Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

II.

See the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another; No sister flower would be forgiven,

If it disdained it's brother ; And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea : What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

“share the fate, whatever that fate may be, of the Mask.” This letter was printed in Hunt's Lord Byron and some of His Contemporaries, dated “ December, 1819"; but Mrs. Shelley gives the date (Essays, dc., 1840, Vol. II) as November. She says in a footnote that the enclosed poem was Peter Bell the Third; but such cannot be the case, as that poem was certainly sent to Hunt in another letter, dated 2nd November, 1819, printed in Relics of Shelley (p. 103). It being clear that the poem referred to in the other November letter was not Peter Bell, it is at least possible that it was Love's Philosophy. The only important vari. ation from the received text presented by the Indicator version is in the second stanza, where lines 3 and 4 are as follows :

No leaf or flower would be forgiven,

If it disdained to kiss it's brother ; this reading is certainly Shelley's, but was doubtless rejected by him on

revision. The received version has the authority of an extant MS. of later date,- that namely, in the copy of Leigh Hunt's Literary Pocket-book for 1819, which Shelley presented to Miss Sophia Stacey on the 29th of December, 1820, with this and two other poems written in in MS. The change made in this case is of the subtlest mastery,--a wonderful improvement where none seemed needed ; and yet one can see not only that the metre

out of order before, but also that the word kiss did occur just once too often. While adopting as a mat. ter of course this emendation, I have in minutiæ followed the Indicator text implicitly. It commends itself to me as perfectly printed from a perfect MS. of Shelley's. It may be worth while to add that Mr. J. H. Dixon pointed out in Notes and Queries (in January, 1868) that the

poem is traceable to a French song in eight lines,

Les vents baisent les nuages.

was

POEMS WRITTEN

WRITTEN IN 1820.

[As The Sensitive Plant, A Vision of the Sea, The Cloud, To a Skylark, and the Ode to Liberty have been given in Vol. II, with Prometheus Unbound, as Shelley gave them, I presume Arethusa should open this section. In Mrs. Shelley's collected editions those five poems all precede it. It is dated “ Pisa, 1820”; and though Shelley was at Pisa late in 1820 as well as early, I infer, from this poem being placed by Mrs. Shelley before the Letter to Maria Gisborne (given in Vol. III of this edition), that Arethusa was written before the visit to Leghorn, where the Letter was written. There are not many complete dates to guide us in the arrangement of these poems; but the Ode to Naples furnishes another, being referred to in a diary of Mrs. Shelley's under the date 25th August, 1820, though the date given in the Posthumous Poems is September, 1820; and Orpheus may safely be placed after that, being traceable to the influence of Sgricci, the Improvvisatore, whom the Shelleys heard in the winter of 1820. Mrs. Shelley's long letter giving an account of Sgricci (see Vol. II, p. 432) is dated the 29th of December 1820.-H. B. F.]

POEMS WRITTEN IN 1820.

ARETHUSA.1

I.

ARETHUSA arose

From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains, -

From cloud and from crag,

With many a jag,
Shepherding her bright fountains.

She leapt down the rocks,

With her rainbow locks
Streaming among the streams ;-

Her steps paved with green

The downward ravine
Which slopes to the western gleams :

And gliding and springing

She went, ever singing,
In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The Earth seemed to love her,

And Heaven smiled above her,
As she lingered towards the deep.

1 First given by Mrs. Shelley in the Posthumous Poems.

« PředchozíPokračovat »