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.

CANTO 9.

1. 
’That night we anchored in a woody bay,
And sleep no more around us dared to hover 3470
Than, when all doubt and fear has passed away,
It shades the couch of some unresting lover,
Whose heart is now at rest:  thus night passed over
In mutual joy:—­around, a forest grew
Of poplars and dark oaks, whose shade did cover
3475
The waning stars pranked in the waters blue,
And trembled in the wind which from the morning flew.

2. 
’The joyous Mariners, and each free Maiden
Now brought from the deep forest many a bough,
With woodland spoil most innocently laden; 3480
Soon wreaths of budding foliage seemed to flow
Over the mast and sails, the stern and prow
Were canopied with blooming boughs,—­the while
On the slant sun’s path o’er the waves we go
Rejoicing, like the dwellers of an isle
3485
Doomed to pursue those waves that cannot cease to smile.

3. 
’The many ships spotting the dark blue deep
With snowy sails, fled fast as ours came nigh,
In fear and wonder; and on every steep
Thousands did gaze, they heard the startling cry, 3490
Like Earth’s own voice lifted unconquerably
To all her children, the unbounded mirth,
The glorious joy of thy name—­Liberty! 
They heard!—­As o’er the mountains of the earth
From peak to peak leap on the beams of Morning’s birth: 
3495

4. 
’So from that cry over the boundless hills
Sudden was caught one universal sound,
Like a volcano’s voice, whose thunder fills
Remotest skies,—­such glorious madness found
A path through human hearts with stream which drowned 3500
Its struggling fears and cares, dark Custom’s brood;
They knew not whence it came, but felt around
A wide contagion poured—­they called aloud
On Liberty—­that name lived on the sunny flood.

5. 
’We reached the port.—­Alas! from many spirits 3505
The wisdom which had waked that cry, was fled,
Like the brief glory which dark Heaven inherits
From the false dawn, which fades ere it is spread,
Upon the night’s devouring darkness shed: 
Yet soon bright day will burst—­even like a chasm
3510
Of fire, to burn the shrouds outworn and dead,
Which wrap the world; a wide enthusiasm,
To cleanse the fevered world as with an earthquake’s spasm!

6. 
’I walked through the great City then, but free
From shame or fear; those toil-worn Mariners 3515
And happy Maidens did encompass me;
And like a subterranean wind that stirs
Some forest among caves, the hopes and fears
From every human soul, a murmur strange
Made as I passed; and many wept, with tears
3520
Of joy and awe, and winged thoughts did range,
And half-extinguished words, which prophesied of change.

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