« AnteriorContinuar »
Until each crag-like tower,
storied column, Palace, and obelisk, and trap
solemn, My imperial mountains crowned
cloud, and snow, and fire; My sta-like forests, every blade so
blossom Which finds a grave or cradle in
bosom, Were stamped by thy strong hate intere
On an abandoned corpse, till the blue
globe Wrapt deluge round it like a cloak, and
they Yelled, gasped, and were abolished ; or
some God Whose throne was in a comet, passed,
and cried, Be not ! And like my words they were no more.
The Earth The joy, the triumph, the delight, the
madness! The boundless, overflowing, bursting
gladness, The vaporous exultation not to be con
fined! Ha! ha! the animation of delight Which wraps me, like an atmosphere
of light, And bears me as a cloud is borne by its own wind.
The Moon Brother mine, calm wanderer,
Happy globe of land and air, Some Spirit is darted like a beam from
thee, Which penetrates my frozen frame, And passes with the warmth of flame, With love, and odor, and deep melody Through me, through me!
The Earth Ha! ha! the caverns of my hollow
mountains, My cloven fire-crags, sound-exulting
fountains Laugh with a vast and inextinguishable
laughter. The oceans, and the deserts, and the
abysses, And the deep air's unmeasured
wildernesses, Answer from all their clouds and billows,
echoing after. They cry aloud as I do. Sceptred
curse, Who all our green and azure universe Threatenedst to muffle round with black
destruction, sending A solid cloud to rain hot thunder
stones, And splinter and knead down my
children's bones, All I bring forth, to one void mass,
battering and blending.
How art thou sunk, withdraw
covered, drunk up By thirsty nothing, as the brackis
cup Drained by a desert-troop, a little dee
for all ; And from beneath, around, within
above, Filling thy void annihilation, love Burst in like light on caves cloves the thunder-ball.
The Moon The snow upon my lifeless mountains Is loosened into living fountains, My solid oceans flow, and sing, and
shine: A spirit from my heart bursts forth It clothes with unexpected birth My cold bare bosom : Oh! it must
On mine, on mine!
Gazing on thee I feel, I know Green stalks burst forth, and brigt
flowers grow, And living shapes upon my boscott
move: Music is in the sea and air,
Wingéd clouds soar here and there, Dark with the rain new buds are dreale
ing of :
"Tis love, all love!
The Earth It interpenetrates my granite miss Through tangled roots and trodde
clay doth pass, Into the utmost leaves and delicatest
flowers ; Upon the winds, among the clouds 'ts
spread, It wakes a life in the forgotten dead. They breathe a, spirit up from their
And like a storm bursting its cloudy
prison With thunder, and with whirlwind,
has arisen at of the lampless caves of unimagined
being : With earthquake shock nd swift
ness making shiver Thought's stagnant chaos, unremoved
for ever, ill hate, and fear, and pain, light-van
quished shadows, fleeing, Leave Man, who was a many-sided
mirror, Which could distort to many a shape
of error, his true fair world of things, a sea re
flecting love ; Which over all his kind as the sun's
heaven Hiding o'er ocean, smooth, serene, and
even Jarting from starry depths radiance and
life, doth move, Leave Man, even as
a leprous child is left, Who follows a sick beast to some
warm cleft Df rocks, through which the might of
healing springs is poured ; Then when it wanders home with
rosy smile, Unconscious, and its mother fears
awhile It is a spirit, then, weeps on her child
restoredMan, oh, not men ! a chain of linked
thought, Of love and might to be divided not, Compelling the elements with adamantine stress ;
[gaze, As the sun rules, even with a tyrant's The unquiet republic of the maze of planets, struggling fierce towards
heaven's free wilderness
His will, with all mean passions, bad
delights, And selfish cares, its trembling
satellites, A spirit ill to guide, but mighty to obey, Is as a tempest-winged ship, whose
helm Love rules, through waves which
dare not overwhelm, Forcing life's wildest shores to own its
sovereign sway. All things confess his strength.
Through the cold mass Of marble and of color his dreams pass ; Bright threads whence mothers weave
the robes their children wear ; Language is a perpetual orphic song, Which rules with Dædal harmony a
throng Of thoughts and forms, which else
senseless and shapeless were. The lightning is his slave; heaven's
utmost deep Gives up her stars, and like a flock of
sheep They pass before his eye, are numbered,
and roll on! The tempest is his steed, he strides
the air ; And the abyss shouts from her depth
laid bare, Heaven, hast thou secrets ? Man unveils me; I have none.
From my path in heaven at last,
And through my newly-woven bowers,
Wander happy paramours, Less mighty, but as mild as those who keep
Thy vales more deep.
gold, And crystalline, till it becomes a wingéd
mist, And wanders up the vault of the blue
day, Outlives the noon, and on the sun's Hangs o'er the sea, a fleece of fire and
Man, one harmonious soul of many
a soul, Whose nature is its own divine control, Where all things flow to all, as rivers to the sea;
(love ; Familiar acts are beautiful through Labor, and pain, and grief, in life's
green grove Sport like tame beasts, none knew how
gentle they could be !
In the light which is undying
divine ; All suns and constellations shower
On thee a light, a life, a power
ing delight, Murmuring victorious joy in my en
chanted sleep; As a youth lulled in love-dreams faint
ly sighing, Under the shadows of his beauty ly
ing. Which round his rest a watch of light and warmth doth keep.
The Moon As in the soft and sweet eclipse, When soul meets soul on lovers' lips, High hearts are calm, and brightest eyes
are dull ; So when thy shadow falls on me,
Then am I mute and still, by thee Covered ; of thy love, Orb most beautiful,
Full, oh, too full ! Thou art speeding round the sun Brightest world of many a one; Green and azure sphere which shinest With a light which is divinest Among all the lamps of Heaven To whom life and light is given ; I, thy crystal paramour, Borne beside thee by a power Like the polar Paradise, Magnet-like of lovers' eyes ; I, a most enamored maiden Whose weak brain is overladen With the pleasure of her love, Maniac-like around thee move Gazing, an insatiate bride, On thy form from every side Like a Mænad, round the cup Which Agave lifted up In the weird Cadmæan forest. Brother, wheresoe'er thou soarest I must hurry, whirl and follow Through the heavens wide and hollow, Sheltered by the warm embrace Of thy soul from hungry space,
Drinking from thy sense and sight
Gazes on the azure sky
As a gray and watery mist
Glows like solid amethyst Athwart the western mountain it €
folds, When the sunset sleeps Upon its snow.
The Earth And the weak day weeps
That it should be so. Oh, gentle Moon, the voice of thy de
light Falls on me like thy clear and tender
light Soothing the seaman, borne the summer
night, Through isles for ever calm ; Oh, gentle Moon, thy crystal accents
pierce The caverns of my pride's deep universe. Charming the tiger joy, whose tramp
lings fierce Made wounds which need thy balm. Panthea. I rise as from a bath d
sparkling water, A bath of azure light, among dark rocks, Out of the stream of sound. Ione.
Ah me ! sweet sister, The stream of sound has ebbed away
from us, And you pretend to rise out of its wave. Because your words fall like the clear.
soft dew Shaken from a bathing wood-nymph's
limbs and hair. Panthea. Peace! peace ! A mighty
Power, which is as darkness, Is rising out of Earth, and from the sky Is showered like night, and from withiu
the air Bursts, like eclipse which had been
gathered up Into the pores of sunlight : the bright
visions, Wherein the singing spirits rode and
shone, Gleam like pale meteors through a
watery night. Ionė. There is a sense of words upon
ear. Panthea. An universal sound like
words: Oh, list!
sea - Worm
To the dull weed some
battens on : lou, Earth, calm empire of a happy soul,
A confused Voice Sphere of divinest shapes and harmonies,
We hear: thy words waken Oblivion. autiful orb! gathering as thou dost
Demogorgon roll The love which paves thy path along Spirits, whose homes are flesh: ye beasts the skies :
Ye worms, and fish; ye living leaves The Earth
and buds ; I hear: I am as a drop of dew that Lightning and wind ; and ye untamedies.
able herds, Demogorgon
Meteors and mists, which throng air's
solitudes :hou, Moon, which gazest on the nightly Earth
A Voice With wonder, as it gazes upon thee : Thy voice to us is wind among still Thilst each to men, and beasts, and the
woods. swift birth Of birds, is beauty, love, calm, har
Demogorgon mony :
Man, who wert once a despot and a slave; The Moon
A dupe and a deceiver ; a decay :
A traveller from the cradle to the grave I hear: I am a leaf shaken by thee !
Through the dim night of this imDemogorgon
mortal day : le kings of suns and stars, Demons and
Speak; thy strong words may never Ethereal Dominations, who possess
pass away. lysian, windless, fortunate abodes Beyond Heaven's constellated wilder
Demogorgon ness :
This is the day, which down the void A Voice from above
At the 'Earth-born's spell yawns for Our great Republic hears, we are
Heaven's despotisnı, blest, and bless.
And Conquest is dragged captive Demogorgon
through the deep:
Love, from its awful throne of patient le happy dead, whom heams of brightest
In the wise heart, from the last giddy Are clouds to hide, not colors to
Of dead endurance, from the slippery, Whether your nature is that universe
steep, Which once ye saw and suffered- And narrow verge of crag-like agony,
springs A Voice from beneath
And folds over the world its healing Or as they
wings. Whom we have left, we change and
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Enpass away.
These are the seals of that most firm Ye elemental Genii, who have homes Which bars the pit over Destruction's From man's high mind even to the
strength ; central stone
And if, with infirm hand, Eternity, Of sullen lead; from Heaven's star- Mother of many acts and hours, should fretted domes
1 The prominent feature of Shelley's theory of the destiny of the human species was that evil is not inherent in the system of the creation, but an accident that might be expelled. This also forms a portion of Christianity : God made earth and man perfect, till he, by his fall,
" Brought death into the world and all our woe.” Shelley believed that mankind had only to will that there should be no evil, and there would be Done. It is not my part in these Notes to notice the arguments that have been urged against this opinion, but to mention the fact that he en. tertained it, and was indeed attached to it with fervent enthusiasm. That man could be so perfectionized as to be able to expel evil from his own nature, and from the greater part of the creation, was the cardinal point of his system. And the subject he loved best to dwell on was the image of One warring with the Evil Principle, oppressed not only by it, but by all-even the good, who were deluded into considering evil a necessary portion of humanity; a victim full of fortitude and hope and the spirit of triumph, emanating from a reliance in the ultimate omnipotence of Good. Such he had depicted in his last poem, when he made Laon the enemy and the victim of tyrants. He now took a more idealised image of the same subject. He followed certain classical authorities in figuring Saturn as the good principle, Jupiter the usurping evil one, and Prometheus as the regenerator, who, unable to bring mankind back to primitive innocence, used knowledge as a weapon to defeat evil, by leading mankind, beyond the state wherein they are sinless through ignorance, to that in which they are virtuous through wisdom. Jupiter punished the temerity of the Titan by chaining him to a rock of Caucasus, and causing a vulture to devour his still-renewed heart. There was a prophecy afloat in heaven portending the fall of Jove, the secret of averting which was known only to Prometheus ; and the god offered freedom from torture on condition of its being communicated to him. According to the
THE SENSITIVE PLANT
PART FIRST A SENSITIVE Plant in a garden grew, And the young winds fed it with silver
dew, And it opened its fan-like leaves to the
light, And closed them beneath the kisses of
night. And the Spring arose on the garden fair, mythological story, this referred to the offspring of Thetis, who was destined to be greater than his father. Prometheus at last bought pardon for his crime of enriching mankind with his gifts, by revealing the prophecy. Hercules killed the vulture, and set him free : and Thetis was married to Peleus, the father of Achilles.
Shelley adapted the catastrophe of this story to his peculiar views. The son greater than his father, born of the nuptials of Jupiter and Thetis, was to dethrone Evil, and bring back a happier reign than that of Saturn. Prometheus defies the power of his enemy, and endures centuries of torture; till the hour arrives when Jove, blind to the real event, but darkly guess ing that some great good to himself will flow, espouses Thetis. At the moment, the Primal Power of the world drives him from his usurped throne, and Strength, in the person of Hercules, liberates Humanity, typified in Prometheus, from the tortures generated by evil done or suffered. Asia, one of the Oceanides, is the wife of Prometheus--she was, according to other my. thological interpretations, the same as Venus and Nature. When the benefactor of mankind is liberated, Nature resumes the beauty of her prime, and is united to her husband, the emblema of the human race, in perfect and happy union. In the fourth Act, the Poet gives further scope to his imagination, and idealizes the forms of creation-such as we know them, instead of such as they appeared to the Greeks. Maternal Earth, the mighty parent, is superseded by the Spirit of the Earth, the guide of our planet through the realms of sky; while his fair and weaker companion and attendant, the Spirit of the Moon, receives bliss from the annihilation of Evil in the superior sphere.
Shelley develops more particularly in th lyrics of this drama his abstruse and imaginative theories with regard to the creation. Il requires a mind as subtle and penetrating as his own to understand the mystic meanings scattered throughout the poem. They elude the ordinary reader by their abstraction and deli cacy of distinction, but they are far from vague. It was his design to write prose metaphysical ed. says on the nature of Man, which would have served to explain much of what is obscure in hi poetry ; a few scattered fragments of observa tions and remarks alone remain. He considered these philosophical views of Mind and Nature ! be instinct with the intensest spirit of poetry,
More popular poets clothe the ideal with fs: miliar and sensible imagery. Shelley loved ! idealize the real-to gift the mechanism of thr material universe with a soul and a voice, and ! bestow such also on the most delicate and st! stract emotions and thoughts of the mind Sophocles was his great master in this species o imagery.-(From Mrs. Shelley's note.)