The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) is one of the greatest of all English-language poets, and one of the central figures of the Romantic movement. A friend to Byron and Keats, many critics believe that his literary achievement surpassed even theirs. A passionate advocate of political and sexual liberty, he was notorious in his time for his radical views, but after his tragic early death he finally achieved the fame he deserved – in large part thanks to his wife, the novelist Mary Shelley. His best-known poems include Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud and The Masque of Anarchy. He was also the author of longer works, such as Queen Mab, Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, The Cenci and Prometheus Unbound – all now recognised as among the greatest masterpieces of modern poetry.
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brain: The seasons' loveliest flowers were strewn On the marble floor beneath her feet, And she brought crowns of sea-buds white, Whose odour is so sweet and faint, And weeds, like branching chrysolite, Woven in devices fine and quaint, And tears from her brown eyes did stain The altar: need but look upon That dying statue fair and wan, If tears should cease, to weep again: And rare Arabian odours came, Through the myrtle copses steaming thence From the hissing frankincense, Whose
and caves, and winds, and yon wide air, And the inarticulate people of the dead, Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate In secret joy and hope those dreadful words, But dare not speak them. PROMETHEUS: Venerable mother! All else who live and suffer take from thee Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and happy sounds, And love, though fleeting; these may not be mine. But mine own words, I pray, deny me not. THE EARTH: They shall be told. Ere Babylon was dust, The Magus Zoroaster, my
sea by winter-storms are cast; And the coarse bulbs of iris-flowers he found Knotted in clumps under the spongy ground. XXV And so were kindled powers and thoughts which made His solitude less dark. When memory came (For years gone by leave each a deepening shade), His spirit basked in its internal flame, – As, when the black storm hurries round at night, The fisher basks beside his red firelight. XXVI Yet human hopes and cares and faiths and errors, Like billows unawakened by
needy door Let Misery linger speechless, pale and lean; I am the friend of the unfriended poor — Let me not madly stain their righteous cause in gore. The Wandering Jew’s Soliloquy. Is it the Eternal Triune, is it He Who dares arrest the wheels of destiny And plunge me in the lowest Hell of Hells? Will not the lightning’s blast destroy my frame? Will not steel drink the blood-life where it swells? No — let me hie where dark Destruction dwells, To rouse her from her deeply caverned
And looked upon the depth of that reposing lake. 29. I saw my countenance reflected there; — And then my youth fell on me like a wind Descending on still waters — my thin hair Was prematurely gray, my face was lined With channels, such as suffering leaves behind, Not age; my brow was pale, but in my cheek And lips a flush of gnawing fire did find Their food and dwelling; though mine eyes might speak A subtle mind and strong within a frame thus weak. 30. And though