The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 571 pages of information about The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume 1.

NOTES.
54 cloaking edition 1818.  See notes at end.

CANTO 1.

1. 
When the last hope of trampled France had failed
Like a brief dream of unremaining glory,
From visions of despair I rose, and scaled
The peak of an aerial promontory, 130
Whose caverned base with the vexed surge was hoary;
And saw the golden dawn break forth, and waken
Each cloud, and every wave:—­but transitory
The calm; for sudden, the firm earth was shaken,
As if by the last wreck its frame were overtaken.
135

2. 
So as I stood, one blast of muttering thunder
Burst in far peals along the waveless deep,
When, gathering fast, around, above, and under,
Long trains of tremulous mist began to creep,
Until their complicating lines did steep 140
The orient sun in shadow:—­not a sound
Was heard; one horrible repose did keep
The forests and the floods, and all around
Darkness more dread than night was poured upon the ground.

3. 
Hark! ’tis the rushing of a wind that sweeps 145
Earth and the ocean.  See! the lightnings yawn
Deluging Heaven with fire, and the lashed deeps
Glitter and boil beneath:  it rages on,
One mighty stream, whirlwind and waves upthrown,
Lightning, and hail, and darkness eddying by.
150
There is a pause—­the sea-birds, that were gone
Into their caves to shriek, come forth, to spy
What calm has fall’n on earth, what light is in the sky.

4. 
For, where the irresistible storm had cloven
That fearful darkness, the blue sky was seen 155
Fretted with many a fair cloud interwoven
Most delicately, and the ocean green,
Beneath that opening spot of blue serene,
Quivered like burning emerald; calm was spread
On all below; but far on high, between
160
Earth and the upper air, the vast clouds fled,
Countless and swift as leaves on autumn’s tempest shed.

5. 
For ever, as the war became more fierce
Between the whirlwinds and the rack on high,
That spot grew more serene; blue light did pierce 165
The woof of those white clouds, which seem to lie
Far, deep, and motionless; while through the sky
The pallid semicircle of the moon
Passed on, in slow and moving majesty;
Its upper horn arrayed in mists, which soon
170
But slowly fled, like dew beneath the beams of noon.

6. 
I could not choose but gaze; a fascination
Dwelt in that moon, and sky, and clouds, which drew
My fancy thither, and in expectation
Of what I knew not, I remained:—­the hue 175
Of the white moon, amid that heaven so blue,
Suddenly stained with shadow did appear;
A speck, a cloud, a shape, approaching grew,
Like a great ship in the sun’s sinking sphere
Beheld afar at sea, and swift it came anear.
180

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