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Panting forth light among the leaves and
flowers, As if it lived, and was outworn with speed; Or that it loved, and passion made the pulse Of its bright life throb like an anxious heart, Till it diffused itself, and all the chamber And walls seemed melted into emerald fire That burned* not; in the midst of which appeared A spirit like a child, and laughed aloud A thrilling peal of such sweet merriment As made the blood tingle in my warm feet: 140 Then bent over a vase, and murmuring Low, unintelligible melodies, Placed something in the mould like melonseeds, And slowly faded, and in place of it A soft hand issued from the veil of fire, Holding a cup like a magnolia flower, And poured upon the earth within the vase The element with which it overflowed, Brighter than morning light, and purer than The water of the springs of Himalah. 150
You waked not?
Not until my dream became Like a child's legend on the titleless sand, Which the first foam erases half, and half Leaves legible. At length I rose, and went Visiting my flowers from pot to pot, and
thought To set new cuttings in the empty urns; And, when I came to that beside the lattice, I saw two little dark-green leaves
Lifting the light mould at their birth, and then
Gazed like a star into the morning light.
With which the purple velvet flower was fed
And crept abroad into the moonlight air, And loosened all its limbs, as, noon by noon, The sun averted less his oblique beam.
It grew; And went out of the lattice which I left Half open for it, trailing its quaint spires Along the garden and across the lawn, And down the slope of moss and through the
tufts Of wild-flower roots, and stumps of trees
o'er grown With simple lichens, and old hoary stones, 200 On to the margin of the glassy pool, Even to a nook of unblown violets And lilies-of-the-valley yet unborn, Under a pine with ivy overgrown. And there its fruit lay like a sleeping lizard Under the shadows; but when Spring indeed Came to unswathe her infants, and the lilies Peeped from their bright green masks to
wonder at This shape of autumn couched in their recess, Then it dilated, and it grew until 210
One half lay floating on the fountain wave,
Among the snowy water-lily buds.
****** O friend, sleep was a veil uplift from heaven— As if heaven dawned upon the world of dream— When darkness rose on the extinguished day Out of the eastern wilderness.
I too 242
Have found a moment's paradise in sleep
CHARLES THE FIRST.1
King Charles I.
Archy, the Court Fool.
Sir Harry Vane the younger.
Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, Citizens, Pursuivants, Marshalsmen, Law Students, Judges, Clerk.
Scene I. The Mask of the Inns of Court.
A Pursuivant. Place, for the Marshal of the Mask!
1 References to the projected play on the subject of Charles I. are to be found in Shelley's letters, from February 1821 to April 1822. Mrs. Shelley says he proceeded slowly with it, and at last threw it aside for The Triumph of Life. "In my opinion," said Allien, in dedicating his Agis to Charles, "one can in no way make a tragedy of your tragical death, the cause of it not being sublime." Perhaps that was what Shelley felt. See, however, page lviii of vol. i.