Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe

English Romantic Lyric Poet

Author Quotes

Power, life a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame, a mechanized automaton.

Some philosophers?and those to whom we are indebted for the most stupendous discoveries in physical science, suppose... that intelligence is the mere result of certain combinations among the particles of its objects; and those among them who believe that we live after death, recur to the interposition of a supernatural power, which shall overcome the tendency inherent in all material combinations, to dissipate and be absorbed into other forms.

The butchering of harmless animals cannot fail to produce much of that spirit of insane and hideous exultation in which news of a victory is related altho' purchased by the massacre of a hundred thousand men. If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.

The golden years return,

Let the blue sky overhead, the green earth on which ye tread, all that must eternal be witness the solemnity.

Many faint with toil, that few may know the cares and woe of sloth.

No more alone through the world's wilderness, although I trod the paths of high intent, I journeyed now: no more companionless.

O! I burn with impatience for the moment of the dissolution of intolerance; it has injured me.

Ozymandias, I met a traveler from an antique land who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: 'my name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!' nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight! Wherefore hast thou left me now many a day and night? Many a weary night and day 'tis since thou are fled away.

Songs consecrate to truth and liberty.

The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose.

The great secret of morals is love.

Let us bring the question to the test of experience and fact; and ask ourselves, considering our nature in its entire extent, what light we derive from a sustained and comprehensive view of its component parts, which may enable us to assert with certainty that we do or do not live after death.

Me ? who am as a nerve o'er which do creep the else unfelt oppressions of this earth, and was to thee the flame upon thy hearth, when all beside was cold: ? that thou on me shouldst rain these plagues of blistering agony!

No more let life divide what death can join together.

O, white innocence, that thou shouldst wear the mask of guilt to hide thine awful and serenest countenance from those who know thee not!

Peace is in the grave. The grave hides all things beautiful and good. I am a God and cannot find it there, nor would I seek it; for, though dread revenge, this is defeat, fierce king, not victory.

Religion pervades intensely the whole frame of society, and is according to the temper of the mind which it inhabits, a passion, a persuasion, an excuse, a refuge; never a check.

Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power! Necessity, thou mother of the world!

The cold chaste Moon, the Queen of Heaven's bright isles, who makes all beautiful on which she smiles! What wandering shrine of soft, yet icy flame, whichever is transform'd yet still the same, and warms, but not illumines.

The howl of self-interest is loud ... but the heart is black which throbs solely to its note.

Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, stains the white radiance of Eternity, until Death tramples it to fragments.

Men must reap the things they sow, force from force must ever flow, or worse; but 'tis a bitter woe that love or reason cannot change.

No one has yet been found resolute enough in dogmatizing to deny that Nature made man equal; that society has destroyed this equality is a truth not more incontrovertible.

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Percy Bysshe
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English Romantic Lyric Poet