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.

NOTES:  2877 dreams edition 1818. 2994 opprest edition 1818. 3115 lone solitude edition 1818.


’I sate beside the Steersman then, and gazing
Upon the west, cried, “Spread the sails!  Behold! 3200
The sinking moon is like a watch-tower blazing
Over the mountains yet;—­the City of Gold
Yon Cape alone does from the sight withhold;
The stream is fleet—­the north breathes steadily
Beneath the stars; they tremble with the cold!
Ye cannot rest upon the dreary sea!—­
Haste, haste to the warm home of happier destiny!”

’The Mariners obeyed—­the Captain stood
Aloof, and, whispering to the Pilot, said,
“Alas, alas!  I fear we are pursued 3210
By wicked ghosts; a Phantom of the Dead,
The night before we sailed, came to my bed
In dream, like that!” The Pilot then replied,
“It cannot be—­she is a human Maid—­
Her low voice makes you weep—­she is some bride,
Or daughter of high birth—­she can be nought beside.”

’We passed the islets, borne by wind and stream,
And as we sailed, the Mariners came near
And thronged around to listen;—­in the gleam
Of the pale moon I stood, as one whom fear 3220
May not attaint, and my calm voice did rear;
“Ye are all human—­yon broad moon gives light
To millions who the selfsame likeness wear,
Even while I speak—­beneath this very night,
Their thoughts flow on like ours, in sadness or delight.

’"What dream ye?  Your own hands have built an home,
Even for yourselves on a beloved shore: 
For some, fond eyes are pining till they come,
How they will greet him when his toils are o’er,
And laughing babes rush from the well-known door! 3230
Is this your care? ye toil for your own good—­
Ye feel and think—­has some immortal power
Such purposes? or in a human mood,
Dream ye some Power thus builds for man in solitude?

’"What is that Power?  Ye mock yourselves, and give 3235
A human heart to what ye cannot know: 
As if the cause of life could think and live! 
’Twere as if man’s own works should feel, and show
The hopes, and fears, and thoughts from which they flow,
And he be like to them!  Lo!  Plague is free
To waste, Blight, Poison, Earthquake, Hail, and Snow,
Disease, and Want, and worse Necessity
Of hate and ill, and Pride, and Fear, and Tyranny!

’"What is that Power?  Some moon-struck sophist stood
Watching the shade from his own soul upthrown 3245
Fill Heaven and darken Earth, and in such mood
The Form he saw and worshipped was his own,
His likeness in the world’s vast mirror shown;
And ’twere an innocent dream, but that a faith
Nursed by fear’s dew of poison, grows thereon,
And that men say, that Power has chosen Death
On all who scorn its laws, to wreak immortal wrath.

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