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.

2295 flame]light edition 1818.


Beside the dimness of the glimmering sea, 2335
Weaving swift language from impassioned themes,
With that dear friend I lingered, who to me
So late had been restored, beneath the gleams
Of the silver stars; and ever in soft dreams
Of future love and peace sweet converse lapped
Our willing fancies, till the pallid beams
Of the last watchfire fell, and darkness wrapped
The waves, and each bright chain of floating fire was snapped;

And till we came even to the City’s wall
And the great gate; then, none knew whence or why, 2345
Disquiet on the multitudes did fall: 
And first, one pale and breathless passed us by,
And stared and spoke not;—­then with piercing cry
A troop of wild-eyed women, by the shrieks
Of their own terror driven,—­tumultuously
Hither and thither hurrying with pale cheeks,
Each one from fear unknown a sudden refuge seeks—­

Then, rallying cries of treason and of danger
Resounded:  and—­’They come! to arms! to arms! 
The Tyrant is amongst us, and the stranger 2355
Comes to enslave us in his name! to arms!’
In vain:  for Panic, the pale fiend who charms
Strength to forswear her right, those millions swept
Like waves before the tempest—­these alarms
Came to me, as to know their cause I lept
On the gate’s turret, and in rage and grief and scorn I wept!

For to the North I saw the town on fire,
And its red light made morning pallid now,
Which burst over wide Asia;—­louder, higher,
The yells of victory and the screams of woe 2365
I heard approach, and saw the throng below
Stream through the gates like foam-wrought waterfalls
Fed from a thousand storms—­the fearful glow
Of bombs flares overhead—­at intervals
The red artillery’s bolt mangling among them falls.

And now the horsemen come—­and all was done
Swifter than I have spoken—­I beheld
Their red swords flash in the unrisen sun. 
I rushed among the rout, to have repelled
That miserable flight—­one moment quelled 2375
By voice and looks and eloquent despair,
As if reproach from their own hearts withheld
Their steps, they stood; but soon came pouring there
New multitudes, and did those rallied bands o’erbear.

I strove, as, drifted on some cataract 2380
By irresistible streams, some wretch might strive
Who hears its fatal roar:—­the files compact
Whelmed me, and from the gate availed to drive
With quickening impulse, as each bolt did rive
Their ranks with bloodier chasm:—­into the plain
Disgorged at length the dead and the alive
In one dread mass, were parted, and the stain
Of blood, from mortal steel fell o’er the fields like rain.

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