Obrázky stránek




SACRED Goddess, Mother Earth,

Thou from whose immortal bosom,
Gods, and men, and beasts have birth,

Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine own child, Proserpine.


If with muists of evening dew

Thou dost nourish these young flowers
Till they grow, in scent and hue,

Fairest children of the hours,
Breathe thine influence most divine
On thine own child, Proserpine.


It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
Towards the end of the sunny month of June,
When the north wind congregates in crowds
The floating mountains of the silver clouds
From the horizon—and the stainless sky
Opens beyond them like eternity.
All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds,


1 This poem was first given by Mrs. Shelley in the first edition of 1839.

? This fragment appeared in The Keepsake for 1829.

The river, and the corn-fields, and the reeds;
The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze,
And the firm foliage of the larger trees.


It was a winter such as when birds1 die
In the deep forests; and the fishes lie
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold:
Alas then for the homeless beggar old !



ALAS! good friend, what profit can you see
In hating such an hateless thing as me ?
There is no sport in late where all the rage
Is on one side.

In vain would you assuage
Your frowns upon an unresisting smile,
In which not even contempt lurks, to beguile
Your heart, by some faint sympathy of hate.
Oh conquer what you cannot satiate!
For to your passion I am far more coy
Than ever yet was coldest maid or boy
In winter noon. Of your antipathy
If I am the Narcissus, you are free
To pine into a sound with hating me.

1 In The Keepsake, do die ; but do was omitted from the editions of 1839.

? First given by Mrs. Shelley, as a sonnet, in the Posthumous Poems,

wherein, in the second line, we read an, instead of the a of later editions. The title Lines to a Reviewer occurs in the first edition of 1839.


EPODE? I. a.


I STOOD within the city disinterred ;3

And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
The Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals

Thrill through those roofless halls;
The oracular thunder penetrating shook

The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke-
I felt, but heard not :-through white columns glowed

The isle-sustaining Ocean-flood,
A plane of light between two Heavens of azure :

Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure
Were to spare Death, had never made erasure ;

But every living lineament was clear

As in the sculptor's thought; and there The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy and pine,



1 The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiæ with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these4 scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event. (SHELLEY's Note.]

2 Mr. Swinburne seems to have expressed himself in a letter to Mr. Rossetti to the effect that the designation of the so-called epodes, and strophes and antistrophes, as given in editions previous to Mr. Rossetti's, is "chaotic to a degree," adding “ They are, as far as I can see, hopelessly muddled ; beyinning with an Epode (after-song!)” As the foregoing note is clearly Shelley's, and speaks of the "introductory Epodes," that solecism

is doubtless his; and I do not see much use in attempting to rename the various divisions, which are in all probability named according to Shelley's own intention. I therefore leave things as I find them in Mrs. Shelley's editions in this respect.

I presume the explanation “ Pompeii,” given here in a note, is Shelley's.

4 In the Posthumous Poems, these, — in the collected editions, the.


Like winter leaves o'ergrown by. moulded snow,

Seemed only not to move and grow
Because the crystal silence of the air

Weighed on their life; even as the Power divine
Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.






Then gentle winds arose

With many a mingled close
Of wild Æolian sound and mountain-odour keen;

And where the Baian ocean

Welters with airlike motion,
Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere

Floats o'er the Elysian realm,
It bore me like an Angel, o'er the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air

No storm can overwhelm ;
I sailed, where ever flows
Under the calm Serene
A spirit of deep emotion
From the unknown graves

Of the dead kings of Melody."
Shadowy Aornos darkened o'er the helm
The horizontal æther; heaven stript bare
Its depths over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhæan mount, Inarime
There streamed a sunlight vapour, like the standard

Of some ætherial host ;



Whilst from all the coast, Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered

1 Homer and Virgil. (SHELLEY's Note.]

Over the oracular woods and divine sea
Prophesyings which grew articulate-
They seize me-I must speak them-be they fate!


Naples ! thou Heart of men which ever pantest

Naked, beneath the lidless eye of heaven! Elysian City which to calm inchantest

The mutinous air and sea : they round thee, even

As sleep round Love, are driven ! Metropolis of a ruined Paradise 1

Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained ! Bright Altar of the bloodless sacrifice,

Which armed Victory offers up unstained

To Love, the flower-enchained ! Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be, Now art, and henceforth ever shalt be, free, If Hope, and Truth, and Justice can avail,

Hail, hail, all hail !



Thou youngest giant birth

Which from the groaning earth
Leap'st, clothed in armour of impenetrable scale !

Last of the Intercessors !

Who 'gainst the Crowned Transgressors Pleadest before God's love! Arrayed in Wisdom's mail,

Wave thy lightning lance in mirth

Nor let thy high heart fail,
Though from their hundred gates the leagued Oppressors,

With hurried legions move!
Hail, hail, all hail !


1 Cf. Adonais, Stanza X:

Lost angel of a ruined Paradise !

« PředchozíPokračovat »