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Aught but thyself, or turn thine heart
Away from me, or stoop to wear
YEt look on me—take not thine eyes away,
Which feed upon the love within mine own, Which is indeed but the reflected ray
Of thine own beauty from my spirit thrown.
Yet speak to me—thy voice is as the tone Of my heart's echo, and I think I hear
That thou yet lovest me; yet thou alone Like one before a mirror, without care Of aught but thine own features, imaged there; And yet I wear out life in watching thee;
A toil so sweet at times, and thou indeed Art kind when I am sick, and pity me.
Above the cold sky shone;
From caves of ice and fields of snow,
Beneath the sinking moon. i Though usually assigned to November 1815, these lines probably belong to November 1816, the month in which Harriett Shelley drowned herself. If so, “ raven hair" is used as a disguise, Harriett's hair having been light brown.-ED.
The wintry hedge was black,
The green grass was not seen, The birds did rest on the bare thorn's breast, Whose roots, beside the pathway track, Had bound their folds o'er many a crack,
Which the frost had made between.
Thine eyes glowed in the glare
Of the moon's dying light; As a fenfire's beam on a sluggish stream Gleams dimly, so the moon shone there, And it yellowed the strings of thy raven hair,
That shook in the wind of night.
The wind made thy bosom chill-
Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
Might visit thee at will.
THERE late was One within whose subtle being,
He walked along the pathway of a field
That night the youth and lady mingled lay In love and sleep—but when the morning came The lady found her lover dead and cold. Let none believe that God in mercy gave That stroke. The lady died not, nor grew
wild, But year by year lived on-in truth I think Her gentleness and patience and sad smiles, 30 And that she did not die, but lived to tend Her agèd father, were a kind of madness, If madness 'tis to be unlike the world. For but to see her were to read the tale Woven by some subtlest bard, to make hard
hearts Dissolve away in wisdom-working grief ;Her eyes were black and lustreless and wan: Her eyelashes were worn away with tears;
i This line is probably corrupt in two particulars. I believe the true reading to be sun-rise for sun and wake for walk; but I know of no authority for making the changes.—ED.
Her lips and cheeks were like things dead-so
pale ; Her hands were thin, and through their wan
dering veins And weak articulations might be seen Day's ruddy light. The tomb of thy dead self Which one vexed ghost inhabits, night and day, Is all, lost child, that now remains of thee!
“Inheritor of more than earth can give,
FRAGMENT ON HOME.
DEAR home, thou scene of earliest hopes and
joys, The least of which wronged Memory ever makes Bitterer than all thine unremembered tears.
FRAGMENT OF A GHOST-STORY.
A SHOVEL of his ashes took
And so they followed hard-
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1817.
A PALE dream came to a Lady fair,
And said, “ A boon, a boon, I pray !
And things are lost in the glare of day,
And thou shalt know of things unknown,
If thou wilt let me rest between
Over thine eyes so dark and sheen :"
Tumultuously across her sleep,
All ghastly-visaged clouds did sweep;
She saw aloft in the morning air,
A great black Anchor rising there; 1 Mrs. Leigh Hunt, the “Marianne” of this poem, dreamed the dream in question and related it to Shelley.-ED.