And ever as he went he swept a lyre
Of unaccustomed shape, and ... strings
Now like the ... of impetuous fire,
Which shakes the forest with its murmurings,
Now like the rush of the aereal wings 5
Of the enamoured wind among the treen,
Whispering unimaginable things,
And dying on the streams of dew serene,
Which feed the unmown meads with ever-during green.
And the green Paradise which western waves
Embosom in their ever-wailing sweep,
Talking of freedom to their tongueless caves,
Or to the spirits which within them keep
A record of the wrongs which, though they sleep,
Die not, but dream of retribution, heard 15
His hymns, and echoing them from steep to steep,
And then came one of sweet and earnest looks,
Whose soft smiles to his dark and night-like eyes
Were as the clear and ever-living brooks 20
Are to the obscure fountains whence they rise,
Showing how pure they are: a Paradise
Of happy truth upon his forehead low
Lay, making wisdom lovely, in the guise
Of earth-awakening morn upon the brow 25
Of star-deserted heaven, while ocean gleams below.
His song, though very sweet, was low and faint,
A simple strain—
A mighty Phantasm, half concealed
In darkness of his own exceeding light, 30
Which clothed his awful presence unrevealed,
Charioted on the ... night
Of thunder-smoke, whose skirts were chrysolite.
And like a sudden meteor, which outstrips
The splendour-winged chariot of the sun, 35
The armies of the golden stars, each one
Pavilioned in its tent of light—all strewn
Over the chasms of blue night—
A LYRICAL DRAMA.
MANTIS EIM EZTHLON AGONUN.—OEDIP. COLON.
["Hellas” was composed at Pisa in the autumn of 1821, and dispatched to London, November 11. It was published, with the author’s name, by C. & J. Ollier in the spring of 1822. A transcript of the poem by Edward Williams is in the Rowfant Library. Ollier availed himself of Shelley’s permission to cancel certain passages in the notes; he also struck out certain lines of the text. These omissions were, some of them, restored in Galignani’s one-volume edition of “Coleridge, Shelley and Keats”, Paris, 1829, and also by Mrs. Shelley in the “Poetical Works”, 1839. A passage in the “Preface”, suppressed by Ollier, was restored by Mr. Buxton Forman (1892) from a proof copy of “Hellas” in his possession. The “Prologue to Hellas” was edited by Dr. Garnett in 1862 ("Relics of Shelley”) from the manuscripts at Boscombe Manor.