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.

I could not speak, though she had ceased, for now
The fountains of her feeling, swift and deep, 1100
Seemed to suspend the tumult of their flow;
So we arose, and by the starlight steep
Went homeward—­neither did we speak nor weep,
But, pale, were calm with passion—­thus subdued
Like evening shades that o’er the mountains creep,
We moved towards our home; where, in this mood,
Each from the other sought refuge in solitude.


What thoughts had sway o’er Cythna’s lonely slumber
That night, I know not; but my own did seem
As if they might ten thousand years outnumber 1110
Of waking life, the visions of a dream
Which hid in one dim gulf the troubled stream
Of mind; a boundless chaos wild and vast,
Whose limits yet were never memory’s theme: 
And I lay struggling as its whirlwinds passed,
Sometimes for rapture sick, sometimes for pain aghast.

Two hours, whose mighty circle did embrace
More time than might make gray the infant world,
Rolled thus, a weary and tumultuous space: 
When the third came, like mist on breezes curled, 1120
From my dim sleep a shadow was unfurled: 
Methought, upon the threshold of a cave
I sate with Cythna; drooping briony, pearled
With dew from the wild streamlet’s shattered wave,
Hung, where we sate to taste the joys which Nature gave.

We lived a day as we were wont to live,
But Nature had a robe of glory on,
And the bright air o’er every shape did weave
Intenser hues, so that the herbless stone,
The leafless bough among the leaves alone, 1130
Had being clearer than its own could be,
And Cythna’s pure and radiant self was shown,
In this strange vision, so divine to me,
That if I loved before, now love was agony.

Morn fled, noon came, evening, then night descended, 1135
And we prolonged calm talk beneath the sphere
Of the calm moon—­when suddenly was blended
With our repose a nameless sense of fear;
And from the cave behind I seemed to hear
Sounds gathering upwards!—­accents incomplete,
And stifled shrieks,—­and now, more near and near,
A tumult and a rush of thronging feet
The cavern’s secret depths beneath the earth did beat.

The scene was changed, and away, away, away! 
Through the air and over the sea we sped, 1145
And Cythna in my sheltering bosom lay,
And the winds bore me—­through the darkness spread
Around, the gaping earth then vomited
Legions of foul and ghastly shapes, which hung
Upon my flight; and ever, as we fled,
They plucked at Cythna—­soon to me then clung
A sense of actual things those monstrous dreams among.

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