spite of... editions 1839.
(317 Imeros, from which the river Himera was named, is, with some slight shade of difference, a synonym of Love.—[SHELLEY’S NOTE.]
THE WITCH OF ATLAS.
[Composed at the Baths of San Giuliano, near Pisa, August 14-16, 1820; published in Posthumous Poems, edition Mrs. Shelley, 1824. The dedication To Mas-y first appeared in the Poetical Works, 1839, 1st edition Sources of the text are (1) the editio princeps, 1824; (2) editions 1839 (which agree, and, save in two instances, follow edition 1824); (3) an early and incomplete manuscript in Shelley’s handwriting (now at the Bodleian, here, as throughout, cited as B.), carefully collated by Mr. C.D. Locock, who printed the results in his Examination of the Shelley manuscripts, etc., Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1903; (4) a later, yet intermediate, transcript by Mrs. Shelley, the variations of which are noted by Mr. H. Buxton Forman. The original text is modified in many places by variants from the manuscripts, but the readings of edition 1824 are, in every instance, given in the footnotes.]
(ON HER OBJECTING TO THE FOLLOWING POEM, UPON THE
SCORE OF ITS CONTAINING NO HUMAN INTEREST).
How, my dear Mary,—are you critic-bitten
(For vipers kill, though dead) by some review,
That you condemn these verses I have written,
Because they tell no story, false or true?
What, though no mice are caught by a young kitten, 5
May it not leap and play as grown cats do,
Till its claws come? Prithee, for this one time,
Content thee with a visionary rhyme.
What hand would crush the silken-winged fly,
The youngest of inconstant April’s minions, 10
Because it cannot climb the purest sky,
Where the swan sings, amid the sun’s dominions?
Not thine. Thou knowest ’tis its doom to die,
When Day shall hide within her twilight pinions
The lucent eyes, and the eternal smile, 15
Serene as thine, which lent it life awhile.
To thy fair feet a winged Vision came,
Whose date should have been longer than a day,
And o’er thy head did beat its wings for fame,
And in thy sight its fading plumes display; 20
The watery bow burned in the evening flame.
But the shower fell, the swift Sun went his way—
And that is dead.—O, let me not believe
That anything of mine is fit to live!