Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe

English Romantic Lyric Poet

Author Quotes

Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.

Stand ye calm and resolute, like a forest close and mute, with folded arms and looks which are weapons of unvanquished war.

The demagogues of the infant republic of the Christian sect, attaining through eloquence or artifice, to influence amongst its members, first violated (under the pretense of watching over their integrity) the institutions established for the common and equal benefit of all. These demagogues artfully silenced the voice of the moral sense among them by engaging them to attend, not so much to the cultivation of a virtuous and happy life in this mortal scene, as to the attainment of a fortunate condition after death; not so much to the consideration of those means by which the state of man is adorned and improved, as an inquiry into the secrets of the connection between God and the world ? things which, they well knew, were not to be explained, or even to be conceived. The system of equality which they established necessarily fell to the ground, because it is a system that must result from, rather than precede, the moral improvement of human kind.

The jealous keys of truth's eternal doors.

Like the young moon, When on the sunlit limits of the night Her white shell trembles amid crimson air, And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers might, Doth, as the herald of its coming, bear The ghost of its dead mother, whose dim form Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair.

Men of England, wherefore plough for the lords who lay ye low?

Nor yet exempt, though ruling them like slaves, from chance, and death, and mutability, the clogs of that which else might oversoar the loftiest star of unascended heaven, pinnacled dim in the intense inane.

O'er Egypt's land of memory floods are level, and they are thine, O Nile! and well thou knowest the soul-sustaining airs and blasts of evil, and fruits, and poisons spring where'er thou flowest.

Perhaps the only comfort which remains is the unheeded clanking of my chains, the which I make, and call it melody.

Rise like Lions after slumber in unvanquishable number ? Shake your chains to earth like dew which in sleep had fallen on you ? Ye are many ? they are few.

Such affection and unbroken faith as temper life's worst bitterness.

The desire of the moth for the star, of the night for the morrow, the devotion to something afar from the sphere of our sorrow.

The keen stars were twinkling, and the fair moon was rising among them, dear Jane. The guitar was tinkling, but the notes were not sweet till you sung them again. As the moon's soft splendor o'er the faint cold starlight of heaven is thrown, so your voice most tender to the strings without soul had then given its own. The stars will awaken, though the moon sleep a full hour later to-night; no leaf will be shaken whilst the dews of your melody scatter delight. Though the sound overpowers, sing again, with your dear voice revealing a tone of some world far from ours, where music and moonlight and feeling are one.

Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

Mild is the slow necessity of death; the tranquil spirit fails beneath its grasp, without a groan, almost without a fear, resigned in peace to the necessity; calm as a voyager to some distant land, and full of wonder, full of hope as he.

Not the swart Pariah in some Indian grove, lone, lean, and hunted by his brother?s hate, hath drunk so deep the cup of bitter fate as that poor wretch who cannot, cannot love: he bears a load which nothing can remove, a killing, withering weight.

Of such affection and unbroken faith As temper life's worst bitterness.

Persevere even though Hell and destruction should yawn beneath your feet.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, are heaped for the beloved's bed; and so thy thoughts, when thou art gone, Love itself shall slumber on.

Swiftly walk o'er the western wave, spirit of night! Out of the misty eastern cave,-- where, all the long and lone daylight, thou wovest dreams of joy and fear which make thee terrible and dear,-- swift be thy flight! Wrap thy form in a mantle grey, star-inwrought! Blind with thine hair the eyes of day; kiss her until she be wearied out. Then wander o'er city and sea and land, touching all with thine opiate wand--come, long-sought! When I arose and saw the dawn, I sigh'd for thee; when light rode high, and the dew was gone, and noon lay heavy on flower and tree, and the weary day turn'd to his rest, lingering like an unloved guest, I sigh'd for thee. Thy brother death came, and cried, 'wouldst thou me?' thy sweet child sleep, the filmy-eyed, murmur'd like a noontide bee, 'shall I nestle near thy side? Wouldst thou me?'--and I replied, 'no, not thee!' death will come when thou art dead, soon, too soon--sleep will come when thou art fled. Of neither would I ask the boon I ask of thee, beloved night--swift be thine approaching flight, come soon, soon!

The distinction between poets and prose writers is a vulgar error.

The life of Camillus, the death of Regulus; the expectation of the senators, in their godlike state, of the victorious Gauls; the refusal of the republic to make peace with Hannibal, after the battle of Cannae, were not the consequences of a refined calculation of the probable personal advantage to result from such a rhythm and order in the shows of life, to those who were at once the poets and the actors of these immortal dramas. The imagination beholding the beauty of this order, created it out of itself according to its own idea; the consequence was empire, and the reward everlasting fame. These things are not the less poetry, quia carent vate sacro [because they lack a sacred bard]. They are the episodes of that cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of men.

Lost Angel of a ruined Paradise! She knew not 'twas her own; as with no stain she faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

Mind from its object differs most in this: evil from good; misery from happiness; the baser from the nobler; the impure and frail, from what is clear and must endure. If you divide suffering and dross, you may diminish till it is consumed away; if you divide pleasure and love and thought, each part exceeds the whole; and we know not how much, while any yet remains unshared, of pleasure may be gained, of sorrow spared: this truth is that deep well, whence sages draw the unenvied light of hope; the eternal law by which those live, to whom this world of life is as a garden ravaged, and whose strife tills for the promise of a later birth the wilderness of this elysian earth. Love's very pain is sweet, but its reward is in the world divine which, if not here, it builds beyond the grave.

Nothing in the world is single, all things by a law divine in one another's being mingle ?Why not I with thine?

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Percy Bysshe
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English Romantic Lyric Poet