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"Phantoms diffused around; and some did fling Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves, Behind them; some like eaglets on the wing

"Were lost in the white day; others like elves Danced in a thousand nnimagincd shapes Upon the sunny streams and grassy shelves;

"And others sate chattering like restless apes On vulgar hands, * * *

Some made a cradle of the ermined capes

"Of kingly mantles; some across the tire
Of pontiffs rode, like demons; others played
Under the crown which girt with empire

"A baby's or an idiot's brow, and made

Their nests in it The old anatomies

Sate hatching their bare broods under the shade

"Of demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes

To re-assume the delegated power,

Arrayed in which those worms did monarchise,

"Who made this earth their champ!. Others more

Humble, like falcons, sat upon the fist

Of common men, and round their heads did soar;

"Or like small gnats and flies, as thick as mist On evening marshes, thronged about the brow Of lawyers, statesmen, priest, and theorist;—

"And others, like discoloured flakes of snow On fairest bosoms and the sunniest hair, Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow

"Which they extinguished ;and, like tears, they were A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained In drops of Borrow. I became aware

"Of whence thosefonns proceeded which thus stain'd The track in which we moved. After brief space, From every form the beauty slowly waned;

"From every firmest limb and fairest face

The strength and freshness fell like dust, and left

The action and the shape without the grace

"Of life. The marble brow of youth was cleft With care ; andinthose eyeswhereoncehopeshone, Desire, like a lioness bereft

"Of her last cub, glared ere it died; each one

Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly

These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown

"In autumn evening from a poplar tree,
Each like himself and like each other were
At first; but some distorted seemed to be

"Obscure clouds, moulded by the casual air;
And of this stuff the car's creative ray
Wrapt all the busy phantoms that were there,

"As the sun shapes the clouds; thus on the way
Mask after mask fell from the countenance
And form of all; and long before the day

"Was old, the joy which waked like heaven's glance The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died; And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,

"And fell, as I have fallen, by the way-side;— Those soonest from whose forms most shadows pact And least of strength and beauty did abide.

"Then, what is life! I cried.'

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Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you;

1 have already dedicated two

To other friends, one female and one male,

What you are, is a thing that I must veil;

Wliat can this be to those who praise or rail!

I never was attached to that great sect

Whose doctrine is that each one should select

Out of the world a mistress or a friend,

And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend

To cold oblivion—though it is the code

Of modern morals, and the beaten road

Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread

Who travel to their home among the dead,

By the broad highway of the world—and so

With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe,

The dreariest and the longest journey go.

Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Like ocean, which the general north wind breaks
Into ten thousand waves, and each one makes
A mirror of the moon ; like some great glass,
Which did distort whatever form might pass,
Dashed into fragments by a playful child,
Which then reflects its eyes and forehead mild,
Giving for one, which it could ne'er express,
A thousand images of loveliness.

If I were one whom the loud world held wise,
I should disdain to quote authorities
In the support of this kind of love ;—
Why there is first the God in heaven above,

* Theso fragments do not properly belong to the poems of 1822. They arc gleanings from Shelley's manuscript books and papers; preserved not only because they are beautiful in themselves, but as affording indications of his feelings and virtues.

Who wrote a book called Nature, 'tis to be
Reviewed I hear in the next Quarterly;
And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece;
And Jesus Christ himself did never cease
To urge all living tilings to love each other,
And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother
The Devil of disunion in their souls.

It is a sweet thing friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm,
Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean;
A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion;
A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are,
Lifts its bold head into the world's pure air,
And blooms most radiantly when others die,
Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity;
And, with the light and odour of its bloom,
Shining within the dungeon and tho tomb;
Whose coming is as light and music are
'Mid dissonance and gloom—a star
Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone,
A smile among dark frowns—a gentle tone
Among rude voices, a beloved light,
A solitude, a refuge, a delight.

If I had but a friend! why I have three.

Even by my own confession ; there may be

Some more, for what I know ; for 'tis my mind

To call my friends all who are wise and kind,

And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few,

But none can ever be more dear than you.

Why should they be 1 my muse has lost her wings.

Or hke a dying swan who soars and sings

I should describe you in heroic style.

But as it is—are you not void of guile 1

A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless;

A well of sealed and secret happiness;

A lute, which those whom love has taught to play

Make music on, to cheer the roughest day 1

A gentle story of two lovers young,

Who met in innocence and died in sorrow, And of one selfish heart, whose rancour clung Like curses on them ; are ye slow to borrow The lore of truth from such a tale? Or in this world's deserted vale, Do ye not see a star of gladness Pierce the shadows of its sadness, When ye are cold, that love is a light sent From heaven, which none shall quench, to cheerthe innocent 1

I am drunk with the honey wine
Of the moon-unfolded eglantine,
Which fairies catch in hyacinth buds:—
The bats, the dormice, and the moles
Sleep in the walls or under the sward
Of the desolate Castle yard;
And when 'tis spilt on the summer earth
Or its fumes arise among the dew,
Their jocund dreams are full of mirth,
They gibber their joy in sleep; for few
Of the fairies bear those bowls so new!

And who feels discord now or sorrow?

Love is the universe to-day—
These are the slaves of dim to-morrow,

Darkening Life's labyrinthine way.

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When a lover clasps his fairest,
Then be our dread sport the rarest.
Their caresses were like the chaff
In the tempest, and be our laugh
His despair—her epitaph!

When a mother clasps her child,
Watch till dusty Death has piled
His cold asheB on the clay;
She has loved it many a day—
She remains,—it fades away.

One sung of thee who left the tale untold,

Likethefalsedawnswhich perish in the bursting:

Like empty cups of wrought and daedal gold. Which mock the lips with air, when they are thirsting.

Ye gentle visitations of calm thought—
Moods like the memories of happier earth,
Which come arrayed in thoughts of little woni.

Like stars in clouds by the weak winds enwroofOC
But that the clouds depart and stars remain,
While they remain, and ye, alas, depart!


In the cave which wild weeds cover
Wait for thine ethereal lover;
For the pallid moon is waning,
O'er the spiral cypress hanging
And the moon no cloud is staining.

It was once a Roman's chamber,
Where he kept his darkest revels,
And the wild weeds twine and clamber:
It was then a chasm for devils.


Rome has fallen, ye see it lying

Heaped in undistinguished ruin: Nature is alone undying.


How sweet it is to sit and read the tales
Of mighty poets, and to hear the while
Sweet music, which when the attention fails
Fills the dim pause

Wake the serpent not—lest he
Should not know the way to go,—
Let him crawl which yet lies sleeping
Through the deep grass of the meadow!
Not a bee shall hear him creeping,
Not a may-fly shall awaken,
From its cradling blue-bell shaken,
Not the starlight as he's sliding
Through the grass with silent gliding.


The fitful alternations of the rain,

When the chill wind, languid as with pain

Of its own heavy moisture, here and there

Drives through the grey and beamless atmosphere. XVII.

There is a warm and gentle atmosphere
About the form of one we love, and thus
As in a tender mist our spirits are

Wrapt in the of that which is to us

The health of life's own life.


What men gain fairly—that they should possess,

And children may inherit idleness,

From him who earns it—This is understood;

Private injustice may be general good.

But he who gains by base and armed wrong,

Or guilty fraud, or base compliances,

May bo despoiled; even as a stolen dress

Is stript from a convicted thief, and he

Left in the nakedness of infamy.


I would not be a king—enough

Of woo it is to love;
The path to power is steep and rough,

And tempests reign above.

I would not climb the imperial throne;
Tis built on ice which fortune's sun

Thaws in the height of noon.
Then farewell, king, yet were I one,
Care would not come so soon.
Would he and I were far away
Keeping flocks on Himelay!

He wanders, like a day-appearing dream, Through the dim wildernesses of the mind;

Through desert woods and tracts, which seem Like ocean, homeless, boundless, unconfinad.

0 thou immortal deity

Whose throne is in the depth of human thought,

1 do adjure thy power and thee

By all that man may be, by all that he is not,
By all that he has been and yet must be!




"Here lieth One whose name was writ on water!"
But ere the breath that could erase it blew,
Death, in remorse for that fell slaughter,
Death, the immortalising winter flew,
Athwart the stream, and time's monthlcss torrent
A scroll of crystal, blazoning the name [grew

Of Adonaia 1—


The rude wind is singing
The dirge of the music dead,

The cold worms are clinging
Where kisses were lately fed.


What art thou, Presumptuous, who profanest

The wreath to mighty poets only due, Even whilst like a forgotten moon thou wancst?

Touch not those leaves which for the eternal few, Who wander o'er the paradise of fame,

In sacred dedication ever grew,—
One of the crowd thou art without a name.
Ah, friend, 'tis the false laurel that I wear;

Bright though it seem, it is not the same
As that which bound Milton's immortal hair;

Its dew is poison and the hopes that quicken Under its chilling shade, though seeming fair,

Are flowers which die almost before they sicken.


When soft winds and sunny skies
With the green earth harmonize,
And the young and dewy dawn,
Bold as an unhunted fawn,
Up the windless heaven is gone—
Laugh—for ambushed in the day,
Clouds and whirlwinds watch their prey.


The babe is at peace within the womb,
The corpse is at rest within the tomb,
We begin in what we end.


These are two friends whose lives were undivided;
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under their grave; let not their bones be parted,
For their two hearts in life were single-hearted.



This mom thy gallant bark
Sailed on a Bunny sea,

'Tia noon, and tempests dark
Havo wrecked it on the lee.
Ah woe ' ah woo!

By spirits of the deop

Thou'rt cradled on the billow,

To thy eternal sleep.

Thou sleep'st upon the shore
Beside the knelling surge,

And sea-nymphs evermore
Shall sadly chant thy dirge.
They come! they como,

The spirits of the deep.
While near thy sea-weed pillow
My lonely watch 1 keep.

From far across the sea

I hear a loud lament.
By echo's voice for thee,

From ocean's caverns sent.
OUst I Olist,
The spirits of the deep;
They raise a wail of sorrow,
While I for ever weep.

With this last year of the life of Shelley these Notes end. They are not what I intended them to be. I began with energy and a burning desire to impart to the world, in worthy language, the sense I have of the virtues and genius of the Beloved and the Lost; my strength has failed under the task. Recurrence to the past—full of its own deep and unforgottcn joys and sorrows, contrasted with succeeding years of painful and solitary struggle, has shaken my health. Days of great suffering have followed my attempts to write, and these again produced a weakness and languor that spread their sinister influence over these notes. I dislike speaking of myself, hut cannot help apologising to the dead, and to the public, for not having executed in the manner I desired the history I engaged to give of Shelley's writings *.

• I at one time feared that the correction of tho press might bo less exact through my illness; but, I believe that it is nearly free from error. No omissions have been mado In this edition; (In the last of 1839 they were confined to certain passages of " Queen Mab";) some asterisks occur in a few pages, as they did in tho volume of Posthumous Poems, cither because they refer to private concerns, or because the original manuscript was left imperfect. Did any one see tho papers from which I drew that volume, the wonder would bo how any eyes or patience were cupablo of extracting it from so confused a mass.

The winter of 1822 was passed in Pisa, n* we might call that season winter in which autumn merged into spring, after the interval of but few days of bleaker weather. Spring sprang up early, and with extreme beauty. Shelley had conceived the idea of writing a tragedy on the subject of Charles I. It was one that he believed adapted for a drama; full of intense interest, contrasted character, and busy passion. He had recommended it long before, when he encouraged me to attempt a play. Whether the subject proved more difficult than he anticipated, or whether ia fact he could not bend his mind away from the broodings and wanderings of thought, divested from human interest, which he best loved, I cannot tell ; but he proceeded slowly, and threw it aside for one of the most mystical of his poenw. "The Triumph of Life," on which he was employed at the last.

His passion for boating was fostered at this time by having among our friends several sailor*: his favourite companion, Edward Ellerker Williams, of the Rth Light Dragoons, had begun his life

Interlined and broken Into fragment*, so that the •«-» could only be deciphered and Joined by K^cokh. »hili might heom rather intuitivo than founded on; Yet 1 believe no mistake was made.

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