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.

[The following Poem was found in the PF. of a young Englishman, who died on his passage from Leghorn to the Levant.  He had bought one of the Sporades] He was accompanied by a lady [who might have been] supposed to be his wife, & an effeminate looking youth, to whom he shewed an [attachment] so [singular] excessive an attachment as to give rise to the suspicion, that she was a woman—­At his death this suspicion was confirmed;...object speedily found a refuge both from the taunts of the brute multitude, and from the...of her grief in the same grave that contained her lover.—­He had bought one of the Sporades, & fitted up a Saracenic castle which accident had preserved in some repair with simple elegance, & it was his intention to dedicate the remainder of his life to undisturbed intercourse with his companions

These verses apparently were intended as a dedication of a longer poem or series of poems


The writer of these lines died at Florence in [January 1820] while he was preparing * * for one wildest of the of the Sporades, where he bought & fitted up the ruins of some old building—­His life was singular, less on account of the romantic vicissitudes which diversified it, than the ideal tinge which they received from his own character & feelings—­

The verses were apparently intended by the writer to accompany some longer poem or collection of poems, of which there* [are no remnants in his] * * * remains [in his] portfolio.—­

The editor is induced to

The present poem, like the vita Nova of Dante, is sufficiently intelligible to a certain class of readers without a matter of fact history of the circumstances to which it relate, & to a certain other class, it must & ought ever to remain incomprehensible—­It was evidently intended to be prefixed to a longer poem or series of poems—­but among his papers there are no traces of such a collection.


Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you;
I have already dedicated two
To other friends, one female and one male,—­
What you are, is a thing that I must veil;
What can this be to those who praise or rail? 5
I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is that each one should select
Out of the world a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion—­though ’tis in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world—­and so
With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe, 15
The dreariest and the longest journey go.

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