And grey walls moulder round, on which
Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand;
And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime,
Pavilioning the dust of him who planned
This refuge for his memory, doth stand 5
Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath
A field is spread, on which a newer band
Have pitched in heaven’s smile their camp of death,
Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished breath.
Here pause. These graves are all
too young as yet
To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned
Its charge to each; and, if the seal is set
Here on one fountain of a mourning mind,
Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find 5
Thine own well full, if thou returnest home,
Of tears and gall. From the world’s bitter wind
Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.
What Adonais is why fear we to become?
The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven’s light for ever shines, earth’s shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments.—Die, 5
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled!—Rome’s azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.
Why linger, why turn back, why shrink,
Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is past from the revolving year,
And man and woman; and what still is dear 5
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles, the low wind whispers near:
’Tis Adonais calls! Oh hasten thither!
No more let life divide what death can join together.
That light whose smile kindles the universe,
That beauty in which all things work and move,
That benediction which the eclipsing curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which, through the web of being blindly wove 5
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.
The breath whose might I have invoked
Descends on me; my spirit’s bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given.
The massy earth and sphered skies are riven! 5
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar!
Whilst, burning through the inmost veil of heaven,
The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.