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PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
English poet
(1792 - 1822)
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Thou comest as the memory of a dream,
  Which now is sad because it hath been sweet.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act II, sc. 1)
        [Memory]

A thought by thought is piled, till some great truth
  Is loosened, and the nations echo round,
    Shaken to their roots, as do the mountains now.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act II, sc. 3)
        [Thought]

Yet all love is sweet
  Given or returned. Common as light is love,
    And its familiar voice wearies not ever
      . . . .
        They who inspire it most are fortunate,
          As I am now: but those who feel it most
            Are happier still after long sufferings
              As I shall soon become.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act II, sc. 5) [Love]

The past Hours weak and gray
  With the spoil which their toil
    Raked together
      From the conquest but One could foil.
      - Prometheus Unbound (act IV, sc. 1) [Past]

Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes
  To multiply your lovely selves?
      - Prometheus Unbound (act VI, sc. 4) [Eyes]

Many faint with toil,
  That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.
      - Queen Mab [Labor]

Far clouds of feathery gold,
  Shaded with deepest purple, gleam
    Like islands on a dark blue sea.
      - Queen Mab (bk. II) [Clouds]

. . . feathery curtains,
  Stretching o'er the sun's bright couch.
      - Queen Mab (bk. II) [Clouds]

. . . fertile golden islands,
  Floating on a silver sea.
      - Queen Mab (bk. II) [Clouds]

Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
  Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing.
      - Queen Mab (canto IV, l. 160) [Man]

Honour sits smiling at the sale of truth.
      - Queen Mab (canto IV, l. 218) [Honor]

I know
  The past and thence I will essay to glean
    A warning for the future, so that man
      May profit by his errors, and derive
        Experience from his folly;
          For, when the power of imparting joy
            Is equal to the will, the human soul
              Requires no other heaven.
      - Queen Mab (III, l. 6) [Experience]

How wonderful is Death, Death and his brother Sleep!
      - Queen Mab (l. 1) [Sleep]

And on their lids . . .
  The baby Sleep is pillowed.
      - Queen Mab (pt. I) [Sleep]

Power, like a desolating pestilence,
  Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
    Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
      Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
        A mechanized automaton.
      - Queen Mab (pt. III) [Power]

Heaven's ebon vault,
  Studded with stars unutterably bright,
    Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
      Seems like a canopy which love has spread
        To curtain her sleeping world.
      - Queen Mab (pt. IV) [Sky]

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
  Which Vernal Zephyrs breathe in evening's ear
    Were discord to the speaking quietude
      That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
        Studded with stars, unutterably bright,
          Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
            Seems like a canopy which love has spread
              To curtain her sleeping world.
      - Queen Mab (pt. IV) [Night]

Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
  The signet of its all-enslaving power
    Upon a shining ore, and called it gold;
      Before whose image bow the vulgar great,
        The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
          The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings,
            And with blind feelings reverence the power
              That grinds them to the dust of misery.
                But in the temple of their hireling hearts
                  Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn
                    All earthly things but virtue.
      - Queen Mab (pt. V, st. 4) [Gold]

Spirit of Nature! all-sufficing Power!
  Necessity, thou mother of the world!
      - Queen Mab (pt. VI) [Necessity]

How many a rustic Milton has passed by,
  Stifling the speechless longings of his heart,
    In unremitting drudgery and care!
      How many a vulgar Cato has compelled
        His energies, no longer tameless then,
          To mould a pin, or fabricate a nail!
      - Queen Mad (pt. V, st. 9) [Work]

I love tranquil solitude
  And such society
    As is quiet, wise, and good.
      - Rarely, Rarely, Comest Thou [Solitude]

Around, around in ceaseless circles wheeling
  With clangs of wings and scream, the Eagle sailed
    Incessantly.
      - Revolt of Islam (canto I, st. 10) [Eagles]

Come near me! I do weave
  A chain I cannot break--I am possest
    With thoughts too swift and strong for one lone human breast.
      - Revolt of Islam (canto IX, st. 33)
        [Thought]

But hope will make thee young, for Hope and Youth
  Are children of one mother, even Love.
      - Revolt of Islam (canto VIII, st. 27)
        [Hope]

Ye seek for happiness--alas, the day!
  Ye find it not in luxury nor in gold,
    Nor in the fame, nor in the envied sway
      For which, O willing slaves to Custom old,
        Severe taskmistress! ye your hearts have sold.
      - Revolt of Islam (canto XI, st. 17)
        [Happiness]


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