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But, above all other things,
Spirit, I love thee ;
As a violet's gentle eye
Gazes on the azure sky, Until its hue grows like what it beholds ;
As a gray and empty mist
Lies like solid amethyst, Over the western mountain it enfolds, When the sunset sleeps
Upon its snow;
As a strain of sweetest sound
Wraps itself the wind around, Until the voiceless wind be music too:
As aught dark, vain and dull,
Basking in what is beautiful, Is full of light and love.
Music, when soft voices die,
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
WRITTEN ON HEARING THE NEWS OF THE DEATH
WHAT! alive and so bold, O Earth ?
Art thou not over-bold ?
In the light of thy morning mirth,
How! is not thy quick heart cold?
What spark is alive on thy hearth?
How! is not his death-knell knolled ?
And livest thou still, Mother Earth? Thou wert warming thy fingers old O'er the embers covered and cold Of that most fiery spirit, when it fled ; What, Mother, do you laugh now he is dead ?
“ Who has known me of old,” replied Earth,
“Or who has my story told ? It is thou who art over-bold.”
And the lightning of scorn laughed forth As she sung, “ To my bosom I fold All my sons when their knell is knolled, And so with living motion all are fed, And the quick spring like weeds out of the
“Still alive and still bold," shouted Earth,
“I grow bolder, and still more bold. The dead fill me ten thousand-fold
Fuller of speed, and splendour, and mirth; I was cloudy, and sullen, and cold, Like a frozen chaos uprolled, Till by the spirit of the mighty dead My heart grew warm.
I feed on whom I fed
" Ay, alive and still bold,” muttered Earth,
" Napoleon's fierce spirit rolled, In terror, and blood, and gold,
A torrent of ruin to death from his birth.
Leave the millions who follow to mould
WHERE art thou, beloved To-morrow ?
young and old, and strong and weak, Rich and poor, through joy and sorrow,
Thy sweet smiles we ever seek,-
Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
* This fragment is a poem which Shelley intended to write founded on a story to be found in the first volume of a book entitled “ L'Osservatore Fiorentino."
Of objects and of persons passed like things
And so she moved under the bridal veil,
The bride-maidens who round her thronging
came, Some with a sense of self-rebuke and shame, Envying the unenviable; and others Making the joy which should have been another's Their own by gentle sympathy; and some Sighing to think of an unhappy home;