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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
I half-remembered my forgotten dream. 160
And day by day, green as a gourd in June,
The plant grew fresh and thick, yet no one knew
What plant it was; its stem and tendrils seemed
Like emerald snakes, mottled and diamonded
With azure mail and streaks of woven silver;
And all the sheaths that folded the dark buds
Rose like the crest of cobra-di-capel,
Until the golden eye of the bright flower,
Through the dark lashes of those veined lids,
Disencumbered of their silent sleep, 170

Gazed like a star into the morning light.
Its leaves were delicate, you almost saw
The pulses

With which the purple velvet flower was fed
To overflow, and like a poet's heart
Changing bright fancy to sweet sentiment,
Changed half the light to fragrance. It soon

And to a green and dewy embryo-fruit
Left all its treasured beauty. Day by day
I nursed the plant, and on the double flute 180
Played to it on the sunny winter days
Soft melodies, as sweet as April rain
On silent leaves, and sang those words in which
Passion makes Echo taunt the sleeping strings;
And I would send tales of forgotten love
Late into the lone night, and sing wild songs
Of maids deserted in the olden time,
And weep like a soft cloud in April's bosom
Upon the sleeping eyelids of the plant,
So that perhaps it dreamed that Spring was

come, 190

And crept abroad into the moonlight air, And loosened all its limbs, as, noon by noon, The sun averted less his oblique beam.

And the plant died not in the frost?


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,
Whose pulse, elapsed in unlike sympathies,
Kept time

Among the snowy water-lily buds.
Its shape was such as summer melody
Of the south wind in spicy vales might give
To some light cloud bound from the golden

To fairy isles of evening, and it seemed
In hue and form that it had been a mirror
Of all the hues and forms around it and 220
Upon it pictured by the sunny beams
Which, from the bright vibrations of the pool,
Were thrown upon the rafters and the roof
Of boughs and leaves, and on the pillared

Of the dark sylvan temple, and reflexions
Of every infant flower and star of moss
And veined leaf in the azure odorous air.
And thus it lay in the Elysian calm
Of its own beauty, floating on the line
Which, like a film in purest space, divided 2 30
The heaven beneath the water from the heaven
Above the clouds; and every day I went
Watching its growth aud wondering;
And as the day grew hot, methought I saw
A glassy vapour dancing on the pool,
And on it little quaint and filmy shapes,
With dizzy motion, wheel and rise and fall,
Like clouds of gnats with perfect lineaments.

****** 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
Half compensate a hell of waking sorrow.



King Charles I.
Queen Henrietta.
Laud, Archbishop of

Wentworth, Earl of

Lord Cottington.
Lord Weston.
Lord Coventry.
Williams, Bishop of

Secretary Lyttelton.


St. John.

Archy, the Court Fool.




Cromwell's DaughTer.

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.


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