Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

pressions, he needs none, and from me he gets none. After everything has been stated, we find that the man Shelley was worthy to be the poet Shelley,—and praise cannot reach higher than that; we find him to call forth the most eager and fervent homage, and to be one of the ultimate glories of our race and planet.

THE POETICAL WORKS

OF

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

QUEEN MAB.

TO HARRIET SHELLEY.

Whose is the love that, gleaming through the world,
Wards off the poisonous arrow of its scorn?
Whose is the warm and partial praise,

Virtue's most sweet reward!
Beneath whose looks did my reviving soul
Riper in truth and virtuous daring grow?
Whose eyes have I gazed fondly on,

And loved mankind the more ?

Harriet ! on thine :-thou wert my purer mind;
Thou wert the inspiration of my song:
Thine are these early wilding flowers,

Though garlanded by me.
Then press into thy breast this pledge of love ;
And know, though time may change and years may roll,
Each floweret gathered in my heart
It consecrates to thine.

[blocks in formation]

The other, rosy as the morn
When, throned on ocean's wave,

It blushes o'er the world :
Yet both so passing wonderful !

Hath then the gloomy Power Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres

Seized on her sinless soul ?

Must that divinest form,
Which love and admiration cannot view
Without a beating heart, those azure veins
Which steal like streams along a field of snow,
That lovely outline, which is fair

As breathing marble, perish ?
Must putrefaction's breath
Leave nothing of this heavenly sight

But loathsomeness and ruin?
Spare nothing but a gloomy theme
On which the lightest heart might moralize?
Or is it only a sweet slumber

Stealing o'er sensation,
Which the breath of roseate morning

Chaseth into darkness?
Will Ianthe wake again,
And give that faithful bosom joy
Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
Light, life, and rapture, from her smile?

Yes! she will wake again,
Although her glowing limbs are motionless,

And silent those sweet lips,

Once breathing eloquence
That might have soothed a tiger's rage,
Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror.

Her dewy eyes are closed,
And on their lids, whose texture fine
Scarce hides the dark-blue orbs beneath,

The baby Sleep is pillowed :
Her golden tresses shade

The bosom's stainless pride,
Curling like tendrils of the parasite

Around a marble column.

Hark! whence that rushing sound ? 'Tis like a wondrous strain that sweeps

Around a lonely ruin, When west winds sigh, and evening waves respond

In whispers from the shore ; 'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes Which from the unseen lyres of dells and groves

The genii of the breezes sweep.

Floating on waves of music and of light,
Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen !
Celestial coursers paw the unyielding air ;
Their filmy pennons at her word they furl,
And stop obedient to the reins of light.

These the Queen of Spells drew in;
She spread a charm around the spot ;
And, leaning graceful from the etherial car,
Long did she gaze and silently

Upon the slumbering maid.

Human eye hath ne'er beheld
A shape so wild, so bright, so beautiful,
As that which o'er the maiden's charmed sleep,

Waving a starry wand,
Hung like a mist of light.
The broad and yellow moon

Shone dimly through her form-
That form of faultless symmetry;
The pearly and pellucid car

Moved not the moonlight's line.
'Twas not an earthly pageant.
Those who had looked upon the sight,
Passing all human glory,
Saw not the yellow moon,
Saw not the mortal scene,-
Heard not the night-wind's rush,
Heard not an earthly sound;
Saw but the fairy pageant,--
Heard but the heavenly strains

That filled the lonely dwelling. he Fairy's frame was slight; slight as some cloud That catches but the palest tinge of day

« PoprzedniaDalej »