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The Witch of Atlas. It was not only that I wished him to acquire popularity as redounding to his fame; but I believed that he would obtain a greater mastery over his own powers, and greater happiness in his mind, if public applause crowned his endeavours. The few stanzas that precede the poem were addressed to me on my representing these ideas to him. Even now I believe that I was in the right. Shelley did not expect sympathy and approbation from the public; but the want of it took away a portion of the ardour that ought to have sustained him while writing. He was thrown on his own resources and on the inspiration of his own soul, and wrote because his mind overflowed, without the hope of being appreciated. I had not the most distant wish that he should truckle in opinion, or submit his lofty aspirations for the human race to the low ambition and pride of the many, but I felt sure that if his poems were more addressed to the common feelings of men, his proper rank among the writers of the day would be acknowledged; and that popularity as a poet would enable his countrymen to do justice to his character and virtues; which, in those days, it was the modo to attack with the most flagitious calumnies and insulting abuse. That he felt these things deeply cannot be doubted, though he armed himself with the consciousness of acting from a lofty and heroic sense of right. The truth burst from his heart sometimes in solitude, and he would write a few unfinished verses that showed that he felt the sting; ainong anch I find the following:
Alas! this is not what I thought life was.
I believed that all this morbid feeling wouid vanish, if the
obord of sympathy between him and his countrymen were touched. But my persuasions were vain; the mind could not be bent from its natural inclination. Shelley shrunk instinctively from portraying human passion, with its mix. ture of good and evil, of disappointment and disquiet. Such opened again the wounds of his own heart, and he loved to shelter himself rather in the airiest flights of fancy, forgetting love and hate and regret and lost hope, in such imagination as borrowed their hues from sunrise or sunset, from the yellow moonshine or paly twilight, from the aspect of the far ocean or the shadows of the woods; which celebrated the singing of the winds among the pines, the flow of a murmuring stream, and the thousand harmonious sounds which nature creates in her solitudes. These are the materials which form The Witch of Atlas; it is a brilliant congregation of ideas, such as his senses gathered, and his fancy coloured, during his rambles in the sunny land he so much loved.
Our stay at the baths of San Giuliano was shortened by an accident. At the foot of our garden ran the canal that communicated between the Serchio and the Arno. The Serchio overflowed its banks, and breaking its bounds, this canal also overflowed; all this part of the country is below the level of its rivers, and the consequence was, that it was speedily flooded. The rising waters filled the square of the baths, in the lower part of which our house was situated. The canal overflowed in the garden behind; the rising waters on either side at last burst open the doors, and meeting in the house, rose to the height of six feet. It was a picturesque sight at night, to see the peasants driving the cattle from the plains below, to the hills above the baths. A fire was kept up to guide them across the ford; and the forms of the men and the animals showed in dark relief against the red glare of the flame, which was reflected again in the waters that tilled the square.
We then removed to Pisa, and took up our abode there for the winter. The extreme mildness of the climate suited Shelley, and his solitude was enlivened by an intercourse with several intimate friends. Chance cast us, strangely nough, on this quiet, half-unpeopled town; but its very peace
Buited Shelley,-its river, the near mountains, and not distant
See also 1.72
of me a
The longle opreme. I desire should not te considered as
mory own : indees, in
it is the production of a portion dead - and, in this curse, the advertisement is no fiction. It is to be publishe tinfyen the eastere few; and I make iti author a secret, to avoid the rolignity 2 teine eucat fok into Frien, bramaferaning at they
touch sité the corruption of their
wish with accpect to it is that it abould be printed immediality in the simplest from, and merely
Lundred expien. Those who are capable of judging feeling rigetty with respect to a
respect to a compaction of so alebowe a nature enlauly do not arrive at that number
There, at lact, who would even be excited to read au obeure and production
me no pleasure that the relges should read it.
Stelley to hu. Ollies, Bot. 16, 1826
Au to al flech
an & pect
vue to the circle of a anything human earthly from
me. I desired Ollier not to this piece except to the orretor and even they, it
. a forfria of my own, to cet all this right - Shelley to Mr. Giebomer, Och, 18h The word lepipzibidea sea
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1821.
TERSKS ADDRESSED TO THE NOBLE AND UNFORTUNATE
LADY EMILIA V
NOW IMPRISONED IN THE CONVENT OF
St. Anne, Pica
Toprak itweg in de zelfrata, anla all ile phone for different from this obscure
“L'anima amante si slancia fuori del creato, e si crea nel infinito un mondo tutto per essa, diverso assai da questo oscuro e pauroso baratro."-Her own words. */
My Song, I fear that thou wilt find but few
The composition from which this motto was taken is la Medwin's Life of Shelley, ii. 67
VOL. IV. 4
* sufrkenals viet bail: l'hom the days fau .
Staliw Count, and was shut up in a mnent by her zather until wuel terme he could find in her
Whoule affrorce. In the dresy
dresy preton [after the las been there about from year] Shelles saw her; and we abruch by her amazing ready
grace of her mind, des to the imit which he enffures in being actories from all byenpathy. The han
Z the thing
e le quotation from Claube, segnifying: Great were his home who wrote should rhyne anything
agarb of alla fokor a shilovial comar,
then, being ackes, should enerpalle of stripping his words
the goob as that
they might kan
meaning - Ralli
THE writer of the following lines died at Florence, as he WAS preparing for a voyage to one of the wildest of the Spra rades, which he had bought, and where he had fitted up the ruins of an old building, and where it was his hope to have realized a scheme of lite, suited perhaps to that happier and better world of which he is now an inhabitant, but hardly practicable in this. His life was singular; less on account of the romantic vicissitudes which diversified it, than the ideal tinge which it received from his own character and feelings. The present Poem, like the Vita Nuova of Dante, is sufficiently intelligible to a certain class of readers without a matter-of-fact history of the circumstances to which it relates; and to a certain other class it must ever remain incomprehensible, from a defect of a common organ of perception for the ideas of which it treats. Not but that, gran vergogna sarebbe a colui, che rimasse cosa sollo veste di figura, o di colore rettorico: e domandato non sapesse denudare le sue parole da cotal veste, in guisa che avessero veroce intendimento.
The present poem appears to have been intended by the writer as the dedication to some longer one. The stanza on the preceding page is almost a literal translation from Dante's famous canzone
Voi ch' intendendo, il terzo ciel movete, &c.
Thu presumptuous application of the concluding lines to his
in his saciety
in the marshy solitudes of the trantuana!. fon six yesal she diplome, wit it
with the incent
? parent, aut dire Creumplen in a
a delapidates old Montin at Ilorence. This recurre a
living and to do hie element to ameborats her hetched condition.
buy after the death frequently to tient her while the man
in the consent