heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,--
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: Great Spirit

Great Spirit whom the sea of boundless thought
Nurtures within its unimagined caves,
In which thou sittest sole, as in my mind,
Giving a voice to its mysterious waves--


Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: Home

Dear home, thou scene of earliest hopes and joys,
The least of which wronged Memory ever makes
Bitterer than all thine unremembered tears.

Percy Bysshe Shelle
Fragment: Milton's Spirit

I dreamed that Milton's spirit rose, and took
From life's green tree his Uranian lute;
And from his touch sweet thunder flowed, and shook
All human things built in contempt of man,--
And sanguine thrones and impious altars quaked,
Prisons and citadels...

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: My Head Is Wild With Weeping

My head is wild with weeping for a grief
Which is the shadow of a gentle mind.
I walk into the air (but no relief
To seek,--or haply, if I sought, to find;
It came unsought);--to wonder that a chief
Among men’s spirits should be cold and blind.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: Satan Broken Loose

A golden-winged Angel stood
Before the Eternal Judgement-seat:
His looks were wild, and Devils' blood
Stained his dainty hands and feet.
The Father and the Son
Knew that strife was now begun.
They knew that Satan had broken his chain,
And with millions of daemons in his train,
Was ranging over the world again.
Before the Angel had told his tale,
A sweet and a creeping sound
Like the rushing of wings was heard around;
And suddenly the lamps grew pale--
The lamps, before the Archangels seven,
That burn continually in Heaven.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: Sufficient Unto The Day

Is not to-day enough? Why do I peer
Into the darkness of the day to come?
Is not to-morrow even as yesterday?
And will the day that follows change thy doom?
Few flowers grow upon thy wintry way;
And who waits for thee in that cheerless home
Whence thou hast fled, whither thou must return
Charged with the load that makes thee faint and mourn?

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: The Lake's Margin

The fierce beasts of the woods and wildernesses
Track not the steps of him who drinks of it;
For the light breezes, which for ever fleet
Around its margin, heap the sand thereon.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: To A Friend Released From Prison

For me, my friend, if not that tears did tremble
In my faint eyes, and that my heart beat fast
With feelings which make rapture pain resemble,
Yet, from thy voice that falsehood starts aghast,
I thank thee--let the tyrant keep
His chains and tears, yea, let him weep
With rage to see thee freshly risen,
Like strength from slumber, from the prison,
In which he vainly hoped the soul to bind
Which on the chains must prey that fetter humankind.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: To One Singing

My spirit like a charmed bark doth swim
Upon the liquid waves of thy sweet singing,
Far far away into the regions dim

Of rapture—as a boat, with swift sails winging
Its way adown some many-winding river,
Speeds through dark forests o'er the waters swinging...

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: To The People Of England

PEOPLE of England, ye who toil and groan,
Who reap the harvests which are not your own,
Who weave the clothes which your oppressors wear,
And for your own take the inclement air;
Who build warm houses . . .
And are like gods who give them all they have,
And nurse them from the cradle to the grave . . .

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment: Yes! All Is Past

Yes! all is past--swift time has fled away,
Yet its swell pauses on my sickening mind;
How long will horror nerve this frame of clay?
I’m dead, and lingers yet my soul behind.
Oh! powerful Fate, revoke thy deadly spell,
And yet that may not ever, ever be,
Heaven will not smile upon the work of Hell;
Ah! no, for Heaven cannot smile on me;
Fate, envious Fate, has sealed my wayward destiny.

I sought the cold brink of the midnight surge,
I sighed beneath its wave to hide my woes,
The rising tempest sung a funeral dirge,
And on the blast a frightful yell arose.
Wild flew the meteors o'er the maddened main,
Wilder did grief athwart my bosom glare;
Stilled was the unearthly howling, and a strain,
Swelled mid the tumult of the battling air,
'Twas like a spirit's song, but yet more soft and fair.

I met a maniac—like he was to me,
I said--'Poor victim, wherefore dost thou roam?
And canst thou not contend with agony,
That thus at midnight thou dost quit thine home?'
'Ah there she sleeps: cold is her bloodless form,
And I will go to slumber in her grave;
And then our ghosts, whilst raves the maddened storm,
Will sweep at midnight o’er the wildered wave;
Wilt thou our lowly beds with tears of pity lave?'

'Ah! no, I cannot shed the pitying tear,
This breast is cold, this heart can feel no more--
But I can rest me on thy chilling bier,
Can shriek in horror to the tempest's roar.'

Percy Bysshe Shelley
From The Original Draft Of The Poem To William Shelley

I.
The world is now our dwelling-place;
Where'er the earth one fading trace
Of what was great and free does keep,
That is our home!...
Mild thoughts of man's ungentle race
Shall our contented exile reap;
For who that in some happy place
His own free thoughts can freely chase
By woods and waves can clothe his face
In cynic smiles? Child! we shall weep.

II.
This lament,
The memory of thy grievous wrong
Will fade...
But genius is omnipotent
To hallow...

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Good-Night

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be good night.

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood --
Then it will be -- good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
I Would Not Be A King

I would not be a king--enough
Of woe it is to love;
The path to power is steep and rough,
And tempests reign above.
I would not climb the imperial throne;
’Tis built on ice which fortune’s sun
Thaws in the height of noon.
Then farewell, king, yet were I one,
Care would not come so soon.
Would he and I were far away
Keeping flocks on Himalay!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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