« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
that the heats would disagree with Percy; Leghorn had lost its only attraction, since our friends who had resided there were returned to England; and Monte Nero being the resort of many English, we did not wish to find ourselves in the midst of a colony of chance travellers. No one then thought it possible to reside at Via Reggio, which latterly has become a summer resort. The low lands and bad air of Maremma stretch the whole length of the western shores of the Mediterranean, till broken by the rocks and hills of Spezia. It was a vague idea; but Shelley suggested an excursion to Spezia, to see whether it would be feasible to spend a summer there. The beauty of the bay enchanted him-we saw no house to suit us—but the notion took root, and many circumstances, enchained as by fatality, occurred to urge him to execute it.
He looked forward this autumn with great pleasure to the prospect of a visit from Leigh Hunt. When Shelley visited Lord Byron at Ravenna, the latter had suggested his coming out, together with the plan of a periodical work, in which they should all join. Shelley saw a prospect of good for the fortunes of his friend, and pleasure in his society, and instantly exerted himself to have the plan executed. He did not intend himself joining in the work; partly from pride, not wishing to have the air of acquiring readers for his poetry by associating it with the compositions of more popular vriters; and, also, because he might feel shackled in the free expression of his opinions, if any friends were to be compromised; by those opinions, carried even to their utmost extent, he wished to live and die, as being in his conviction not only true, but such as alone would conduce to the moral improvement and happiness of mankind. The sale of the work might, meanwhile, either really or supposedly, be injured by the free expression of his thoughts, and this evil he resolved to avoid.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1822.
SUMMER was dead and Autumn was expiring,
And infant Winter laughed upon the land All cloudlessly and cold ;—when I, desiring
More in this world than any understand, Wept o'er the beauty, which, like sea retiring,
Had left the earth bare as the wave-worn sand Of my poor heart, and o'er the grass and flowers Pale for the falsehood of the flattering hours.
Summer was dead, but I yet lived to weep
The instability of all but weeping;
I woke, and envied her as she was sleeping. Too happy Earth! over thy face shall creep
The wakening vernal airs, until thou, leaping From unremembered dreams shalt [ ] see No death divide thy immortality.
I loved— no, I mean not one of ye,
Or any earthly one, though ye are dear As human heart to human heart may be ;I loved, I know not what—but this low sphere, And all that it contains, contains not thee,
Thou, whom, seen nowhere, I feel everywhere, Dim object of my soul's idolatry.
By Heaven and Earth, from all whose shapes
thou flowest, Neither to be contained, delayed, or hidden, Making divine the loftiest and the lowest,
When for a moment thou art not forbidden To live within the life which thou bestowest,
And leaving noblest things, vacant and chidden, Cold as a corpse after the spirit's flight, Blank as the sun after the birth of night.
In winds, and trees, and streams, and all things
common, In music, and the sweet unconscious tone Of animals, and voices which are human,
Meant to express some feelings of their own; In the soft motions and rare smile of woman, In flowers and leaves, and in the fresh grass
shown, Or dying in the autumn, I the most Adore thee present, or lament thee lost.
And thus I went lamenting, when I saw
A plant upon the river's margin lie,
And in despair had cast him down to die :
Its leaves which had outlived the frost, the thaw
Had blighted as a heart which hatred's eye Can blast not, but which pity kills; the dew Lay on its spotted leaves like tears too true.
The Heavens had wept upon it, but the Earth
Had crushed it on her unmaternal breast
I bore it to my chamber, and I planted
It in a vase full of the lightest mould ; The winter beams which out of Heaven slanted
Fell through the window panes, disrobed of cold, Upon its leaves and flowers ; the star which panted In evening for the Day, whose car has rolled Over the horizon's wave, with looks of light Smiled on it from the threshold of the night.
The mitigated influences of air
And light revived the plant, and from it grew Strong leaves and tendrils, and its flowers fair,
Full as a cup with the vine's burning dew, O'erflowed with golden colours; an atmosphere
Of vital warmth, infolded it anew, And every impulse sent to every part The unbeheld pulsations of its heart.
Well might the plant grow beautiful and strong.
Even if the sun and air had smiled not on it; For one wept o'er it all the winter long Tears pure as Heaven's rain, which fell
Hour after hour; for sounds of softest song
Mixed with the stringed melodies that won it To leave the gentle lips on which it slept, Had loosed the heart of him who sat and wept.
Had loosed his heart, and shook the leaves and
flowers On which he wept, the while the savage storm Waked by the darkest of December's hours Was raving round the chamber hushed and
warm; The birds were shivering in their leafless bowers,
The fish were frozen in the pools, the form
TO A LADY WITH A GUITAR.
ARIEL to Miranda :