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All overwrought with branch-like traceries
In which there is religion—and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,

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Odours and gleams and murmurs, which the

lute Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves, ere it has

passed To such brief unison as on the brain One tone, which never can recur, has cast,

One accent never to return again.

The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunts of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell. 70



O MIGHTY mind, in whose deep stream this age Shakes like a reed in the unheeding storm, Why dost thou curb not thine own sacred rage?

FRAGMENT TO SILENCE. SILENCE! O well are Death and Sleep and

Thou Three brethren named, the guardians gloomyOf one abyss, where life, and truth, and joy Are swallowed up-yet spare me, Spirit, pity

me, Until the sounds I hear become my soul, And it has left these faint and weary limbs, To track along the lapses of the air This wandering melody until it rests Among long mountains in some ...


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.


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



FLOURISHING vine, whose kindling clusters

glow Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of

thee; For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below

The rotting bones of dead antiquity.


MADDALO, a Courtier.

PIGNA, a Minister.
ALBANO, an Usher.

MADDALO. No access to the Duke! You have not said That the Count Maddalo would speak with


Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna
Waits with state papers for his signature ?

The Lady Leonora can not know
That I have written a sonnet to her fame,
In which I

Venus and Adonis.
You should not take my gold and serve me


ALBANO. In truth I told her, and she smiled and said, If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy

10 Art the Adonis whom I love, and he The Erymanthian boar that wounded him.” O trust to me, Signor Malpiglio, Those nods and smiles were favours worth the zechin.

MALPIGLIO. The words are twisted in some double sense That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me.

How are the Duke and Duchess occupied ?

ALBANO. Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was

leaning, His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed. The Princess sate within the window-seat, 20 And so her face was hid; but on her knee Her hands were clasped, veinèd, and pale as

snow, And quivering-young Tasso, too, was there.

ped, voit on her heat, 20

MADDALO. Thou seest on whom from thine own wor

shipped heaven Thou drawest down smiles—they did not rain

on thee.

MALPIGLIO. Would they were parching lightnings for his

sake On whom they fell !

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I LOVED—alas! our life is love;
But when we cease to breathe and move
I do suppose love ceases too.
I thought, but not as now I do,
Keen thoughts and bright of linked lore,
Of all that men had thought before,
And all that nature shows, and more,

And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink

The dregs of such despair, and live,
And love;
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.

Sometimes I see before me flee
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora, and I sit
Still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge
Breathes o’er the breezy streamlet's edge.


LET those who pine in pride or in revenge,

Or think that ill for ill should be repaid, Or barter wrong for wrong, until the exchange Ruins the merchants of such thriftless

trade, Visit the tower of Vado, and unlearn Such bitter faith beside Marenghi's urn.

1 Mrs. Shelley says, “This fragment refers to an event, told in Sismondi's Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, which occurred during the war when Florence finally subdued Pisa, and reduced it to a province.” Pietro Marenghi is said to have been a Florentine exile, who, while Florence was trying to reduce Pisa by famine, swam to a galley that was bringing provision for Pisa and fired it in circumstances of considerable heroism. The galley was taking refuge from the enemy under the tower of Vado at the time.—ED.

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