Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe

English Romantic Lyric Poet

Author Quotes

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: O 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.

One word is too often profaned for me to profane it; one feeling too falsely disdained for thee to disdain

Poor captive bird! Who, from thy narrow cage, pourest such music, that it might assuage the rugged hearts of those who prisoned thee, were they not deaf to all sweet melody.

Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.

The body is placed under the earth, and after a certain period there remains no vestige even of its form. This is that contemplation of inexhaustible melancholy, whose shadow eclipses the brightness of the world. The common observer is struck with dejection of the spectacle. He contends in vain against the persuasion of the grave, that the dead indeed cease to be. The corpse at his feet is prophetic of his own destiny. Those who have preceded him, and whose voice was delightful to his ear; whose touch met his like sweet and subtle fire: whose aspect spread a visionary light upon his path ? these he cannot meet again.

The flower that smiles today tomorrow dies; all that we wish to stay tempts and then flies; what is this world's delight? Lightning, that mocks the night, brief even as bright.--virtue, how frail it is!--friendship, how rare!--love, how it sells poor bliss for proud despair! But these though they soon fall, survive their joy, and all which ours we call.--whilst skies are blue and bright, whilst flowers are gay, whilst eyes that change ere night make glad the day; whilst yet the calm hours creep, dream thou - and from thy sleep then wake to weep.

Last came Anarchy: he rode on a white horse, splashed with blood; he was pale even to the lips, like Death in the Apocalypse.

Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing.

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.

O wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Our happiness also corresponds with, and is adapted to, the nature of what is most excellent in our being. We see God, and we see that he is good. How delightful a picture, even if it be not true! How magnificent is the conception which this bold theory suggests to the contemplation, even if it be no more than the imagination of some sublimest and most holy poet, who, impressed with the loveliness and majesty of his own nature, is impatient and discontented with the narrow limits which this imperfect life and the dark grave have assigned forever as his melancholy portion. It is not to be believed that Hell, or punishment, was the conception of this daring mind. It is not to be believed that the most prominent group of this picture, which is framed so heart-moving and lovely ? the accomplishment of all human hope, the extinction of all morbid fear and anguish ? would consist of millions of sensitive beings enduring, in every variety of torture which Omniscient vengeance could invent, immortal agony.

Pourest thy full heart.

So is Hope Changed for Despair ? one laid upon the shelf, We take the other. Under heaven's high cope Fortune is god ? all you endure and do Depends on circumstance as much as you.

The breath of accusation kills an innocent name, and leaves for lame acquittal the poor life, which is a mask without it.

The Galilean is not a favorite of mine. So far from owing him any thanks for his favor, I cannot avoid confessing that I owe a secret grudge to his carpentership.

Let me set my mournful ditty to a merry measure; thou wilt never come for pity, thou wilt come for pleasure; pity then will cut away those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.

Many a green isle needs must be in the deep wide sea of Misery, or the mariner, worn and wan, never thus could voyage on.

Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent; this, like thy glory, Titan! is to be good, great, and joyous, beautiful and free; this is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.

O world! O life! O time! On whose last steps I climb, trembling at that where I had stood before; when will return the glory of your prime? No more -- oh, never more! Out of the day and night a joy has taken flight; fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar, move my faint heart with grief, but with delight no more -- oh, never more!

Our sincerest laughter with some pain is fraught: our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thought.

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.

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Percy Bysshe
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English Romantic Lyric Poet