The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 695 pages of information about The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1.

’Yes, in the desert there is built a home
For Freedom.  Genius is made strong to rear
The monuments of man beneath the dome
Of a new Heaven; myriads assemble there, 4435
Whom the proud lords of man, in rage or fear,
Drive from their wasted homes:  the boon I pray
Is this—­that Cythna shall be convoyed there—­
Nay, start not at the name—­America! 
And then to you this night Laon will I betray.

‘With me do what ye will.  I am your foe!’
The light of such a joy as makes the stare
Of hungry snakes like living emeralds glow,
Shone in a hundred human eyes—­’Where, where
Is Laon?  Haste! fly! drag him swiftly here! 4445
We grant thy boon.’—­’I put no trust in ye,
Swear by the Power ye dread.’—­’We swear, we swear!’
The Stranger threw his vest back suddenly,
And smiled in gentle pride, and said, ‘Lo!  I am he!’

NOTES:  4321 wreathed]writhed.  “Poetical Works” 1839. 1st edition. 4361 the mighty]tho’ mighty edition 1818. 4362 ye]he edition 1818. 4432 there]then edition 1818.


The transport of a fierce and monstrous gladness 4450
Spread through the multitudinous streets, fast flying
Upon the winds of fear; from his dull madness
The starveling waked, and died in joy; the dying,
Among the corpses in stark agony lying,
Just heard the happy tidings, and in hope
Closed their faint eyes; from house to house replying
With loud acclaim, the living shook Heaven’s cope,
And filled the startled Earth with echoes:  morn did ope

Its pale eyes then; and lo! the long array
Of guards in golden arms, and Priests beside, 4460
Singing their bloody hymns, whose garbs betray
The blackness of the faith it seems to hide;
And see, the Tyrant’s gem-wrought chariot glide
Among the gloomy cowls and glittering spears—­
A Shape of light is sitting by his side,
A child most beautiful.  I’ the midst appears
Laon,—­exempt alone from mortal hopes and fears.

His head and feet are bare, his hands are bound
Behind with heavy chains, yet none do wreak
Their scoffs on him, though myriads throng around; 4470
There are no sneers upon his lip which speak
That scorn or hate has made him bold; his cheek
Resolve has not turned pale,—­his eyes are mild
And calm, and, like the morn about to break,
Smile on mankind—­his heart seems reconciled
To all things and itself, like a reposing child.

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The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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