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Then Alpheus bold,

On his glacier cold, With his trident the mountains strook ;

And opened a chasm

In the rocks with the spasm All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind

It concealed behind
The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder

Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below:

The beard and the hair

Of the River-godi were
Seen through the torrent's sweep,

As he followed the light

Of the fleet nymph's flight To the brink of the Dorian deep.


“Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!

And bid the deep hide me,
For he grasps me now by the hair!"

The loud Ocean heard,

To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer ;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter
Fled like a sunny beam;

Behind her descended
Her billows, unblended

1 In Mrs. Shelley's editions, river God.

With the brackish Dorian stream:

Like a gloomy stain

On the emerald main Alpheus rushed behind,

As an eagle pursuing

A dove to its ruin 1 Down the streams of the cloudy wind.


Under the bowers

Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearlèd thrones,

Through the coral woods

Of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones;

Through the dim beams

Which amid the streams Weave a net-work of coloured light;

And under the caves,

Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest's night :-

Outspeeding the shark,

And the sword-fish dark, Under the ocean foam,

And up through the rifts

The licence taken by Shelley in such rhymes as this seems to demand some explanation. This is one of several cases in which, amidst marks of the most fastidious workmanship, we find ruin set to rhyme with pursuing or some other present participle in ing. I cannot think that Shelley would have permitted himself to indulge in so indefensible a solecism had the words not formed a rhyme to him; and it seems likely that, being of the aristocratic caste, the habit of

dropping the final g was indelibly acquired as a child and youth, and never struck him as a bad habit to be got over. If so, to him, ruin and pursuing were a perfect rhyme ; and I need not tell the reader that, to this day, it is an affectation current among persons who are or pretend to be of the aristocratic caste, not only to drop the final 9 in these cases themselves, but to stigmatize its pronunciation by other people as “ pedan. tic"!

Of the mountain clifts
They past to their Dorian home.


And now from their fountains

In Enna's mountains, Down one vale where the morning basks,

Like friends once parted

Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.

At sunrise they leap

From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill;

At noon-tide they flow

Through the woods below And the meadows of Asphodel ;

And at night they sleep

In the rocking deep Beneath the Ortygian shore ;

Like spirits that lie

In the azure sky
When they love but live no more.



I DREAMED that, as I wandered by the way,

Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, And gentle odours led my steps astray,

Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring

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

Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling Its green arms round the bosom

the stream, But kissed it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.


There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,

Daisies, those pearled 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-

Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth–1
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.


And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,

Green cow-bind and the moonlight-coloured May, And cherry blossoms, and white cups, whose wine

Was the bright dew yet drained not by the day ; And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,

With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray; And flowers azure, black, and streaked with gold, Fairer than any' wakened eyes behold.


And nearer to the river's trembling edge

There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt with white, And starry river buds among the sedge,

And floating water-lilies, broad and bright, Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge

With moonlight beams of their own watery light;

1 This line, omitted from Mrs. Shelley's editions, was discovered by


Mr. Garnett, and published in The
Westminster Review for July, 1870.


And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.


Methought that of these visionary flowers

I made a nosegay, bound in such a way That the same hues, which in their natural bowers

Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprisoned children of the Hours

Within my hand, -and then, elate and gay,
I hastened to the spot whence I had come,
That I might there present it !—Oh! to whom ?



The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,

Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries, From the broad moonlight of the sky,

Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,Waken me when their Mother, the grey Dawn, Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.


Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,

I walk over the mountains and the waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;

My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves Are filled with my bright presence, and the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.

1 Mrs. Shelley first gave this and the lIymn of Pan in the Posthumous Poems, with a note explaining that

the two Hymns were “written at the request of a friend, to be inserted in a drama on the subject of Midas.”

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