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PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
English poet
(1792 - 1822)
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To the pure all things are pure.
      - [Chastity]

What art thou Freedom? Oh, could slaves
  Answer from their living graves
    This demand, tyrants would flee
      Like a dim dream's imagery!
        Thou art Justice--ne'er for gold
          May thy righteous laws be sold,
            As laws are in England: thou
              Shield'st alike high and low.
                Thou art Peace--never by thee
                  Would blood and treasure wasted be
                    As tyrants wasted them when all
                      Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul!
                        Thou art love: the rich have kist
                          Thy feet and like him following Christ
                            Given their substance to be free
                              And through the world have followed thee.
      - [Freedom]

What is Love? It is that powerful attraction towards all that we conceive, or fear, or hope beyond ourselves.
      - [Love]

When the power of imparting joy is equal to the will, the human soul requires no other heaven.
      - [Joy]

Where musing Solitude might love to lift her soul above this sphere of earthliness.
      - [Solitude]

Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
  Stains the white radiance of eternity.
      - Adonais (LII) [Eternity]

Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains,
  And feeds her grief.
      - Adonais (st. 15) [Echo]

Winter is come and gone,
  But grief returns with the revolving year.
      - Adonais (st. 18) [Grief]

Kiss me, so long but as a kiss my live;
  And in my heartless breast and burning brain
    That word, that kiss shall all thoughts else survive,
      With food of saddest memory kept alive.
      - Adonais (st. 26) [Kisses]

The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
  Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
    An early but enduring monument,
      Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
        In sorrow.
      - Adonais (XXX) [Eternity]

Twilight, ascending slowly from the east,
  Entwined in duskier wreaths her braided locks
    O'er the fair front and radiant eyes of day;
      Night followed, clad with stars.
      - Alastor [Twilight]

The lone couch of his everlasting sleep.
      - Alastor (l. 57) [Graves]

The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
  The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying;
    And the year
      On the earth her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
        Is lying.
          Come months, come away,
            From November to May,
              In your saddest array;
                Follow the bier
                  Of the dead cold year,
                    And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.
      - Autumn--A Dirge [Autumn]

There is a snake in thy smile, my dear,
  And bitter poison within thy tear.
      - Beatrice Cenci [Smiles]

First our pleasures die--and then
  Our hopes, and then our fears--and when
    These are dead, the debt is due,
      Dust claims dust--and we die too.
      - Death [Death]

In the firm expectation that when London shall be a habitation of bitterns, when St. Paul and Westminster Abbey shall stand shapeless and nameless ruins in the midst of an unpeopled marsh, when the piers of Waterloo Bridge shall become the nuclei of islets of reeds and osiers, and cast the jagged shadows of their broken arches on the solitary stream, some Transatlantic commentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now unimagined system of criticism the respective merits of the Bells and the Fudges and their historians.
      - Dedication to Peter Bell the Third [Ruin]

January grey is here,
  Like a sexton by her grave;
    February bears the bier,
      March with grief doth howl and rave,
        And April weeps--but, O ye hours!
          Follow with May's fairest flowers.
      - Dirge for the Year (st. 4) [Seasons]

So is Hope
  Changed for Despair--one laid upon the shelf,
    We take the other. Under heaven's high cope
      Fortune is god--all you endure and do
        Depends on circumstance as much as you.
      - Epigrams--From the Greek [Fortune]

Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain
  Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.
      - Epipsychidion (l. 571) [Sleep]

These are two friends whose lives were undivided:
  So let their memory be, now they have glided
    Under the grave; let not their bones be parted,
      For their two hearts in life were single-hearted.
      - Epitaph [Epitaphs]

The babe is at peace with the womb,
  The corpse is at rest within the tomb.
    We begin in what we end.
      - Fragments [Death]

Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in
  despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.
      - Fragments of Adonais [Criticism]

Silence! Oh, well are Death and Sleep and Thou
  Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged,
    Of one abyss, where life and truth and joy
      Are swallowed up.
      - Fragments--Silence [Silence]

The moon of Mahomet
  Arose, and it shall set:
    While, blazoned as on heaven's immortal noon,
      The cross leads generations on.
      - Hellas (l. 237) [Religion]

Love's Pestilence, and her slow dogs of war.
      - Hellas (l. 321) [Love]


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