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“ With me do what ye will. I am your fue !"
The light of such a joy as makes the stare
Of hungry snakes like living emeralds glow,
Shone in a hundred human eyes.—“Wher, where
Is Laon ? haste! fly! drag lim swiftly here!
We grant thy boon."_" I put no trust in ye,
Swear by the Power ye dread.”— Weswear, we
TheStranger threw his vest back suddenly,[swear!"
And smiled in gentle pride, and said, “Lo! I am


There was such silence through the host, as when
An earthquake, trampling on some populous

Has crushed ten thousand with one tread, and men
Expect the second ; all were mute but one',
That fairest child, who, bold with love, alone
Stood up before the king, without avail,
Pleading for Laon's life-her stified groan
Was heard -she trembled like an aspen pale
Among the gloomy pines of a Norwegian vale.




What were his thoughts linked in the morning The transport of a fierce and monstrous gladness Spread through the multitudinousstreets,fast flying Among those reptiles, stingless with delay, Upon the winds of fear ; from his dull madness Even like a tyrant's wrath !—The signal-qum The starveling waked, and died in joy; the dying, Roared-hark, again! In that dread pause he lay Among the corpses in stark agony lying,

As in a quiet dream-the slaves obeyJust heard the happy tidings, and in hope [ing A thousand torches drop,—and lark, the last Closed their faint eyes;from house to house reply Bursts on that awful silence. Far away With loud acclaim, the living shook Heaven's cope, Millions, with hearts that beat both loud and fast, And filled the startled Earth with echoes : morn Watch for the springing Hame expectant and

aghast. Its pale eyes then ; and lo ! the long array They fly—the torches fall—a cry of fear Of guards in golden arms, and priests beside, Has startled the triumphant !-ihey recede! Singing their bloody hymns, whose garbs betray For ere the cannon's roar has died, they liear The blackness of the faith it seems to hide ; The tramp of hoofs like earthquake, and a steed And see, the Tyrant's gem-wrought chariot glide Dark and gigantic, with the tempest's speed, Among the gloomy cowls and glittering spears Bursts through their ranks: a woman sits therron, A shape of light is sitting by his side,

Fairer it seems than aught that earth can breed, A child most beautiful. I' the midst appears Calm, radiant, like the phantom of the dawn, Laon-exempt alone from mortal hopes and fears. A spirit from the caves of day-light wandering gene,

did ope



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Tumult was in the soul of all beside,

They pause, they bluslı, theygaze; a gatheringshout Ill joy, or doubt, or fear ; but those who saw Bursts like one sound from the ten thousandstreams Their tranquil victim pass, felt wonder glide Of a tempestuous sea :--that sudden rout Into their brain, and became calm with awe.- One checked, who never in his mildest dreams See, the slow pageant near the pile doth draw. Felt awe from grace or loveliness, the scans A thousand torches in the spacious square, Of his rent heart so hard and cold a creed Borne by the ready slaves of ruthless law, Had scared with blistering ice—but he inisileens Await the signal round : the riorning fair That he is wise, whose wounds do only bleed Is changed to a dim night by that unnatural glare. Inty for self; thus thought the Therian Priest

indeed ;



And others, too, thought he was wise to see, And is this death? The pyre has disappeared,
In pain, and fear, and hate, something divine ; The Pestilence, the Tyrant, and the throng ;
In love and beauty-no divinity:-

The flames grow silent-slowly there is heard
Now with a bitter smile, whose light did shine The music of a breath-suspending song,
Like a fiend's hope upon his lips and eyne, Which, like the kiss of love when life is young,
He said, and the persuasion of that sneer

Steeps the faint eyes in darkness sweet and deep; Rallied his trembling comrades—" Is it mine With ever-changing notes it floats along, To stand alon“, when kings and soldiers fear Till on my passive soul there seemed to creep A woman? Heaven has sent its other victim here." | A melody, like waves on wrinkled sands that leap.


“ Were it not impious,” said the King, “ to break
Our holy oath ?"_" Impious to keep it, say !"
Shricked the exuiting Priest :—“ Slaves, to the
Bind her, and on my head the burthen lay [stake
Of her just torments ;-at the Judginent Day
Will I stand up before the golden throne
of Heaven, and cry, to thee I did betray
An infidel ! but for me she would have known
Another moment's joy !—the glory be thine own."

The warın touch of a soft and tremulous hand
Wakened me then ; lo, Cythna sate reclined
Beside me, on the waved and golden sand
Of a clear pool, upon a bank o'ertwined {wind
With strange and star-bright flowers, which to the
Breathed divine odour ; high above, was spread
The emerald heaven of trees of unknown kind,
Whose moonlike blooms and bright fruit overhead
A shadow, which was light, upon the waters shed.



They trembled, but replied not, nor obeyed,

And round about sloped many a lawny mountain Pausing in breathless silence. Cythna sprung

With incense-bearing forests, and vast caves From her gigantic steed, who, like a shade Of marble radiance to that mighty fountain ; Chased by the winds, those vacant streets among

And where the flood its own bright margin laves, l'led tameless, as the brazen rein she fung

Their echoes talk with its eternal waves, Upon his neck, and kissed his moonèd brow. Which, from the depths whose jagged caverns A piteous sight, that one so fair and young,

Their unreposing strife, it lifts and heaves, [breed The clasp of such a fearful death should woo Till through a chasm of hills they roll, and feed With smiles of tender joy as beamed from Cythna A river deep, which flies with smooth but arrowy



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She won them, though unwilling, her to bind The boat was one curved shell of hollow pearl,
Near me, arnong the stakes. When then had fled Almost translucent with the light divine
Que soft reproach that was most thrilling kind,

Of her within ; the prow and stern did curl, She smiled on me, and nothing then we said,

Horned on high, like the young moon supine, But each upon the other's countenance fed When, o'er dim twilight mountains dark with pine, Louks nf insatiate love; the miglity veil

It floats upon the sunset's sea of beams, Which doch divide the living and the dead Whose golden waves in many a purple line Was almost rent, the world grew dim and pale,

Fade fast, till, borne on sunlight's ebbing streams, All light in Heaven or Earth beside our love did | Dilating, on earth's verge the sunken meteor fail.




Ya.-yet-one brief relapse, like the last beam
Of dying flames, the stainless air around
llung silent and serene.--A blood-red gleam
Borst upwards, hurling fiercely from the ground
The globed smoke.--I heard the mighty sound
Of its uprise, like a tempestuous ocean ;
And, through its chasms I saw, as in a swound,
The Tyrant's child fall without life or motion
Before his throne, subdued by some unseen


Its keel has struck the sands beside our feet ;-
Then Cythna turned to me, and from her eyes
Which swam with unshed tears, a look more sweet
Than happy love, a wild and glad surprise,
Glanced as she spake : “ Aye, this is Paradise
And not a dream, and we are all united !
Lo, that is mine own child, who, in the guise
Of madness, came like day to one benighted
In lonesome woods : my heart is now too well

requited !"



And then she wept aloud, and in her arms
Clasper that bright Shape, less marvellously fair
Than her own human hues and living charms ;
Which, as she leaned in passion's silence there,
Breathed warmth on the cold bosom of the air,
Which seemed to blush and tremble with delight;
The glossy darkness of her streaming hair
Fell o'er that snowy child, and wrapt from sight
The fond and long embrace which did their hearts


" • Aye, ye may fear not now the Pestilence,
From fabled hell as by a charm withdrawn;
All power and faith must pass, since calmly hence
In pain and fire have unbelievers gone ;
And ye must sadly turn away, and moan
In secret, to his home each one returning;
And to long ages shall this hour be known ;
And slowly shall its memory, ever burning,
Fill this dark night of things with an eternal



Then the bright child, the plumed Seraph, came, “For me the world is grown too void and cold,
And fixed its blue and beaming eyes on inine, Since hope pursues immortal destiny
And said, “ I was disturbed by tremulous shame

With steps thus slow—therefore shall ye behold When once we met, yet knew that I was thine

How those who love, yet fear not, dare to die; From the same hour in which thy lips divine

Tell to your children this! then suddenly Kindled a clinging dream within my brain, He sheathed a dagger in his heart, and fell; Which ever waked when I might sleep, to twine

My brain grew dark in death, and yet to me Thine image with her memory dear again There came a murmur from the crowd to tell We meet ; exempted now from mortal fear or pain. Of deep and mighty change which suddenly befell


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" It was the calm of love-for I was dying. And with the silence of her eloquent smile, I saw the black and half-extinguished pyre

Bade us embark in her divine canoe; In its own grey and shrunken ashes lying ; Then at the helm we took our seat, the while The pitchy smoke of the departed fire

Above her head those plumes of dazzling hue Still hung in many a hollow dome and spire

Into the winds invisible stream she threw, Above the towers, like night; beneath whose shade,

Sitting beside the prow: like gossamer, Awed by the ending of their own desire,

On the swift breath of morn, the vessel flew The armies stood ; a vacancy was made

O'er the bright whirlpools of that fountain fair, In expectation’s depth, and so they stood dismayed. Whose shores receded fast, while we seemed

lingering there;

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He was

SHELLEY possessed two remarkable qualities of Hechose therefore for his hero a youth pourished intellect--a brilliant imagination and a logical in dreams of liberty, some of whose actions are in exactness of reason. His inclinations led him direct opposition to the opinions of the world ; biit (he fancied) almost alike to poetry and meta who is animated throughout by an ardent love of physical discussions. I say " he fancied,” because virtue, and a resolution to confer the boons of I believe the former to have been paramount, political and intellectual freedom on his fellowand that it would have gained the mastery even creatures. He created for this youth a woman had he struggled against it. However, he said such as he delighted to imagine-fullof enthusiasm that he deliberated at one time whether he should for the same objects ; and they both, with will undedicate himself to poetry or metaphysics, and vanquished and the deepest sense of the justice of resolving on the former, he educated himself for their cause, met adversity and death. There exists it, discarding in a great measure his philosophical in this poem a memorial of a friend of his youth. pursuits, and engaging himself in the study of the The character of the old man who liberates Laon poets of Greece, Italy, and England. To these from his tower-prison, and tends on him in sickmay be added a constant perusal of portions of ness, is founded on that of Doctor Lind, who, when the Old Testament—the Psalms, the book of Job, Shelley was at Eton, had often stood by to befriend the Prophet Isaiah, and others, the sublime and support him, and whose name he never nenpoetry of which filled him with delight.

tioned without love and veneration. As a poet, his intellect and compositions were During the year 1817, we were established at powerfully influenced by exterior circumstances, Marlow, in Buckinghamshire. Shelley’s choice of and especially by liis place of abode.

abode was fixed chiefly by this town being at no very fond of travelling, and ill health increased great distance from London, and its neighbourhood this restlessness. The sufferings occasioned by a to the Thames. The poem was written in his boat, cold English winter, made him pine, especially when as it floated under the beech groves of Bisham, or our colder spring arrived, for a more genial climate. during wanderings in the neighbouring country, In 1816 he again visited Switzerland, and rented which is distinguished for peculiar beauty. The a house on the banks of the lake of Geneva ; and chalk hills break into cliffs that overhang the many a day, in cloud or sunshine, was passed alone Thames, or form valleys clothed with beech ; the in his boat--sailing as the wind listed, or weltering wilder portion of the country is rendered beautiful on the calm waters. The majestic aspect of nature by exuberant vegetation ; and the cultivated part ministered such thoughts as he afterwards enwove is peculiarly fertile. With all this wealth of nature in verse. His lines on the Bridge of the Arve, which, either in the form of gentlemen's parks or and his Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, were written soil dedicated to agriculture, flourishes around, at this time. Perhaps during this summer his Marlow was inhabited (I hope it is altered now) genius was checked by association with another by a very poor population. The women are lacepoet whose nature was utterly dissimilar to his makers, and lose their health by sedentary labour, own, yet who, in the poem he wrote at that time, for which they were very ill paid. The poor-la ws gave tokens that he shared for a period the more ground to the dust not only the paupers, but those abstract and etherialised inspiration of Shelley. who had risen just above that state, and were The saddest events awaited his return to England; obliged to pay poor-rates. The changes produced but such was his fear to wound the feelings of hy peace following a long war, and a bad harvest, others, that he never expressed the anguish he felt, brought with them the most heart-rending evils and seldom gavo vent to the indignation roused by to the poor. Shelley afforded what alleviation he the persecutions he underwent ; while the course could. In the winter, while bringing out his poerri. of deep unexpressed passion, and the sense of in he had a severe attack of ophthalmia, caught while jury, engendered the desire to embody themselves visiting the poor cottages. I mention these things, in forms defecated of all the weakness and evil —for this minute and active sympathy with his which cling to real life.

fellow-creatures gives a thousand-fold interest 10

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