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AN ODE,

TO THE ASSERTORS OF LIBERTY.

Arise, arise, arise! There is blood on the earth that denies ye bread;

Be your wounds like eyes To weep for the dead, the dead, the dead. What other grief were it just to pay! Your sons, your wives, your brethren, were they; Who said they were slain on the battle day '.

Awaken, awaken, awaken!
The slave and the tyrant are twin-born foes;
Be the cold chains shaken
To the dust, where your kindred repose, repose:
Their bones in the grave will start and move,
When they hear the voices of those they love,
Most loud in the holy combat above.

Wave, wave high the banner!
When Freedom is riding to conquest by:

Though the slaves that fan her
Be famine and toil, giving sigh for sigh.
And ye who attend her imperial car,
Lift not your hands in the banded war,
But in her defence whose children ye are.

Glory, glory, glory,
To those who have greatly suffered and done 1

Never name in story
Was greater than that which ye shall have won.
Conquerors have conquered their focB alone,
Whose revenge, pride, and power, they have over-
thrown:
Ride ye, more victorious, over your own.

Bind, bind every brow
With crownals of violet, ivy, and pine:

Hide the blood-stains now
With hues which sweet nature has made divine,
Green strength, azure hope, and eternity.
But let not the pansy among them be;
Ye were injured, and that means memory.

ENGLAND IN 1819.

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,— Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow Through public scorn—mud from a muddy

spring,— Rulers, who neither see, nor feel, nor know, But leech-like to their fainting country cling, Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,— A people starved and stabbed in the untitled field,— An army, which liberticide and prey Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield, Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay,— Religion Christless, Godless—a book scaled; A Senate—Tune's worst statute unrepealed,— Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

ODE TO HEAVEN.

Chorus Op Spirits,
First SPIRIT.
Palace-roof of cloudless nights!
Paradise of golden lights!

Deep, immeasurable, vast,
Which art now, and which wert then!

Of the present and the past,
Of the eternal where and when,

Presence-chamber, temple, home,

Ever-canopying dome,

Of acts and ages yet to come!

Glorious shapes have life in thee,
Earth, and all earth's company;

Living globes which ever throng
Thy deep chasms and wildernesses;

And green worlds that glide along; And swift stars with flashing tresses;

And icy moons most cold and bright,

And mighty suns beyond the night,

Atoms of intensest light.

Even thy name is as a god,
Heaven! for thou art the abode

Of that power which is the glass
Wherein man his nature sees.

Generations as they pass Worship thee with bended knees.

Their unremaining gods and they

Like a river roll away;

Thou remainest such alway.

Second Spirit. Thou art but the mind's first chamber, Round which its young fancies clamber,

Like weak insects in a cave, Lighted up by stalactites;

But the portal of the grave, Where a world of new delights

Will make thy best glories seem

But a dim and noonday gleam

From the shadow of a dream!

THIRD SPIRIT.

Peace ! the abyss is wreathed with scorn

At your presumption, atom-born!
What is heaven! and what are ye

Who its brief expanse inherit?

What are suns and spheres which flee

With the instinct of that spirit
Of which ye arc but a part \
Drops which Nature's mighty heart
Drives through thinnest veins. Depart'.

What is heaven? a globe of dew,

Filling in the morning new
Some eyed flower, whose young leaves waken

On an unimagined world:
Constellated suns unshaken,

Orbits measureless, are furled
In tliat frail and fading sphere,
With ten millions gathered there,
To tremble, gleam, and disappear.

ODE TO THE WEST WIND.*

O Wild West Wind,thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: 0 thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's com-
motion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Sbookfrom the tangled boughs of Heavenand Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning : there are spread
On the bine surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge

Of the horizon to the zenith's height,

The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the doom of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere

Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: Oh hear!

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baise's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenscr day,

•This poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that fekirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature iB at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset, with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.

The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well known to naturalists. The vegetation at the b"ttom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathises with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it.

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers

So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou

For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear, And tremble and despoil themselves: Oh hear!

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;

If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;

A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, 0 uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip the skyey speed
Scarce seemed a vision, I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh ! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed I

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will tako from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! 0 wind,

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

AN EXHORTATION.

Cameleons feed on light and air:
Poets' food is love and fame:

If in this wide world of care
Poets could but find the same

With as little toil as they,

Would they ever change their hue
As the light cameleons do,

Suiting it to every ray

Twenty times a-day •

Poets are on this cold earth,

As cameleons might be, Hidden from their early birth

In a cave beneath the sea; Where light is, cameleons change!

Where love is not, poets do:

Fame is love disguised: if few Find either, never think it strange That poets range.

Yet dare not stain with wealth or power

A poet's free and heavenly mind: If bright cameleons should devour

Any food but beams and wind, They would grow as earthly soon

As their brother lizards are.

Children of a sunnier star, Spirits from beyond the moon, Oh, refuse the boon!

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My lost William, thou in whom

Some bright spirit lived, and did That decaying robe consume

Which its lustre faintly hid, Here its ashes find a tomb, But beneath this pyramid Thou art not—if a thing divine Like thee can die, thy funeral shrine Is thy mother's grief and mine.

Where art thou, my gentle child!

Let me think thy spirit feeds, With its life intense and mild, The love of living leaves and weeds, Among these tombs and ruins wild ;—

Let me think that through low seeds Of the sweet flowers and sunny grass, Into their hues and scents may pass, A portion

June, iiiia

THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI,

IN THE FLORENTINE GALLERY.

It licth, gazing on the midnight sky,
Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine;

Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;
Its horror and its beauty are divine.

Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie

Loveliness like a shadow, from which shim-,

Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,

The agonies of anguish and of death.

Yet it is less the horror than the grace
Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone

Whereon the lineaments of that dead face
Are graven, till the characters be grown

Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
'Tis the melodious hues of beauty thrown

Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,

Which humanize and harmonize the strain.

And from its head as from one body grow,
As [ ] grass out of a watery rock,

Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow,
And their long tangles in each other lock,

And with unending involutions show

Their mailed radiance, as it were to mock

The torture and the death within, and saw

The solid air with many a ragged jaw.

And from a stone beside, a poisonous eft
Peeps idly into these Gorgonian eyes;

Whilst in the air a ghastly bat, bereft
Of sense, has flitted with a mad surprise

Out of the cave this hideous light hath cleft,
And he comes hastening like a moth that hies

After a taper; and the midnight sky

Flares, a light more dread than obscurity.

'Tis the tempestuous loveliness of terror;

For from the serpents gleams a brazen glare Kindled by that inextricable error,

Which makes a thrilling vapour of the air
Become a [ ] and ever-shifting mirroi

Of all the beauty and the terror there—
A woman's countenance, with serpent locks.
Gazing in death on heaven from those wet
rocks.

Florbkci, 11119.

NOTE ON THE POEMS OF 1819.

BY THE EDITOR.

Though Shelley's first eager desire to excite his countrymen to resist openly the oppressions existent during "the good old times" had faded with early youth, still his warmest sympathies were for the people. He was a republican, and loved a democracy. He looked on all human beings as inheriting an equal right to possess the dearest privileges of our nature, the necessaries of life, when fairly earned by labour, and intellectual instruction. His hatred of any despotism, that looked upon the people as not to be consulted or protected from want and ignorance, was intense. He was residing near Leghorn, at Villa Valsovano, writing The Cenci, when the news of the Manchester Massacre reached us ; it roused in him violent emotions of indignation and compassion. The great truth that the many, if accordant and resolute, could control the few, as was shown some years after, made him long to teach his injured countrymen how to resist. Inspired by these feelings, he wrote the Masque of Anarchy, which he sent to his friend, Leigh Hunt, to be inserted in the Examiner, of which he was then the Editor.

"I did not insert it," Leigh Hunt writes in his valuable and interesting preface to this poem, when he printed it in 1832, "because I thought that the public at large had not become sufficiently discerning to do justice to the sincerity and kindheartedness of his spirit, that walked in this flaming robe of verse." Days of outrage have passed away, and with them the exasperation that would cause such an appeal to the many to be injurious. Without being aware of them, they at one time acted on his suggestions, and gained the day; but they rose when human life was respected by the minister in power; such was not the case during the administration which excited Shelley's abhorrence.

The poem was written for the people, and is therefore in a more popular tone than usual; portions strike as abrupt and unpolished, but many stanzas are all his own. I heard him repeat, and admired those beginning,—

My Father Time is old and grey,

before I knew to what poem they were to belong. But the most touching passage is that which describes the blessed effects of liberty; they might make a patriot of any man, whose heart was not wholly closed against his humbler fellow-creatures.

Shelley loved the people, and respected them as often more virtuous, as always more suffering, and, therefore, more deserving of sympathy, than the great. He believed that a clash between the two classes of society was inevitable, and he eagerly ranged himself on the people's side. He had an idea of publishing a series of poems adapted expressly to commemorate their circumstances and wrongs—he wrote a few, but in those days of prosecution for libel they could not be printed. They are not among the best of his productions, a writer being always shackled when he endeavours to write down to the comprehension of those who could not understand or feel a highly imaginative style ; but they show his earnestness, and with what heartfelt compassion he went home to the direct point of injury—that oppression is detestable, as being the parent of starvation, nakedness, and ignorance. Besides these outpourings of compassion and indignation, he had meant to adorn the cause he loved with loftier poetry of glory and triumph—such is the scope of the Ode to the Assertors of Liberty. He sketched also a new version of our national anthem, as addressed to Liberty.

God prosper, speed, and save,
God raise from England's grave

Her murdered Queen!
Pavo with swift victory
The steps of Liberty,
Whom Britons own to be

Immortal Queen.

Soe, she comes throned on high,
On swift Eternity!

Gud save the Queen'

Millions on millions wait
Firm, rapid, and elate,
On her majestic state!

God save the Queen!

She la thine own pure soul
Moulding the mighty whole,

God save the Queen!
Sho is thine own deep lovo
Rained down from heaven above,
Wherever she rest or move,

God save our Queen!

Wilder her enemies

In their own dark disguise,

God save our Queen!
All earthly things that dare
Her sacred name to bear.
Strip them, as kings are, bare;

God save the Queen!

Be her eternal throne
Built in our hearts alone,

God save the Queen!
Let the oppressor hold
Canopied seats of gold;
She sits enthroned of old

O'er our hearts Queen.

Lips touched by seraphim
Breathe out the choral hymn

God save the Queen!
Sweet as if Angels sang,
Loud as that trumpet's clang
Wakening the world's dead gang,

God save the Queen!

Shelley had suffered severely from the death of our son during this summer. Hi? heart, attuned to every kindly affection, was full of burning love for his offspring. No words can express the anguish he felt when his elder children were torn from him. In his first resentment against the Chancellor, on the passing of the decree, he had written a curse, in which there breathes, besides haughty indignation, all the tenderness of a father's love, which could imagine and fondly dwell upon its loss and the consequences. It is as follows :—

TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR,

Thv country's curse is on thee, darkest Crest
Of that foul, knotted, many-headed worm,

Which rends our Mother's bosom—Priestly Pest!
Masked Resurrection of a buried form! *

Thy country's curse Is on thee! Justice sold.
Truth trampled, Nature's land-marks overthrown,

And heaps of fraud-accumulated gold,
Plead, loud as thunder, at Destruction's throne.

And whilst that slow sure Angel, which aye stands,

Watching the beck of Mutability, Delays to execute her high commands.

And, though a nation weeps, spares thine and thee;

O let a father's curse be on thy soul,
And let a daughter's hope be on thy tomb,

And both on thy grey head, a leaden cowl,
To weigh thee down to thine approaching doom!

. * The Star Chamber.

I curse thee by a parent's outraged love,
By hopes long cherished and too lately lost,

By gentle feelings thou eouldst never prove.
By griefs which thy stern nature never crost:

By those infantine smiles of happy light,
Which were a fire within a stranger's hearth.

Quenched even when kindled, in untimely night.
Hiding the promise of a lovely birth:

By those unpractised accents of young speech,
Which he who is a father thought to frame

To gentlest lore, such as the wisest teach;
Thou strike the lyre of mind! O grief and shame!

By all the happy see in children's growth.
That undeveloped flower of budding years.

Sweetness and sadness interwoven both,
Source of the sweetest hopes and saddest fears:

By all the days under a hireling's care
Of dull constraint and bitter heaviness,—

0 wretched ye, if ever any were,

Sadder than orphans, yet not fatherless!

By the false cant, which on their innocent lips
Must hang like poison on an opening bloom.

By the dark creeds which cover with eclipse
Their pathway from the cradle to the tomb:

By thy most impious Hell, and all its terrors.
By all the grief, the madness, and the guilt

Of thine impostures, which must be their errors.
That sand on which thy crumbling Power is built

By thy complicity with lust and hate,
Thy thirst for tears, thy hunger after gold,

The ready frauds which ever on thee wait.
The servile arts in which thou hast grown old;

By thy most killing sneer, and by thy smile.
By all the acts and snares of thy black den,

And—for thou canst outweep the crocodile,—
By thy false tears—those millstones braining men;

By all the hate which checks a father's love.
By all the scorn which kills a father's care,

By those most impious hands that dared remove
Nature's high bounds—by thee—and by despair!

Yes, the despair which bids a father groan,
And cry, my children are no longer mine;

The blood within those veins may be mine own.
But, Tyrant, their polluted souls are thine.

1 curse thee, though I hate thee not; O slave!

If thou eouldst quench the earth-consuming hell
Of which thou art a daemon, on thy grave
This curse should be a blessing. Fare thee well.'

At one time, while the question was still pending, the Chancellor had said some words that seemed to intimate that Shelley should not be permitted the care of any of his children, and for a moment he feared that our infant son would be torn from us. He did not hesitate to resolve, if such were menaced, to abandon country, fortune, everything, and to escape with his child ; and I find some unfinished stanzas addressed to this son, whom

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