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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
And earthquake and thunder
Did rend in sunder
The beard and the hair
Of the River-godi were
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,
The loud Ocean heard,
To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer ;
And under the water
The Earth's white daughter
Behind her descended
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
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
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
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
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
Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth–1
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
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green
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
Within my hand, -and then, elate and gay,
HYMN OF APOLLO. 1
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.”