English Romantic Lyric Poet
Percy Bysshe Shelley
English Romantic Lyric Poet
Yet now despair itself is mild, even as the winds and waters are; I could lie down like a tired child, and weep away the life of care which I have borne and yet must bear, till death like sleep might steal on me, and I might feel in the warm air my cheek grow cold, and hear the sea breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
The past Hours weak and gray with the spoil which their toil raked together from the conquest but one could foil.
Their errors have been weighed and found to have been dust in the balance; if their sins were as scarlet, they are now white as snow: they have been washed in the blood of the mediator and the redeemer, Time.
Those who inflict must suffer, for they see the work of their own hearts, and that must be our chastisement or recompense.
To that high Capital, where kingly Death keeps his pale court in beauty and decay,
What is Love? It is that powerful attraction towards all that we conceive, or fear, or hope beyond ourselves.
Whosoever is free from the contamination of luxury and license, may go forth to the fields and to the woods, inhaling joyous renovation from the breath of Spring, or catching from the odors and sounds of Autumn some diviner mood of sweetest sadness, which improves the softened heart. Whosoever is no deceiver or destroyer of his fellow men ? no liar, no flatterer, no murderer may walk among his species, deriving, from the communion with all which they contain of beautiful or of majestic, some intercourse with the Universal God. Whosoever has maintained with his own heart the strictest correspondence of confidence, who dares to examine and to estimate every imagination which suggests itself to his mind ? whosoever is that which he designs to become, and only aspires to that which the divinity of his own nature shall consider and approve ? he has already seen God.
You are now in London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow at once is deaf and loud, and on the shore vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more. Yet in its depth what treasures!
The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame over his living head like Heaven is bent, an early but enduring monument, came, veiling all the lightnings of his song in sorrow.
Then black despair the shadow of a starless night, was thrown over the world in which I moved alone.
Thou art Justice ? ne'er for gold may thy righteous laws be sold as laws are in England ? thou shield'st alike the high and low.
True Love in this differs from gold and clay, that to divide is not to take away. Love is like understanding, that grows bright, gazing on many truths; 'tis like thy light, Imagination! which from earth and sky, and from the depths of human phantasy, as from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills the Universe with glorious beams, and kills error, the worm, with many a sun-like arrow of its reverberated lightning.
What softer voice is hushed over the dead? Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown? What form leans sadly o'er the white death ? bed, in mockery of monumental stone, the heavy heart heaving without a moan?
Why God made irreconcilable good and the means of good.
You lie?under a mistake, for this is the most civil sort of lie that can be given to a man's face. I now say what I think.
The practice of utter sincerity towards other men would avail to no good end, if they were incapable of practicing it towards their own minds. In fact, truth cannot be communicated until it is perceived. The interests, therefore, of truth require that an orator should, as far as possible, produce in his hearers that state of mind on which alone his exhortations could fairly be contemplated and examined.
There are two Italies.... The one is the most sublime and lovely contemplation that can be conceived by the imagination of man; the other is the most degraded, disgusting, and odious. What do you think? Young women of rank actually eat ? you will never guess what ? garlick! Our poor friend Lord Byron is quite corrupted by living among these people, and in fact, is going on in a way not worthy of him.
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.
'Twas his ambition, generous and great a life to life's great end to consecrate.
What! alive, and so bold, O earth?
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!
You must come home with me and be my guest; You will give joy to me, and I will do All that is in my power to honor you.
The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the state is driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, daisies, those pearl?d arcturi of the earth, the constellated flower that never sets; faint oxlips; tender bluebells at whose birth the sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets its mother?s face with heaven-collected tears, when the low wind, its playmate?s voice, it hears.
Thou comest as the memory of a dream, which now is sad because it hath been sweet.