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PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
English poet
(1792 - 1822)
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The world's greatest age begins anew,
  The golden years return,
    The earth doth like a snake renew
      Her winter weeds outworn.
      - Hellas (last chorus) [World]

Life may change, but it may fly not;
  Hope may vanish, but can die not;
    Truth be veiled, but still it burneth;
      Love repulsed,--but it returneth.
      - Hellas (semi-chorus) [Change]

Through the sunset of hope,
  Like the shapes of a dream,
    What paradise islands of glory gleam!
      - Hellas (semi-chorus I) [Hope]

Kings are like stars--they rise and set, they have
  The worship of the world, but no repose.
      - Hellas--Mahmud to Hassan (l. 195)
        [Royalty]

The young moon has fed
  Her exhausted horn
    With the sunset's fire.
      - Hellas--Semi-Chorus II [Moon]

A little child born yesterday
  A thing on mother's milk and kisses fed.
      - Homer's Hymn to Mercury (st. 69)
        [Childhood]

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
  Floats, tho' unseen, amongst us.
      - Hymn to Intellectual Beauty [Power]

You must come home with me and be my guest;
  You will give joy to me, and I will do
    All that is in my power to honour you.
      - Hymn to Mercury (st. 5) [Guests]

Those who inflict must suffer, for they see
  The work of their own hearts, and that must be
    Our chastisement or recompense.
      - Julian and Maddalo (l. 494) [Suffering]

Most wretched men
  Are cradled into poetry by wrong;
    They learn in suffering what they teach in song.
      - Julian and Maddalo (l. 556) [Poets : Wrong]

Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine,
  Yet let's be merry; we'll have tea and toast;
    Custards for supper, and an endless host
      Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies,
        And other such ladylike luxuries.
      - Letter to Maria Gisborne [Eating]

I consider poetry very subordinate to moral and political science.
      - Letter to Thomas L. Peacock
         (Naples, Jan. 26, 1819) [Poetry]

Men must reap the things they sow,
  Force from force must ever flow,
    Or worse; but 'tis a bitter woe
      That love or reason cannot change.
      - Lines Written among the Euganean Hills
         (l. 232) [Change]

Ay, many flowering islands lie
  In the waters of wide Agony.
      - Lines written among the Euganean Hills
         (l. 66) [Islands]

Nothing in the world is single;
  All things by a law divine
    In one another's being mingle:--
      Why not I with thine?
      - Love's Philosophy [Love]

And the violet lay dead while the odour flew
  On the wings of the wind o'er the waters blue.
      - Music [Violets]

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
  Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
    Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
      Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
        Pestilence-stricken multitudes.
      - Ode to the West Wind (pt. I) [Wind]

O wind,
  If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
      - Ode to the West Wind (pt. V) [Wind : Winter]

Dark is the realm of grief: but human things
  Those may not know of who cannot weep for them.
      - Otho, (a projected poem) [Grief]

Peter was dull; he was at first
  Dull;--Oh, so dull--so very dull!
    Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed--
      Still with his dulness was he cursed--
        Dull--beyond all conception--dull.
      - Peter Bell the Third (pt. VII, XI)
        [Stupidity]

Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
  This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
    Good, great, and joyous, beautiful and free;
      This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.
      - Prometheus (act IV) [Change]

To hope till hope creates
  From its own wreck the thing it contemplates.
      - Prometheus (act IV, last stanza) [Hope]

As in the soft and sweet eclipse,
  When soul meets soul on lover's lips.
      - Prometheus Unbound [Kisses]

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act I, l. 24)
        [Despair]

Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven
  Contracted to two circles underneath
    Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
      Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act II, sc. 1) [Eyes]


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