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PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
English poet
(1792 - 1822)
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The flood of time is rolling on;
  We stand upon its brink, whilst they are gone
    To glide in peace down death's mysterious stream.
      Have ye done well?
      - Revolt of Islam (canto XII, st. 27) [Time]

O that my spirit were yon heaven of night,
  Which gazes on thee with its thousand eyes.
      - Revolt of Islam (IV, 36) [Stars]

. . . then black despair
  The shadow of a starless night, was thrown
    Over the world in which I moved alone.
      - Revolt of Islam--Dedication (st. 6)
        [Despair]

We know not what we do
  When we speak words.
      - Rosalind and Helen (l. 1,108) [Words]

O Nightingale,
  Cease from thy enamoured tale.
      - Scenes from "Magico Prodigioso" (sc. 3)
        [Nightingales]

The more we study, we the more discover our ignorance.
      - Scenes from the Magico Prodigioso of Calderon
         (sc. 1) [Ignorance]

And many an ante-natal tomb
  When butterflies dream of the life to come.
      - Sensitive Plant [Butterflies]

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
  The wealth ye find, another keeps;
    The robes ye weave, another wears;
      The arms ye forge, another bears.
      - Song--To Men of England
        [Destiny : Plagiarism]

Man who man would be
  Must rule the empire of himself.
      - Sonnet on Political Greatness [Soul]

O'er Egypt's land of memory floods are level,
  And they are thine, O Nile! and well thou knowest
    The soul-sustaining airs and blasts of evil,
      And fruits, and poisons spring where'er thou flowest.
      - Sonnet--To the Nile [Nile River]

O heart, and mind, and thoughts! what thing do you
  Hope to inherit in the grave below?
      - Sonnet--Ye Hasten to the Dead! [Graves]

I could lie down like a tired child,
  And weep away the life of care
    Which I have borne, and yet must bear.
      - Stanzas, written in Dejection, near Naples
        [Care]

I have drunken deep of joy,
  And I will taste no other wine to-night.
      - The Cenci (act I, sc. 3, l. 92) [Joy]

Words are but holy as the deeds they cover.
      - The Cenci (act II, sc. 2) [Words]

For there are deeds
  Which have no form, sufferings which have no tongue.
      - The Cenci (act III, sc. 1) [Suffering]

Of such affection and unbroken faith
  As temper life's worst bitterness.
      - The Cenci (act III, sc. 1) [Affection]

Strange thoughts beget strange deeds.
      - The Cenci (act IV, sc. 4) [Thought]

Worse than a bloody hand is a hard heart.
      - The Cenci (act V, sc. 2) [Heart]

O, white innocence,
  That thou shouldst wear the mask of guilt to hide
    Thine awful and serenest countenance
      From those who know thee not!
      - The Cenci (act V, sc. 3, l. 24)
        [Innocence]

Worse than despair,
  Worse than the bitterness of death, is hope.
      - The Cenci (act V, sc. 4) [Hope]

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
  From the seas and the streams;
    I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
      In their noonday dreams.
        From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
          The sweet buds every one,
            When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
              As she dances about the sun.
                I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
                  And whiten the green plains under,
                    And then again I dissolve it in rain,
                      And laugh as I pass in thunder.
      - The Cloud [Clouds : Rain]

That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
  Whom mortals call the moon.
      - The Cloud (IV) [Moon]

And nearer to the river's trembling edge
  There grew broad flag-flowers, purple, prankt with white;
    And starry river buds among the sedge;
      And floating water-lilies, broad and bright.
      - The Question [Irises]

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
  Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,
    The constellated flower that never sets.
      - The Question [Flowers]

Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,
  Like green waves on the sea,
    As still as in the silent deep
      The ocean-woods may be.
      - The Recollection (II) [Trees]


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