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What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme

Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror To make their blind slaves see, and with fierce gleam To turn his hungry sword upon the wearer;

A new Actæon's error Shall their's have been—devoured by their own hounds!

Be thou like the imperial Basilisk Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds!

Gaze on oppression, till at that dread risk

Aghast she pass from the Earth's disk:
Fear not, but gaze—for freemen mightier grow,
And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe;

If Hope and Truth and Justice may avail,
Thou shalt be great-All hail :





From Freedom's form divine,

From Nature's inmost shrine,
Strip every impious gawd, rend Error veil by veil :

O'er Ruin desolate,

O'er Falsehood's fallen state,
Sit thou sublime, unawed; be the Destroyer pale!

And equal laws be thine,

And winged words let sail,
Freighted with truth even from the throne of God :

That wealth, surviving fate,
Be thine.- All hail !


Didst thou not start to hear Spain's thrilling paan

From land to land re-echoed solemnly, Till silence became music ? from the Æaan 1

1 Ææa, the island of Circe. (SHELLEY's Note.)


To the cold Alps, eternal Italy

Starts to hear thine! The Sea
Which paves the desert streets of Venice laughs

In light and music; widowed Genoa wan
By moonlight spells ancestral epitaphs,
Murmuring, where is Doria? fair Milan,

Within whose veins long ran
The viper's 1 palsying venom, lifts her heel
To bruise his head. The signal and the seal

(If Hope and Truth and Justice can avail)
Art Thou of all these hopes.-0 hail !





Florence! beneath the sun,

Of cities fairest one,
Blushes within her bower for Freedom's expectation :

From eyes of quenchless hope

Rome tears the priestly cope,
As ruling once by power, so now by admiration,

As athlete stript to run

From a remoter station
For the high prize lost on Philippi's shore :-

As then Hope, Truth, and Justice did avail,
So now may Fraud and Wrong! O hail!



Hear ye the march as of the Earth-born Forms

Arrayed against the ever-living Gods?
The crash and darkness of a thousand storms
Bursting their inaccessible abodes

Of crags and thunder-clouds ?
See ye the banners blazoned to the day,


1 The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan. (SHELLEY's Note.)



Inwrought with emblems of barbaric pride?
Dissonant threats kill Silence far away,
The serene Heaven which wraps our Eden wide

With iron light is dyed,
The Anarchs of the North lead forth their legions

Like Chaos o'er creation, uncreating ;
An hundred tribes nourished on strange religions
And lawless slaveries,-down the aërial regions

Of the white Alps, desolatiny,

Famished wolves that bide no waiting, Blotting the glowing footsteps of old glory, Trampling our columned cities into dust,

Their dull and savage lust

On Beauty's corse to sickness satiatingThey come! The fields they tread look black and hoary With fire—from their red feet the streams run gory!





Great Spirit, deepest Love !

Which rulest and dost move All things which live and are, within the Italian shore ;

Who spreadest heaven around it,

Whose woods, rocks, waves, surround it;
Who sittest in thy star, o'er Ocean's western floor,
Spirit of beauty! at whose soft command
The sunbeams and the showers distil its foison

From the Earth's bosom chill;
O bid those beams be each a blinding brand
Of lightning! bid those showers be dews of poison !

Bid the Earth's plenty kill !
Bid thy bright Heaven above,
Whilst light and darkness bound it,
Be their tomb who planned

To make it ours and thine !
Or, with thine harmonizing ardours fill




And raise thy sons, as o'er the prone horizon
Thy lamp feeds every twilight wave with fire-
Be man's high hope and unextinct desire,
The instrument to work thy will divine !
Then clouds from sunbeams, antelopes from leopards,

And frowns and fears from Thee,

Would not more swiftly flee
Than Celtic wolves from the Ausonian shepherds.-
Whatever, Spirit, from thy starry shrine

Thou yieldest or withholdest, Oh let be
This city of thy worship ever free! 1




The fiery mountains answer each other;

Their thunderings are echoed from zone to zone ; The tempestuous oceans awake one another, And the ice-rocks are shaken round Winter's throne, 3

When the clarion of the Typhoon is blown.


From a single cloud the lightning flashes,

Whilst a thousand isles are illumined around, Earthquake is trampling one city to ashes, An hundred are shuddering and tottering ; the sound

Is bellowing underground.


1 The date "September, 1820," is appended to this Ode in the Posthumous Poems; but Mr. Rossetti states that, in Mrs. Shelley's diary, the date of the Ode noted as the 25th of August, 1820.

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

Misprinted zone in the Posthumous Poems and the editions of 1839; but throne is substituted in some of the later editions,


But keener thy gaze than the lightning's glare,

And swifter thy step than the earthquake's tramp ; Thou deafenest the rage of the ocean; thy stare Makes blind the volcanoes; the sun's bright lamp

To thine is a fen-fire damp.


From billow and mountain and exhalation

The sunlight is darted through vapour and blast; From spirit to spirit, from nation to nation,

From city to hamlet thy dawning is cast, ---And tyrants and slaves are like shadows of night

In the van of the morning light.



Good night ? ah! no; the hour is ill

Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,

Then it will be good night.

1 Mrs. Shelley gives this poem among those of 1821 ; but Mr. Ros. setti, finding it in Shelley's writing in the copy of Leigh Hunt's Literary Pocket-book given by the poet to Miss Sophia Stacey on the 29th of December, 1820, rightly carries it back to that year. I do not, however, think that the version found in the Pocket. book is, as Mr. Rossetti says, “considerably better (especially in the first line of the last stanza) than any heretofore published.” Indeed I much prefer the version of the Posthumous Poems, and think it quite possible that that was the later version. If so, and if Mrs. Shelley first became acquainted with the poem through a revised copy made in 1821, her classi


fication would be accounted for. The version which Mr. Rossetti gives from the Pocket-book is as follows :


“Good-night?" No, love! the night is ill

Which revers those it should unite;
Let us remain together still, --
Then it will be good night.

How were the night without thee good,

Though thy sweet wishes wing its tight?
Be it not said, thought, understood, -

Then it will be good night.

The hearts that on each other beat

From evening close to morning light
Have nights as good as they are sweet,

But never say good-night."


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