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POEMS WRITTEN FROM 1814

TO 1816.

STANZA, WRITTEN AT BRACKNELL.'

Thy dewy looks sink in my breast;

Thy gentle words stir poison there; Thou hast disturbed the only rest

That was the portion of despair ! Subdued to Duty's hard control,

I could have borne my wayward lot: The chains that bind this ruined soul

Had cankered then—but crushed it not.

TO MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

GODWIN.

MINE eyes were dim with tears unshed ;

Yes, I was firm—thus wert not thou ;My baffled looks did fear yet dread

To meet thy looks—I could not know 1 This stanza was written in March 1814, while Shelley was staying at the house of Mrs. Boinville. See Memoir, in vol. i, pages xxx and xxxi.- ED.

2 This poem belongs to June 1814.—ED.

How anxiously they sought to shine
With soothing pity upon mine.

II.
To sit and curb the soul's mute rage

Which preys upon itself alone;
To curse the life which is the cage

Of fettered grief that dares not groan, Hiding from many a careless eye The scornèd load of agony.

III.
Whilst thou alone, then not regarded,

The thou alone should be,
To spend years thus, and be rewarded,

As thou, sweet love, requited me When none were near-Oh! I did wake From torture for that moment's sake.

IV.

Upon my heart thy accents sweet

Of peace and pity fell like dew On flowers half dead ;—thy lips did meet

Mine tremblingly; thy dark eyes threw Their soft persuasion on my brain, Charming away its dream of pain.

We are not happy, sweet ! our state

Is strange and full of doubt and fear; More need of words that ills abate ;

Reserve or censure come not near Our sacred friendship, lest there be No solace left for thee and me.

VI.
Gentle and good and mild thou art,

Nor can I live if thou appear

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