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CORNELL

UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY

BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME


OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT
FUND GIVEN IN 1891 BY

HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE

Cornell University Library

PR5434.M16
With Shelley

In Italy;

being a selection

3 1924 013 550 383

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Library

The
tine

original of

tliis

book

is in

Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright

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the United States on the use of the

text.

http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924013550383

With

Shelley in Italy

Uniform with

this

volume

McMahak

Edited by Mrs.

FLORENCE IN THE POETRY OF


THE BROWNINGS. With over 60
full-page illustrations.

13mo

net $1.40

edition

Large-paper edition
Florentine edition

A. C.

....

McCLURG & CO.,


CHICAGO

net

3.75

net 10.00

PubUshers

1
^ CO^
t3r

'^

-d iM
*- QO

Q^
-t!

1-^

With Shelley in Italy


Being a Selection of the Poems and Letters of

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Which have

to do with his Life in Italy from

1818 to 1822
Selected and Arranged by

Anna Benneson McMahan


Editor of " Florence in the Poetry of the Brownings,"

With over

Siacty Full-page Illustrations

from Photographs

Chicago
\

A. C.

McClukg &
1905

Co.

etc.

Copyright
A. C. McClurg

&

Co.

1905
All righia reserved

Published October 14, 1905

About one-half of the illustrationB of this volume are from the photographs of Alinari Brothers, Florence. Of the otherB, some are from the
local photographers at Bpezia, Yiare^o, and Pisa, some from old engraringa
made in the early part of the nineteenth century, and the remainder from
photographs made expressly for this work by Miss Una McMahan.

THE UNIVERSITY PRES3, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

TO

UNA AND FLO'RENCE


IN
OtTK

MEMORY OF

SHELLEY PILGRIMAGES

Thm

Paradise of

exiles,

Italy!

Julian and

Maddalo

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

Genebal Intbodtjction

xv

THE YEAR
Intkodtjction to the

1818

Year 1818

Passage of the Apennines

Letter from Milan

Letter from Leghorn.

Letter from Bagni di Lucca

Extracts from "Rosaliild and Helen"

Lettef from Florence

To Mary

Shelley

10
13

14

'.

Lines Written among the Euganean Hills

16

Marenghi

29

Julian and Maddalo

36

Letter from Venice

59

Letter from Este

62

Letter from Bologna

64

Letter from

Kome

67

Letter- from Naples

70

Stanzas Written in Dejection, near Naples

73

Letter from Naples

75

Letter from Naples

80
[viij

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TEE TEAR

1819

Fags
Inteodttction to the

Fragment

To

Fragment

90

Italy

Roman's Chamber

90

Rome and Nature


from Rome

Fragment
Letter

87

Yeab 1819

91

Extracts from " Prometheus

Letter from

91

Unbound "

103

Rome

125

Letter from Leghorn

126

Extracts from " The Cenoi "

127

The Medusa

143

of Leonardo da Vinci

Love's Philosophy

Ode

to the

145

West Wind

146

The Lidiau Serenade

149

the tears

1820

and

1821

Introdttction to the Yeaks 1820 and 1821

153

Letter from Leghorn

156

Letter to Maria Gisborne

157

The Cloud

169

To a Skylark

172

Ode

to Liberty

176

Letter from Naples

187

Ode

195

to Naples

Autumn

Dirge

202

The Tower of Famine

203

Epipsychidion

204

To

226

To

227

Adpnais

227
[viii]

TABLE OP CONTENTS
Page
Letter from llorenee

34,3

Letter from Ravenna

24i

Letter from Ravenna

347

Letter from Pisa

248

The Boat on the Serchio


Evening

Ponte

al

249

Mare.

Pisa

254

Chorus to Hellas

255

TEE TEAR
Intkodttction to the

Year 1822

To Jane

The

To Jane

The Recollection

With a Guitar

To Jane

1822

Invitation

264

to Jane

The Keen

259

267
270

Stars were Twinkling

274

A Dirge

275

Lines Written in the Bay of Lerici

275

The

277

Isle

Letter from Lerici

278

Letter from Lerici

279

Ckitical Notices op the Sculptube in the Flokence

On

Gallbey

280

Mobe

280

the

The Minerva

On

the

Venus

282
called

Anadyomeue

Michael Angelo's Bacchus

285

286

Index

289

[ix]

ILLUSTRATIONS
Fase

Casa Magni, Shelley's home on the Bay of Lerici, ia 1823 Frontispiece

Among
Lake

the Apennines of Tuscany

of

Como

Cathedral at Milan

Cathedral at Milan

Interior

Valley of the Lima, at Bagni di Lucca, near


in

Summer

home

of Shelley

of 1818

10

Scene in Tuscany
Petrarch's

View

House

14
at

Arqua

of Venice from the

Padua and Piazza

16

Lagoon

Vittorio

SO

Emanuele

Landscape among the Euganean Hills

24
28

.-

32

Florence

The Lido

Among

36

at Venice

the

Eugauean

The Doge's Palace

40

Hills

46

at Venice

Leaning Towers of Bologna

62
58

Bridge and Aqueduct at Spoleto


St. Cecilia

62

by Raphael

The Virgin appearing

to Saint Bruno.

By

Guercino

...

66

In Bologna Gallery-

Waterfall at Terni

68

The Coliseum in Shelley's time

70

[xi]

ILLUSTRATIONS
Faoe

Temple

Neptuue

of

at

Paestum

Paestum

So-called Basilica at

The Baths of Caracalla in


City and

Bay

Shelley's time

Comer

Interior of

90
92

in Shelley's time

96

Pantheon

Arch

Bas-Reliefs on

86

Rome

Forum

of the

'

82

of Salemo

of Constantiue at

80

The Roman Campagna


Arch

'

98

of Titus

The Coliseum seen through the Arch of Titus

102

Portrait of Beatrice Cenci

126

In the Barberini Gallery,

Rome

Rome

Cenci Palace at

132

138

Castle St. Angelo

Head

of Medusa,

commonly

attributed to Leonardo da Vinci

142

In Uffizi Galleiy

Woods

of the Cascine

and the River Amo, near Elorence

146

Pioeta between Pisa and the Sea

152

Portress at Staggia

180
186

Street in Pompeii

Amphitheatre at Pompeii, with Vesuvius in the background

View

of Baise and

Porum

Tombs

at

Shelley's

to

196

....

200

Pompeii

204

Grave of John Keats in Protestant Cemetery at

Monument

192

Mare Morto, taken from Cape Misenum

of Pompeii, with Vesuvius in the distance

Street of

Rome

206

214

210

John Keats

Grave in the Protestant Cemetery

Niobe

at

Rome

218
In Uffizi Galleiy

Basilica of

Tomb

San

Vitale,

Ravenna

of Theodoric the Great at

222

Ravenna

[xii]

226

ILLUSTRATIONS
PAaa

Church of Saut' ApoUinave


Behind

at

Eavenna

230

Shelley's house in Pisa

The Arno

234

at Pisa

238

Shelley's house in the foreground at left

Protestant Cemetery and Pyramid of Cestius at

Bay

of Lerici, with

Hills

town and

Rome

and woods of San Terenzo on Bay of Lerici

242
246

castle of Lerici

....

San Terenzo and the Bay of Lerici

248

250

Photograph made
about 1880, previous to building of modern road

Shelley's house in foreground at the right.

Porto Venere on Gulf of Spezia, opposite Bay of Lerici

View on

the River Serchio

Shelley's

home on

the

Bay

254
258

262

of Lerici

Photograph of 1904

The shore at Yiareggio where


August 16, 1822

Monument

Shelley's funeral pyre

was made
:

to Shelley at Yiareggio

266
270

In Piazza Shelley, formerly Piazza Paolina

274

Minerva
In

Uffizi Gallery

Venus Anadyomene

278

In Uffizi Gallery

282

Michael Angelo's Bacchus


In I^ational

Museum

[xiii]

Introduction

UNDEE

whatever circumstances and in whatever

land Percy Bysshe Shelley's days might have been


passed, his innate poetic temperament would have

been sure to express


Shelley's poetry that

poet that he

itself

Self-exiled

is.

but

it is

makes him the

the Italian note in

particular kind of great

from England at the age of

twenty-six, he never returned to that country, but spent the

remainder of his

four years, in Italy

life,

here his genius

developed toward maturity, here his muse found a congenial

and

home and

whole

sea, the

"

Shelley's verse
in the

utterance.

smoke of

spirit

live."

found

He

of Italian

tree,

mountain,

landscape lives in

I depend on these things for

cities

life,

for

and the tumult of human kind and

the chilling fogs of our


to

Sky, storm,

own

country I can scarcely be said

seldom composed within four walls, but

his inspiration

on some solitary

hillside,

within some

garden pergola, on a house-top terrace, or in a boat upon


the waves.

The Shelley

his footsteps;

lover is constrained to follow in

he longs to

stroll

through the lanes about

Leghorn where Shelley heard the skylark singj to plunge


into the Pisan Pineta

"A Eecollection ";

to

whose very atmosphere breathes in

wander among the ruins of the Baths

of Caracalla and to conjure there the elfin figure perched

[xv]

INTRODUCTION
ou high while creating a new Prometheus
"divine bay^' of Lerici where the

to explore that

dreams and

brilliant

poetic visions of a new and regenerated humanity were so


soon to come to a fatal close. A strange, wandering life it

was that he led those four years, " yoked to


miseries and discomforts," especially during

Yet never did these


literary production.
first

its

all

sorts of

early period.

the high thoughts and continual

stifle

" A Passage

of the Apennines," his

Italian poem, was written at a

little

inn

among

the

mountains, in the midst of a wild landscape not far from

Bologna where he passed but a single night


Written among the Euganean Hills " are

From

the " Lines

full of local color.

the summer-house where he loved to write, in the

garden of their own

villa

near Este he could himself see.

Spread like a green sea

The waveless

plain of

Lombardy;

Bounded by the vaporous


Islanded by

At

this time also

as a

air.

cities fair.

he was meditating on different subjects

groundwork of a

lyrical

drama, " having taken the

resolution to see what kind of tragedy a person without


"
"

dramatic talent could write."

The Madness

of Tasso

was undertaken, but only one short scene and an unfinished


song are extant ; the " Prometheus Unbound " was begun

and the

first

act nearly completed in the

same congenial

atmosphere.

This radiant time of

Summer and

sunshine seems to

have been followed by days of deep depression.

The "Lines

Written in Dejection near Naples" express his habitual

mood during

his stay in that city the following Winter.

[xvi]

INTRODUCTION
Howeveij

red-letter days

made by

BaisBj Vesuvius,

were not lacting ; the impressions

and Pompeii are recorded not

only in charming letters but in the magnificent "

Naples/' written two years

later.

Has Pompeii's

Ode

to

peculiar

power over the imagiaation ever been more exactly as welb


as poetically expressed than in these lines ?

I stood within the

And
Of spirits

city disinterred,

heard the autumnal leaves like light

passing through the streets

The mountain's slumberous

footfalls

and heard

voice at intervals

Thrill through those roofless halls.

Or has

the spirit of the

Bay

happily than in the lines ?

Where

of Naples been seized

more

the Baian ocean

Welters with air-hke motion,


Within, above, around

Moving

its

bowers of starry green.

the sea-flowers in those purple caves.

The most important year

in Shelley's

life,

however, was

Then, in the midst of an always

his second year in Italy.

changing, usually ailing, often sorrowful and distracted


existence,

he produced those two masterpieces,

yet so different,

Cenci "

several political

"The Masque
a long

"West

list

"Prometheus

of

and

satirical

Anarchy" and "Peter

"Indian Serenade."

poems, including

Third";
" Ode to the

Bell the

to Heaven," and the impassioned

In some cases we know the exact

circumstances and hour that kindled the poetic


bright blue sky of

so great

Unbound" and "The

of lyrics, including the matchless

Wind," the " Ode

Eome and

fire.

" The

the effect of the vigorous

awakening of Spring in that diviuest climate, and the new


[xvii]

INTRODUCTION
life

with which

it

drenches the spirit even to intoxication

were the inspiration of this drama/' he


of "Prometheus

us in the preface

tells

Unbound"; during a walk

in the Cascine

near Florence he conceived and wrote that " Ode to the


West "Wind," which, as a lyric, has not been excelled in

The

English poetry.
delight,

galleries of Florence filled

and one picture at

spired a poem.

least

"The

him with

Medusa"

in-

Sculpture he enjoyed especially, and would

for hours before the "Niobe" or some favorite Apollo.


" What would we think," he wrote, " if we were forbidden
sit

who have

to read the great writers

And

left

us their works

yet, to be forbidden to live at Florence or

evil of the

But

it

same kind and hardly of

was neither

air,

less

Rome

is

an

magnitude."

nor scenery, nor works of

art

that led to Shelley's most intense, though not his longestlived, poetic fervor; it

and accomplished

was

his introduction to a beautiful

Italian girl, Emilia Viviani, imprisoned

by a father and a jealous stepmother in the miserable


Convent of

St.

Anna, near Pisa, until such time

as a hus-

band pould be found who would take her without a dowry.


She had already been a prisoner for two years when
Shelleys were taken

bom

by a

friend to see her.

knight-errant ; he could never see or hear of a wrong

without an instant rush to right


quence.
these

the

Shelley was a

And what more

it,

regardless of conse-

compelling circumstances than

the persecution of a being so innocent, so beauti-

ful, so spiritual, so exalted ?

Plans, correspondence,

presents, greetings of one kind or another

hour of the day ; but the practical

visits,

crowded every

difiiculties of releasing

the imprisoned maiden proved so great that in the end


[xviii]

INTRODUCTION
Emilia had to beg the Shelleys to come to her no more, as
her coadition was only made more unbearable thereby.

But nothing could

silence or abate the idealizing

Shelley^s imagination, and Emilia Viviani

mind

as

an image of

had always been

man

now

He

sympathy with Plato's doctrine of

human being whom Love

his severed half of self

stood in his

that was lovely in womankind.

all

fully in

as a divided

power of

impels to seek

throughout his mortal

translated Plato's

"Symposium" and

ginning in prose

"A

He had

life.

followed

it

by be-

Discourse on the Manners of the

Ancients Relating to the Subject of Love."

This was

never finished, perhaps because he did not find

it

handle so delicate a matter in prose.

Genius "

is also

poem now

a partial explanation of the long

"Epipsychidion"

addressed to Emilia called

easy to

The poem " To His

a word

coined by Shelley from the Greek, which Stopford Brooke


suggests

is

to be translated

by the

line,

" Whither

't

was

of my soul."

fled this soul out

But no amount

of explanation or

veal the inner spirit of the

poem

did Shelley expect that

would.

it

comment could

re-

to the world at large, nor

He

sent it to the pub-

lisher,

ordering only one hundred copies to be printed,

saying

it

was only for the

certain sense it

esoteric few, that indeed in a

was a "production of a portion of me

already dead " and

" it would give me no pleasure

that the

vulgar should read it."

Time, which rights so many things, has now


sychidion" in

its

right place

set

" Epip-

alone in English poetry,

but alongside of Dante's " Vita Nuova," as a poem touching with supreme art on the ideal forms of a passionate
[xix]

INTRODUCTION
Emilia, like Beatrice,

love.

is less

woman

a mortal

than a

figure standing as a representative of the poet's vision of

second soul, the earthly embodiment of

her

who

his

ideals of Love and Beauty and Knowledge and Truth.


other English poet could have written it, and perhaps

No

is his

none will ever attempt another like


history of Shelley's inner
of

As an

it.

life it is priceless.

" Epipsychidion,'' and even

idealized

The motive
existed before

its first draft,

the meeting of Shelley and Emilia

that meeting simply

furnished the final impulse to complete the poem.


well that circumstances finally
late

and

for

many

life,

combined to give

an underlying

full expression of

throughout Shelley's

all

It

is

to us this

principle, held

which, however, both then and

years after his death, subjected

him

to

much

mis-

understanding by the world at large.

As

to conduct

and character, certainly the same stand-

ards of morality should prevail for all

members

of society

must be counted amenable to the same laws

the poet

hod-carrier.

But

and feeling great

also let it

be granted that

differences exist

men; spheres shut out from


the poet.

It is this that

as the

as to thought

between these types

of

the hod-carrier are open to

makes him a poet; and even he

cannot live for any long period in the rarefied air of a


visionary world where the very act of expression serves to
exorcise

and banish the image.

acknowledges in the closing

This

Shelley himself

lines

Woe is me
The winged words on which my

soul would pierce

Into the heights of love's rare universe

Are chains

of lead around its flight of

I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire

[XX]

fire.

INTRODUCTION
The Bay of

which gives

Lerici,

its

name

to one

poem

and was the inspiration of several others, was Shelley's

last

home.
" The blue extent of the waters, the almost land-locked bay, the
near castle of Lerioi shutting

in to the east

it

and distant Porto

Venere to the west ; the varied forms of the precipitous rocks that

bound
only"

...

in the beach;

shingle, ... a picture

are portions of

true to-day as

the tideless sea leaving no sands nor

such as one sees in Salvator Rosa's landscapes

Mary

Shelley's descriptions of the place, as

when they were

Shelley's happiest days

had something

and serenity of

"The Triumph

pression of the attitude of

Here were passed

here, almost for the first time, he

like health

poem now "begun

written.

The

spirits.

of Life"

is

mind which he had now

the exattained

of peace achieved through passion, of insight gained

through suffering and through error.


with

its

Its opening lines,

magnificent picture of sunrise and himself in wak-

ing vision
Beneath the hoary stem

Which an old chestnut


Of a green Apennine,

embalm

the very spirit of the Italy which was so dear to

Shelley's heart

ment

as it

import.

and so mighty a power in

is, it is

yet a

poem

his life.

full of ethical

and

Fragspiritual

It breaks off suddenly with the line,

" 'Then, what

But

flung athwart the steep

this question

is

Life

'

I cried."

was to have no answer from Shelley.

sudden storm at sea capsized the boat in which he and his


friend were sailing,

and both were drowned almost within


[xxi]

INTRODUCTION
sight of their

Many

own home.

days later both bodies

They were buried

were washed ashore near Yiareggio.

The harrowing details of the

sand on the beach.


cation of the

their removal

two bodies,

from the temporary

graves and their burning on the shore a

suspense suffered

by the two viddowed

in

identifi-

month

women

later, the

in the lonely

Casa Magni during the days when they hoped against hope

and drove

frantically

from place to place along the shore

hoping for tidings of the missing boat

are the distressing

but well-known chapters that close the record of the Shelley


Viareggio keeps his

household in Italy.
a monument

work of an
are held

erected in

1894

memory

green by

in its principal square, the

Here, each year, celebrations

Italian sculptor.

and laurel wreaths are placed, with speeches and

poems by Italy's most illustrious speakers and writers.


The " lyrical cry " in Shelley's verse appeals particularly
to the Italian nature; his prophecies of a Golden

Age

are

eagerly read, and the country which received England's


exiled poet

wiU always claim him

as in part her very

poems

by

own.

Not

alone in his

is

Italy celebrated

his letters are full of descriptions of places

things which one

would not

are, indeed, all the

Shelley;

and people and

willingly miss to-day, which

more valuable to-day because

of the

changes wrought in the passage of nearly one hundred


years.

in

some

Shelley's
entirely

judgment in some mattSrs was


wrong;

his

weakness as an art

apparent at times even to the amateur.


ances being made,

it

But

all

partial,
critic is

such allow-

cannot be otherwise than inspiring to

walk hand in hand with Shelley, seeing Italy with his


[xxiij

eyes,

INTRODUCTION
and hearing the message

and poetic

it

spoke to his sympathetic heart

spirit.

A quarter of a century ago one

of Shelley's

thetic editors^ declared the only serious

general comprehension of SheUey to be

most sympa-

obstacles to the

" his

erudition and

much of his poetry/'


criticism, many biographies,

the Italian atmosphere which envelops

Since that time

much

textual

and no end of annotated editions have teen

offered in eluci-

dation of obscurities or learned allusions.

But no attempt

made

has been

to set the

poems

in their original environ-

ment, or to conduct the reader himself into that very Italian

atmosphere where they were bom.

may

To do

this as far as

be possible, through illustration and the grouping of

letters

and passages from note-books with the poems, so

that the

poems may be seen

in the making, so to speak, is

the object of the present volume.

A. B.

Spezu,

Italy, 1905.

^Eichard Gamett.

[xxiii]

McM.

THE YEAR

1818

A MONG
-^of

the Apennines

Tuscany.

" The Apennine


Is a mighty

in the light of day


"
mountain dim and grey.

Passage of The Apennines, p. 5.

WITH SHELLEY IN ITALY


THE YEAR

1818

BAGNI DI LUCCA; ESTE ; NAPLES

INTRODUCTORY
Jf^ROKEN
#~X

in health

and

spirits

and warned by

his

physicitm against the excitement of literary com-

a settled abode, and travelling


pUux encumbered with a helpless pcurty of
women, children, and servants, and, moreover, engaged in
position, without

from

place to

that most depressing

of all occupations, house-hunting,


we should hardly look for numerous or important poetical
creations as the immediate result
Italy.

And

though in truth the

at once the impress

of the

new

of

Shelley's arrival in

list is

scenes

not long,

and

it

strong impulse given by the ideality of Italy,


Shelley a/nd his wife,
travellers,

delights

and

of

Mary

shows

experiences, the

Shelley, were

Both

enthusiastic

the hardships were quite obscured by the

this first

summer

in Tuscany.

among

carriage over winding roads

Travelling by

the Apennines, climb-

ing on foot or on horseback their wooded peaks, exploring


in small boats

many a

were sure to appeal

had been

to

river

and

stream,

these things

a poet whose chief delight always

the contemplation

of nature.

[3]

To

him. Nature

WITH SHELLEY

IN

was no dead thing, hut a livmg

ITALY

spirit

to

him, every

form of the utterance of


Such a poem as " The Cloud "" shows the

natural 'phenomenon was some


this spirit.

and is perhaps its most


But all of these early
exquisitely wrought out example.
Italian poems breathe more or less of the scume spirit ; they
The only one in
are mostly poems of pure nature.
Shelley attitude toward nature,

which

human

life

written late in the year

and Maddah,""
of a

plays any important part

Lord Byron

visit to

" Julian

is

and as

the result

in Venice.

" Rosalind and Helen" thrown aside in England hut


hrought along in an. unfinished

among

Shelley

state,

and

the papers,

was found hy Mrs.

at her urgency finished.

" / lay no stress on

one

Shelley himself said

of

way or

Considered as a whole, the world

the

other.''''

perhaps shares

it,

Shelley''s opinion,

it

hut there are some pas-

sages which must he rescued from this general indifference for their

The

charming pictures of

the Italiam, landscape.

of Lake Como, in whose


" divine solittcde " Shelley had vainly tried to find a
scene is laid on the shores

home; amd its pictures of the "forest's solitude^'' the


" chestnut woods," and " lawny dells," bear plainly the
impress of

Bagni

di Lucca, where the discarded

poem

was taken up and finished.


JEste,

their second home, has its poet laureate in the

" Lines Written


letters

of

this

impressions,

among the Euganean Hills,'" while tha^


time, glomng with the freshness cf^fim,

are scarcely

less

poetical than

the verses.

Often, indeed, the letters furnish the precise setting


conditions which led to the poetical inspiration,

[4]

and

and are

>

Si,

I'

THE YEAR

1818

glimpses into the poefs inner mind, rough draughts of the


poem, as it were.
They confirm what, indeed, we should
divine without them, that the
written for their

own sake and

joy in that living


In a time

like

spirit

poems of

the

all

our own, when the

more welcome

speak of the spiritual


lover

year were

pure

which he conceived Nature to

theories concerning the processes

ing,

this

to express Shelley''s

is

of nature

is so

absorb-

voice like Shelley''s to

side, the side seen

of Nature for her own

he.

in scientific

interest

by the

artist

and

sake.

PASSAGE OF THE APENNINES


Listen,

To

It bursts

Or

on the roof

mine,

like the thunder's roar.

on a northern shore,

like the sea

Heard

By

Mary

listen,

the whisper of the Apennine,

in its raging ebb

and flow

the captives pent in the cave below.

The Apennine

in the light of day

Is a mighty mountain

Which between

dim and

grey.

the earth and sky doth lay

But when night comes, a chaos dread

On the dim starlight then is spread.


And the Apennine walks abroad with
May

the storm.

1818.1

poem in Italy, was inspired by his delight


For other instances, see " Revolt of Islam," Books
and XI, the poetical " Letter to Maria Gisbome," the " Vision of the
1

Note that

in storm
I

4,

this, Shelley's first

and tempest.

Sea," the opening lines of

"Ode

to the

West Wind."

[5]

Ed.

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY
April, 1818.

Milan,

Mt

dear Peacock^:

looking for a house.

We

have beea to Como,

This lake exceeds any thing I ever

beheld in beauty, with the exception of the arbutus islands


It is long

of Killarney.

and narrow, and has the appear-

ance of a mighty river winding

We

the forests.

sailed

among

the mountains and

from the town of Como

to a tract of

country called the Tremezina, and saw the various aspects

The mountains be-

presented by that part of the lake.

tween

Como and

are covered
nuts,

that village, or rather cluster of villages,

on high with chestnut

forests (the eating chest-

on which the inhabitants of the country subsist in

time of scarcity), which sometimes descend to the very


verge of the lake, overhanging

it

with their hoary branches.

But usually the immediate border

of this shore

is

com-

posed of laurel-trees, and bay, and myrtle, and wild-fig


trees,

and

olives,

which grow in the crevices of the rocks,

and overhang the caverns, and shadow the deep


which are

filled

glens,

with the flashing light of the waterfalls.

Other flowering shrubs, which I cannot name, grow there


also.

On

white

among

shore,

which

high, the towers of village churches are seen

the dark forests.


faces the south, the

Beyond, on the opposite


mountains descend

precipitously to the lake, and although they are

less

much higher,

and some covered with perpetual snow, there intervenes


between them and the lake a range of lower
1

which

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866),

tinction in

Ms

novelist and poet of some diswas the warm friend of Shelley and his constant
his departure from England.
Unless otherwise stated,

time.

correspondent after
all

hills,

He

the letters in this collection were addressed to

[6]

Mr. Peacock in London.

^^!-ltC

THE YEAR
have glens and

1818

opening to the other^ such as I should

rifts

Here

fancy the abysses of Ida or Parnassus.


tions of olive,

and orange, and lemon

so loaded with fruit, that there is

and

vineyards.

village,

""This

which are now

trees,

more

than leaves,

fruit

shore of the lake

is

one continued

and th^ Milanese nobility have their

The union

are planta-

where

loveliness of nature is here so close, that the line

But the

they are divided can hardly be discovered.


scenery

is

here.

villas

of culture and the untameable profusion and

that of the Villa Pliniana

so called

finest

from a

fountain which ebbs and flows every three hours, described

by the younger Pliny, which

is

half in ruins,

we

are endeavouring to procure.

upon

terraces raised from the

with

its

This

in the court-yard.

house, which was once a magnificent palace, and

bottom of the

is

now

It is built

lake, together

garden, at the foot of a semicircular precipice,

The scene

overshadowed by profound forests of chestnut.

from the colonnade

is

the most extraordinary, at once, and

the most lovely that eye ever behel^.,.

On

one side

is

the

mountain, and immediately over you are clusters of cypresstrees of

sky.

an astonishing height, which seem to pierce the

Above you, from among the

clouds, as

it

were, de-

scends a waterfall of immense size, broken by the

On

rocks into a thousand channels to the lake.


side is seen the blue extent of the lake

speckled with sails and spires.

ill

The

lake,

terraces,

which overlook the

of such

epithet of Pythian,

immense
are

most

and the mountains,

The apartments of the

Pliniana are immensely large, but

the shade

furnished and antique.

and conduct under

laurel-trees

as

delightful. /

[7]

woody

the other

deserve

We

the

stayed at

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Como two

days, and have

now

returned to Milan, waiting

the issae of our negotiation about a house.

from Milan, and

six leagues

Como

is

only

mountains are seen from

its

the cathedral.

This cathedral [Milan]


art.

It is

immense

a most astonishing work of

is

built of white marble, and cut into pinnacles of

height,

and the utmost delicacy of workmanship,

The

and loaded with sculpture.

effect of it, piercing the

with those groups of dazzling spires, relieved by

solid blue

the serene depth of this Italian heaven, or by moonlight

when the
is

stars

seem gathered among those clustered shapes,

beyond anything I had imagined architecture capable of

The

producing.

interior,

though very sublime,

more earthly character, and with

its

massy granite columns overloaded with antique


the silver lamps, that

bum

for ever

is

of a

glass

and

figures,

and

stained

under the canopy of

black cloth beside the brazen altar and the marble fretwork
of the dome, give

There
altar,

is

some gorgeous sepulchre.

the aspect of

one solitary spot

among

where the light of day

storied

Dante

it

is

those

aisles,

behind the

dim and yellow under

window, which I have chosen to

visit,

the

and read

there.

I have devoted this summer, and indeed the next year,


to the composition of a tragedy

on the subject of Tasso's

madness, which I find upon inspection


treated, admirably dramatic

say I have
tain sense j

no dramatic

and

talent.

is,

if

properly

But you

will

Very true in a

cer-

poetical.

but I have taken the resolution to see what

kind of tragedy a person without drarhatic talent could


write.

[8]

c A.THEDIUL

at

Milan.

Interior.

" There

is

one solitary spot amonff those

where the light of day


which I have chosen to

aisles,

behind the altar,

dim and yellow under the storied window


visit, and read I)ante there.''
is

Letter from Milan, p.

THE YEAR

1818

Leghorn, June

"We

left

Milan on the

tLe Apennines to Pisa.


beautiful than the Alps

first

May, and

of

cannot find a

home

Milanese, and that of Parma,


is like

On

in

The

it.

plain

one garden, or rather cultivated wilderness

out inhabitants.

the imof the

it

because

grow under high and thick

one another by regular festoons of vines.

the seventh day

three or four days.

far less

exquisitely beautiful

is

the corn and the meadow-grass


trees, festooned to

is

the mountains are wide and wild^

and the whole scenery broad and undetermined


agination

1818.

travelled across

This part of the Apennine


;

5,

we

arrived at Pisa, where

we remained

A large disagreeable city, almost withWe then proceeded to this great trading

town, where we have remained a month, and which, in a

few days, we leave for the Bagni di Lucca, a kind of


watering-place situated in the depth of the Apennines
scenery surrounding this village

very

is

the

fine.

TO MR. AND MES. GI8B0RNE


(Leghobn)
Bagni di Ltjcca, July

We

have ridden, Mary and

called Prato Fiorito,^


*

On

once only, to a place

on the top of the mountains

Prato Eorito (Flowering Meadow)

Bagni di Lucca.

I,

10, 1818.

is

still

blooming in such abundance that their odor almost caused him


In " Epipsychidiou " occurs a reminiscence of this experience
:

and jonquils peep.


And dart their arrowy odour through the brain
Till you might faint with that delicious pain."
violets

[9]

the

a favorite excursion from

tie occasion of Shelley's visit the jonquils

" And from the moss

were

to faint.

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY
and on

road, winding through forests, and over torrents,

the verge of green ravines, affords scenery magnificently

I cannot describe

fine.

vainly,

come and

tnough

to you, but bid you,

it

I take great delight in watching

see.

the changes of the atmosphere here, and the growth of

the thunder showers with which the noon

often over-

is

shadowed, and which break and fade away towards evening into flocks of delicate clouds.

away

fast;

but there

is

Our

fire-flies

tically over the rift in the forest-covered

south, and the pale

who

the planet Jupiter,

Summer

No

is

spread out

doubt Provi-

dence has contrived these things, that, when the

go

out, the low-flying

fire-flies

owl may see her way home.

EEOM "EOSALIND AND HELEN"


Scene, the Shore of the

Lake of Gomo

HELEN

Come

hither,

my

sweet Eosalind.

'T is long since thou and I have met ;

And

yet methinks

Those moments

Come

By

sit

by me.

it

were unkind

to forget.

I see thee stand

this lone lake, in this far land.

Thy

loose hair in the light

Thy sweet

wind

flying,

voice to each tone of even

United, and thine eyes replying

To

the hues of yon fair heaven.

Come, gentle friend

wilt sit

[10]

majes-

mountains to the

lightning which

every night, at intervals, over the sky.

are fading

rises

by me

THE YEAR
And
Ere

were disunited

"vre

That led us forth at


"Will be

1818

but

ill

Eemember,

the power

hour

requited

talk of our

And we

this lone

If thou depart in scorn

Of

be as thou wert wont to be

None doth behold us now

And

oh

come.

abandoned home.

this is Italy,

Talk with

are exiles.

that our land,

me

whose wilds and

floods.

Barren and dark although they be,

Were

dearer than these chestnut woods

Those heathy paths, that inland stream.

And

the blue mountains, shapes which seem

Like wrecks of childhood's sunny dream

Which

that

we have abandoned now.

Weighs on the heart

Which
It

like that remorse

altered friendship leaves.

was a vast and antique wood.

Thro' which they took their way

And

the grey shades of evening

O'er that green wilderness did fling


Still

deeper solitude.

Pursuing

The

still

the path that

wound

vast and knotted trees around

Thro' which slow shades were wandering.

To a deep lawny

To

dell

they came.

a stone seat beside a spring.

O'er which the columned

[11

wood

did frame

Where,
Man's

temple, like the fane

ere

new

creeds could faith obtain,

early race once knelt beneath

The overhanging
O'er this

Now
The

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
A roofless

fair

deity.

fountain

spangled with

hung the

sky.

The snake.

rare stars.

pale snake, that with eager breath

Creeps here his noontide thirst to slake.


Is

beaming with many a mingled hue.

Shed from yon dome's eternal

When

he

blue.

on that dark and lucid flood

floats

In the light of his own loveliness

And

the birds that in the fountain dip

Their plumes, with fearless fellowship

Above and round him wheel and hover.


The

fitful

One

solitary leaf

wind

The chirping

is

heard to

of the grasshopper

There

Fills every pause.

In

all

stir

on high j

is

emotion

that dwells at noontide here

Then, thro' the intricate wild wood,

maze of

Is woven.

life

and light and motion

But

there is stillness

now

Gloom, and the trance of Nature now

The snake
The

is in his

birds are

cave asleep

on the branches dreaming

Only the shadows creep


Only the glow-worm

is

gleaming

Only the owls and the nightingales

Wake

in this dell

when daylight

[12]

fails,

THE YEAR
And
And

1818

grey shades gather ia the woods


the owls have

all fled far

away

In a merrier glen to hoot and play,

For the moon

and sleeping now.

veiled

is

The accustomed nightingale

On

still

broods

her accustomed bough.

But she

Has

is

fled

mute

and

Daylight on

Was

for her false

mate

her desolate.

left

its last

purple cloud

lingering grey, and soon her strain

The nightingale began


Climbing in

Now

circles

dying music

now

loud,

the windless sky.

suddenly

'Tis scattered in a thousand notes^

And now
Like

to the

field smells

Then

hushed ear

known

it floats

in infancy.

failing, soothes the air again.

TO MRS. SHELLEY
(Bagni di Lucca)
rLORENCE, August

As we approached

Florence, the country became culti-

vated to a very high degree, the plain was

most beautiful

villas,

all sides

vines are here trailed

filled

with the

and, as far as the eye could reach,

the mountains were covered with

bounded on

20, 1818.

them ;

for the plains are

by blue and misty mountains.


on low

trellises of reeds,

[13

The

interwoven

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY

and the grapes, now almost

into crosses^ to support them,

You

ripe, are exceedingly abundant.

everywhere meet

those teams of beautiful white oxen, which are now labour-

ing the

and

little

vine-divided fields with their Virgilian ploughs

Florence

carts.

itself,

that

have seen no more), I think


have yet seen.

It

is

is,

the Lung'

Arno

surrounded with cultivated

is

(for I

the most beautiful

city

hills,

and

from the bridge which crosses the broad channel of the


Arno, the view

You

saw.

is

the most animated and elegant I ever

see three or four bridges, one apparently sup-

ported by Corinthian

and the white

pillars,

boats, relieved by the deep green

of the forest,

sails

of the

which comes

to the water's edge, and the sloping hills covered with

Domes and

bright villas on every side.


all sides,

and the

cleanliness is remarkably

steeples rise

on

On

the

great.

other side there are the foldings of the Yale of Arno

above ;

first

the hills of olive and vine, then the chestnut

woods, and then the blue and misty pine

forests,

which

invest the aerial Apennines, that fade in the distance.

have seldom seen a city so

lovely

at

first

sight

I'lorence.

PEAGMENT
TO MAUT SHBLLBT

O Maet

dear, that

With your brown

And your

you were here

eyes bright and clear,

sweet voice, like a bird

Singing love to

its

lone mate

In the ivy bower disconsolate


Voice the sweetest ever heard

[14

I
as

GO
O

1-3

s s s

5"a 3

a.s
a

<

"

11
as

;;

THE YEAR
And

your brow more

this azure Italy.

Mary
I

sky

Than the

Of

1818

am

to

me

soon,

not well whilst thou

As sunset

As

come

dear,

to the sphered

art far

moon.

twilight to the western star,

Thou, belovM, art to me.

Mary

you were here


The Castle echo whispers " Here " ^
dear, that

EsTE, September, 1818.

Compare

this

poem, written to Mary Shelley during the

poet's brief absence

from her

scription of the place,

home

" The

low

villa

hill at

own

de-

was situated on the very overhanging brow of a

the foot of a range of higher ones.

ravine, with a
hill,

at Este, with her

which soon afterward became their

road in

its

... A

slight

depth, divided the garden from the

on which stood the ruins of the ancient

castle of Este,

whose dark massive wall gave forth an echo, and from whose
ruined crevices owls and bats flitted forth at night, as the
crescent

moon sunk behind

the black and heavy battlements."

[15]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

AMONG THE EUGANEAN

LINES WEITTEN

HILLS ^
OCTOBBE, 1818

Many

a green

isle

needs must be

In the deep wide sea of misery,

Or

the mariner, worn and wan,

Never thus could voyage on

Day and

night, and night and day.

Drifting on his dreary way,

"With the solid darkness black


Closing round his vessel's track;

Whilst above the sunless sky.

Big with clouds, hangs heavily.

And

behind the tempest

fleet

Hurries on with lightning

Eiving

sail,

feet,

and cord, and plank.

Till the ship

has almost drank

Death from the o'er-brimming deep ;

And sinks down, down, like that


When the dreamer seems to be

sleep

Weltering through eternity

And
Of

the

dim low

a dark

Still recedes, as

>

line before

and distant shore


ever

still,

Written after a day's eicursion among the mountains wbicli sarronnd

Arqua

once

the retreat and

now the

sepulchre of Petrarch.

NOTB.

[16

ShelIiBy's

; ;

THE YEAR
Longing with divided

But no power

He

1818

will

to seek or shun,

ever drifted on

is

O'er the unreposing wave

To

the haven of the grave.

What,

if

there no friends will greet

What,

if

there no heart will meet

His with

Wander

love's impatient beat

wheresoe'er he may.

Can he dream before

To

find refuge

In friendship's

Then

't

will

Which

is

that day
distress

smile, in love's caress ?

wreak him

Whether such
Senseless

from

little

there be or no

woe
:

the breast, and cold.

relenting love

would fold j

Bloodless are the veins and chill

Which
Every

the pulse of pain did


little

fill

living nerve

That from bitter words did swerve

Bound
Are

the tortured lips and brow.

like sapless leaflets

now

Frozen upon December's bough.

On

the beach of a northern sea

Which tempests shake eternally,


As once the wretch there lay to sleep.
Lies a solitary heap.

One white

On

skull

and seven dry bones.

the margin of the stones,

[17

WITH SHELLEY

: : :;

IN ITALY

Where a few grey rushes

stand.

Boundaries of the sea and land


heard one voice of wail

Nor

is

But

the sea-mews, as they sail

O'er the billows of the gale

Or

the whirlwind

Howling,

When

up and down

like a slaughtered town.

a king in glory rides

Through the pomp of

fratricides

Those unburied bones around


There

is

many a mournful sound

There

is

no lament for him,

Like a sunless vapour, dim.

Who

once clothed with

life

and thought

What now moves nor murmurs


Ay, many flowering islands

not.

lie

In the waters of wide Agony

To such

My

a one this

morn was

led

bark, by soft winds piloted

'Mid the mountains Euganean


I stood listening to the paean.

With which
The

the legioned rooks did hail

sun's uprise majestical;

Gathering round with wings

all hoar,

Thro' the dewy mist they soar

Like grey shades,

till

the eastern heaven

Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,

Mecked with

fire

and azure,

In the unfathomable sky,

[18]

lie

THE YEAR

1818

So their plumes of purple grain,


Starred with drops of golden rain.

Gleam above the sunlight woods.

As

in silent multitudes

On

the morning's fitful gale

Thro' the broken mist they

sail.

And. the vapours cloven and gleaming


Pollow down the dark steep streaming.
Till all is bright,

Bound

and

the solitary

Beneath

is

clear,

and

still,

hill.

spread like a green sea

The waveless

Lombardy,

plain of

Bounded by the vaporous


Islanded by

air.

cities fair

Underneath day's azure eyes


Ocean's nursling, Yenice

A peopled

lies,

labyrinth of walls,

Amphitrite's destined halls.

Which
With

Lo

her hoary

his blue

sire

now

paves

and beaming waves.

the sun upsprings behind,

Broad, red, radiant, half reclined

On
Of

the level quivering line


the waters crystalline

And
As

before that chasm of light.

within a furnace bright.

Column, tower, and dome, and


Shine like obelisks of

spire.

fire.

Pointing with inconstant motion

[19


IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

From the altar of dark ocean


To the sapphire-tinted skies
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise.
j

As

dome

to pierce the

Where Apollo spoke

of gold

of old.

Sun-girt City, thou hast been

Ocean's child, and then his queen;

Now

is

come a darker day.

And thou
If the

power that raised thee here

HaUow

soon must be his prey.

so thy watery bier.

less drear

ruin then than now,

With thy conquest-branded brow


Stooping to the slave of slaves

From

thy throne,

Wilt thou
Flies, as

be,

among

when

the waves

the sea-mew

once before

it flew.

O'er thine

isles

And aU

in its ancient state.

is

depopulate.

Save where

many

With green

sea-flowers overgrown

a palace gate

Like a rock of ocean's own,


Topples ^ o'er the abandoned sea

As the tides change sullenly.


The fisher on his watery way.
Wandering

at the close of day,

1 Tliis serious appreTiension of

more pronounced

the gradual sinking of Venice tas become

since the crumbling of the Campanile in 1902.

[20

Ed.

I
a.
I-

3.

J3'

5. .

-5

THE YEAR
Will spread
Till

his sail

1818

and

seize his oar

he pass the gloomy shore,

Lest thy dead should, from their sleep


Bursting o'er the starlight deep.

Lead a rapid masque of death


O'er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold


Quivering through aerial gold,

As I now behold them here.


Would imagine not they were

human

Sepulchres, where

forms.

Like pollution-nourished worms

To

the corpse of greatness cling.

Murdered, and now mouldering

But

Preedom should awake

if

Li her omnipotence, and shake

From

the Celtic Anarch's hold

All the keys of dungeons cold^

Where

a hundred cities

Chained

lie

like thee, ingloriously.

Thou and

band

all

thy

sister

Might adorn

this

sunny land.

Twining memories of old time

With new

virtues

more sublime;

If not, perish thou and they.

Clouds which stain truth's rising day

By

her sun consumed away,

Earth can spare ye

while like flowers,

Li the waste of years and hours,

[21

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
From your
With more
Perish

dust

new

nations spring

kindly blossoming.

let there

only be

Floating o'er thy hearthless sea

As

the garment of thy sky

Clothes the world immortally,

One remembrance, more sublime


Than the

Which

tattered pall of time,

That a tempest-cleaving Swan

Of

wan j

scarce hides thy visage


^

the songs of Albion,

Driven from his ancestral streams

By

the might of evil dreams.

Found a

nest in thee

and Ocean

Welcomed him with such emotion


That

its

From

joy grew his, and sprung

his lips like

music flung

O'er a mighty thunder-fit


Chastening terror

what though

yet

Poesy's unfailing Eiver,

Which

thro'

Albion winds for ever

Lashing with melodious wave

Many a sacred Poet's grave.


Mourn its latest nursling fled?
What though thou with all thy

dead

Scarce can for this fame repay

Aught

thine

Though thy
*

own ?
sins

oh, rather say

and

slaveries foul

Byron, then living in Venice.


[

22

Ed.

THE YEAR

1818

Overcloud a sunlite soul ?

As the ghost of Homer clings


Eound Scamander's wasting springs
As

divinest Shakespere's might

Fills

Avon and

the world with light

Like omniscient power which he

Imaged 'mid mortality;

As

the love from Petrarch's urn.

Yet amid yon

hills

doth burn,

quenchless lamp by which the heart

Sees things unearthly

Mighty

spirit

The City

so thou art

so shall be

that did refuge thee.

Lo, the sun

floats

up

the sky

Like thought-winged Liberty,


Till the universal light

Seems to

level plain

From the sea a


And the beams

On

of

morn

lie

dead

the towers of Venice now.

Like

By

and height ;

mist has spread.

its

glory long ago.

the skirts of that grey cloud

Many-domed Padua proud


Stands, a peopled solitude,

'Mid the harvest-shining

Where

In the garner of

And

plain,

the peasant heaps his grain


his foe.

the milk-white oxen slow

"With the purple vintage strain,


[

23

WITH SHELLEY

"

IN ITALY

Heaped upon the creaking wain.


That the brutal Celt may

Drunken

And

swill

sleep with savage will

the sickle to the sword

Lies unchanged, though

many

Like a weed whose shade

is

Overgrows

this region's foison.

Sheaves of

whom

To

are ripe to

destruction's harvest

Men must

a lord,

poison.

come

home

reap the things they sow.

Force from force must ever flow.

Or worse ; but

't is

a bitter woe

That love or reason cannot change

The

despot's rage, the slave's revenge.

Padua, thou within whose walls

Those mute guests at

festivals.

Son and Mother, Death and

Sin,

Played at dice for Ezzelin,

TOl Death

And

cried,

" I win, I win

Sin cursed to lose the wager,

But Death promised,

to assuage her.

That he would petition for

Her

to be

When
Over

And

made Vice-Emperor,

the destined years were o'er.

all

between the Po

the eastern Alpine snow,

Under the mighty Austrian.


Sin smiled so as Sin only can,

And

since that time, ay, long before,

[24]

a"* S
*^ = s

THE YEAR

1818

Both have ruled from shore


That incestuous

who

pair,

to shore.

follow

Tyrants as the sun the swallow,

As Eepentance

And

follows Crime,

as changes follow Time.

In thine halls the lamp of learning,


Padua, now no more

is

burning;

Like a meteor, whose wild way


Is lost over the grave of day.

and

It gleams betrayed

to betray

Once remotest nations came

To adore

that sacred flame.

When it lit not many a hearth


On this cold and gloomy earth
Now new fires from antique light
:

Spring beneath the wide world's might

But

dead in

their spark lies

thee,

Trampled out by tyranny.

As

the

Norway woodman

In the depths of piny

One

light flame

among

While the boundless

quells.

dells.

the brakes.

forest shakes.

And its mighty trunks are torn


By the fire thus lowly born
The spark beneath

He

his feet is dead.

starts to see the flames it fed

Howling through the darkened sky

With a myriad tongues victoriously.


And sinks down in fear so thou,
:

[25

;!

;:

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Tyranny, beholdest now-

Light around thee, and thou hearest

The loud flames ascend, and

fearest

Grovel on the earth ; ay, hide

In the dust thy purple pride

Noon
'T

is

descends around

me now

the noon of autumn's glow,

When

a soft and purple mist

Like a vaporous amethyst.

Or an

air-dissolved star

Mingling light and fragrance, far

From the curved horizon's bound


To the point of heaven^'s profound.
Fills the overflowing

And

sky;

the plains that silent

lie

Underneath, the leaves unsodden

Where
With

the infant frost has trodden

his

morning-winged

feet,

Whose bright print is gleaming


And the red and golden vines.

yet;

Piercing with their trellised lines

The rough, dark-skirted wilderness

The dun and bladed

grass

no

less.

Pointing from this hoary tower

In the windless
Glimmering

Of

at

air

my

the flower

feet

the line

the olive-sandalled Apennine

In the south dimly islanded

And

the Alps, whose snows are spread

[26

;:

THE YEAR
High between

1818

the clouds and sun

And of living things each one


And my spirit which so long
Darkened

this swift

Interpenetrated

stream of song,

lie

By

the glory of the sky

Be

it love, lights

harmony.

Odour, or the soul of

all

Which from heaven like dew doth fall.


Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon

descends, and after

noon

Autumn's evening meets me soon.


Leading the infantine moon.

And

that one star, which to her

Almost seems

to minister

Half the crimson light she brings

From the sunset's radiant springs


And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
'Mid remembered agonies.

The

frail

bark of

this lone

being)

Pass, to other sufferers fleeing.

And

its

ancient pilot. Pain,

Sits beside the

hehn again.

Other flowering

In the sea of
Other

isles

life

must be

and agony

spirits float

and

[27]

flee

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
O'er that gulph

On some
With

folded wings they waiting

my

For

even now, perhaps.

rock the wild wave wraps.

bark, to pilot

sit

it

To some calm and blooming cove.


Where for me, and those I love.

May

a windless bower be built.

Far from passion, pain, and

In a

dell 'raid

Which

And
Of

guilt.

hills.

the wild sea-murmur

soft sunshine,

fills.

and the sound

old forests echoing round.

And
Of

lawny

the light and smell divine

all

We

and shine

flowers that breathe

may

live so

happy

That the

spirits of

Envying

us,

To our

the

there.
air.

may even

entice

healing paradise

The polluting multitude;


But

their rage

would be subdued

By that clime divine and calm,


And the winds whose wings rain balm

On

the uplifted soul, and leaves

Under which the bright


While each breathless
In

sea heaves

interval

their whisperings musical

The inspired soul

With

And

its

supplies

own deep

melodies.

the love which heals

all strife

Circling, like the breath of

[28

life,

-
s-f

a,

THE YEAR

1818

All things in that sweet abode

With

its

own mild brotherhood

Thejj not

Every

would change; and soon

it

sprite beneath the

moon

Would repent its envy vain,


And the earth grow young again.

MAEENGHI ^
I

Let

those

who

Or think
Or

barter

pine in pride or in revenge,

that

wrong

ill

for

for

ill

should be repaid.

wrong, until the exchange

Euins the merchants of such


Yisit the tower of

Such

thriftless trade,

Vado, and unlearn

bitter faith beside

Marenghi^s urn.

II

A massy tower yet overhangs


A

scattered

the town,

group of ruined dwellings now.

Ill

Another scene ere wise Etruria knew


Its second ruin

And

through internal

strife.

tyrants through the breach of discord threw

The chain which binds and

As winter

kills.

to fair flowers (though

So Monarchy succeeds to Freedom's


*

As death

to

life,

some be poison)
foison.

This fragment refers to an event told in Sismondi's Histoire des "Re-

publiques Italimnes,

wMch

subdued Pisa, and reduced

occurred during the war

it to

a province.

[29]

when Florence

Mes. Sheilet.

finally

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY

IV
In Pisa's church a cup of sculptured gold
"Was brimming with the blood of feuds forsworn

At sacrament more holy


:

ne'er of old

Etrurians mingled with the shades forlorn

Of moon-illumined

And

forests.

reconciling factions wet their lips

With that dread


Undarkened by

wine, and swear to keep each spirit

their country's last eclipse.

VI

Was

Florence the liberticide

Of

free

Like a green

? that

band

and glorious brothers who had planted.


'mid ^Ethiopian sand,

isle

nation amid slaveries, disenchanted

Of many impious

faiths

wise, just

Does Florence, gorge the sated

do

they.

tyrants' prey ?

VII
foster-nurse of man's

Since Athens,

Thou shadowest

its

abandoned glory.

great mother, sunk in splendour ;

forth that

mighty shape in

As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe


The light-invested angel Poesy

Was drawn from

the

dim world

[30]

to

story,

yet tender

welcome

thee.

THE YEAR

1818

vni
And thou in painting didst transcribe all
By loftiest meditations marble knew

taught

The

wroughtj

and

sculptor's fearless soul

as he

The grace of his own power and freedom grew.


And more than all, heroic, just, sublime.
Thou wert among the false
was this thy crime ?

IX
Yes ; and on

Of

direst

Inhabits

its

A beast
Its lair,

And

Pisa's marble walls the twine

weeds hangs garlanded

wrecked palaces

of subtler

and

sits

the snake

in thine

venom now doth make

amid

their glories overthrown.

thus thy victim's fate

is as

thine own.

X
The sweetest flowers are ever

And

frail

and

rare.

love and freedom blossom but to wither

And good and

ill

like vines

So that their grapes may

entangled are.

oft

be plucked together ;

Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make

Thy

heart rejoice for dead Marenghi's sake.

XI

No

record of his crime remains in story.

But
It

if

the morning bright as evening shone.

was some high and holy deed, by glory

Pursued into forgetfulness, which won

From
The

made

the blind crowd he

patriot's

meed,

toil,

death,

[31

secure and free

and infamy.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
XII

Eor when by sound of trumpet was declared


A price upon his life, and there was set

penalty of blood on all

who shared

So much of water with him

His

lips,

as

might wet

which speech divided not

Alone, as you

may

he went

guess, to banishment.

xni
Amid

He

the mountains, like a hunted beast,

hid himself, and hunger,

Month

after

month endured

toil,

it

and

was a

cold,

feast

Whene'er he found those globes of deep-red gold

Which

in the

woods the strawberry-tree doth

bear.

Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.

XIV

And

in the roofless huts of vast morasses.

Deserted by the fever-stricken

serf.

All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses.

And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf.


And where the huge and speckled aloe made.
Booted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,

XV
He

housed himself.

There

is

a point of strand

Near Yado's tower and town ; and on one

The treacherous marsh

divides

Shadowed by pine and

And

it

side

from the land.

ilex forests wide.

on the other creeps eternally.

Through muddy weeds, the shallow


[

82

sullen sea.

o
a
o

8 S

THE YEAR

1818

XVI
Here the

earth's breath is pestilence,

But things whose nature


Snakes and

The

ill

worms

endure

and few

war with

is at

its

life

mortal dew.

trophies of the clime's victorious strife

White bonesj and locks

And ringM

of

dun and yellow

horns which buffaloes did wear

hair,

XVII

And

at the

The

utmost point

relics of a

stood there

weed- inwoven

Thatched with broad

cot.

An

flags.

outlawed murderer

Had lived seven days there the pursuit was hot


When he was cold. The birds that were his grave
:

Fell dead

upon

their feast in

Vado's wave.

XVIII
There must have lived within Marenghi's heart

That

(Which

More

To

fire,

more warm and bright than

to the martyr

makes

his

life

dungeon

or hope,
.

joyous than the heaven's majestic cope

his oppressor),

Or he could

ne'er

warring with decay,

have lived years, day by day.

XIX
Nor was

He
And

you might think.

every seagull which sailed

-Those
3

his state so lone as

had tamed every newt and snake and toad.

...

down

to drink

ere the death-mist went abroad.


[

83

WITH SHELLEY
And

ITALY

IN

each one^ with peculiar talk and play,

Wiled, not untaught, his

silent

time away.

XX
And the marsh-meteorSj like tame beasts, at night
Came licking with blue tongues his veined feet
And he would watch them, as, like spirits bright.
In many entangled figures quaint and sweet

To some enchanted music they would dance


Until they vanished at the

first

moon-glance.

XXI

He mocked

the stars by grouping on each weed

The summer dewdrops in the golden dawn


And,

ere the hoar-frost vanished, he could read

Its pictured footprints, as

on spots of lawn

Its delicate brief touch in silence

The

weaves

remembered

likeness of the wood's

leaves.

XXII

And many

a fresh Spring-morn would he awaken

While yet the unrisen sun made glow,


Quivering in crimson

fire,

the peaks unshaken

Of mountains and blue isles which did environ


With air-clad crags that plain of land and sea,
-

And feel

liberty.

XXIII

And

in the

moonless nights, when the dim ocean

Heaved underneath the heaven,


Starting from dreams

Communed

with the immeasurable world;

[34]

like iron


THE YEAR
And

felt his life

Till his

beyond

mind grew

1818

his limbs dilated^

lite that it contemplated.

XXIV
His food was the wild fig and strawberry ;

The milky pine-nuts which the autumnal


Shakes into the

As from

And

tall grass

blast

and such small fry

the sea by winter-storms are cast

the coarse bulbs of iris-flowers he found

Knotted in clumps under the spongy ground.

XXV
And

so were kindled powers

His solitude

and thoughts which made

When memory came

less dark.

(For years gone by leave each a deepening shade),

His

spirit

basked in

its

internal flame,

Asj when the black storm hurries round at night.

The

fisher

basks beside his red

fire-light.

XXVI
Yet human hopes and cares and

faiths

and

errors,

Like billows unawakened by the wind.


Slept in

Marenghi

still

but that

all terrors.

Weakness, and doubt, had withered in his mind.


His couch

xxvn
And, when he saw beneath the sunset's planet

A
Its

black ship walk over the crimson ocean,

pennons streaming on the blasts that fan

Its sails

and ropes

all

it,

tense and without motion,

[35]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Like the dart ghost of the unburied even


Striding across the orange-coloured heaven^

XXVIII
The thought

of his

own kind who made the

soul

Which sped that winged shape through night and

day,
The thought of

own country

his

JULIAN AND MADDALQi


A CONVERSATION
PEEPACE
The meadows witl fresh streams, the bees with thyme.
The goats with the green leaves of budding Spring,
Are saturated not

nor Love with

tears.

ViEOiii's GaUus.

CoTTNT

Maddalo

is

a Venetian

nobleman of ancient

family and of great fortune, who, without mixing

much

in

the society of his countrymen, resides chiefly at his mag-

He

nificent palace in that city.

is

consummate genius, and capable,


energies to such an end, of

degraded country.

But

if

a person of the most

he would direct his

becoming the redeemer of


his

it is

his

weakness to be proud

he derives, from a comparison of his

own

mind with the dwarfish

surround him, an

1 Julian is

Byron.

intellects that

extraordinary

the idealized portrait of Shelley himself; Maddalo

The poem was not published

is

Lord

until after Shelley's death, although

written during his

first year in Italy.


He had in mind to write three
other poems as companions to this Venice poem, whose scenes were to be

laid respectively in

never carried out.

Rome, Florence, and Naples.

Ed.

[86]

But

this

scheme was

^
^5

THE YEAR
intense apprehension

His passions and


those

of the nothingness

human

of

life.

powers are incomparably greater than

his

men ;

other

-of

1818

and, instead of the latter having been

employed in curbing the former, they have mutually lent


each other strength.

His ambition preys upon

want of objects which

it

Maddalo

I say that

word

to

tions only that

concentred

but

by

there

is

it

feelings

he seems to trample, for in social

He

gentle, patient,

as

by a

no

life

witty.

His

men
much ; and

a sort of intoxication;

is

spell.

affec-

and unassuming
and

cheerful, frank,

is

more serious conversation


are held

and impatient

on his own hopes and

it is

human being can be more


than Maddalo.

for

proud, because I can find no other

is

express the

which consume him

itself,

can consider worthy of exertion.

He

has travelled

an inexpressible charm in his relation of his adven-

tures in different countries.

Julian

is

an Englishman of good family, passionately

attached to those philosophical notions which assert the

power of man over

own mind, and

his

the immense im-

provements of which, by the extinction of certain moral


superstitions,

human

speculating

complete

may be

society

Without concealing the

how good may be made

infidel,

yet

evil in the world,

susceptible.

he

superior.

is

for ever

He

is

scoffer at all things reputed holy

and a

and Maddalo takes a wicked pleasure in drawing out his


taunts against religion.

matters is not

exactly

heterodox opinions,

some good

is

qualities.

reader will determine.

What Maddalo
known.

Julian,

thinks on these
in

spite of

his

conjectured by his friends to possess

How

far this is possible the pious

Julian

[37

is
]

rather serious.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Of
by

the Maniac

own

his

He was
when

seems,

account, to have been disappointed in love.

and amiable person

evidently a very cultivated

His

in his right senses.

story, told at length,

other stories of the same kind

many

be lite

He

I can give no information.

might

the uncon-

nected exclamations of his agony will perhaps be found a


sufficient

comment

for the text of every heart.

I EODE one evening with Count Maddalo

Upon

the bank of land which breaks the flow

Of Adria towards Venice

Of

Matted with
Such

as

Is this

Which

thistles

and amphibious weeds.

from earth's embrace the


an uninhabited

the lone fisher,

Abandons

The

a bare strand

heaped from ever-shifting sand.

hillocks,

ooze breeds.

when

his nets are dried.

and no other object breaks

waste, but one dwarf tree

and some few stakes

Broken and unrepaired, and the

salt

sea-side.

tide

makes

narrow space of level sand thereon,

Where

't

was our wont to ride while day went down.

This ride was

And

my

The pleasure

we

vidsh

Some critics hare inferred


of his own darkest experiences
1

distracted lover

is

SheUey

as

and that the poem therefore

to

be

tlat in the Maniac, Shelley revealed

that while Julian

is

mneh

Shelley in 1818,ihe

he conceived himself to have been in 1814,


two pictures of its author. For some

offers

some reason unknown,

by his friend Leigh Hunt, to

waste

what we see
our souls

reason nnlmown, Shelley had ordered


also for

all

where we taste

of believing

Is boundless, as

I love

delight.

solitary places

it to

be published without his -name;

was withheld from publication


whom it was sent.
Ed.
it

[38

altogether

THE YEAR
And such was

this

More barren than


Than

To

all,

wide ocean, and


its

billows ;

this shore

and yet more

with a remembered friend I love

ride as then

The

1818

I rode

for the winds drove

sunny

living spray along the

Into our faces

air

the blue heavens were bare.

Stripped to their depths by the awakening north

And, from the waves, sound Hke delight broke forth


Harmonising with

solitude,

and sent

Into our hearts aerial merriment.


So, as

we

we talked ; and

rode,

the swift thought.

Winging

itself

But

from brain to brain ; such glee was ours.

flew

with laughter, lingered not.

Charged with light memories of remembered hours.

None

slow enough for sadness

till

Homeward^ which always make

we came

the spirit tame.

This day had been cheerful but cold, and

The sun was

Our

talk

sinking,

and the wind

grew somewhat

also.

serious, as

may be

Talk interrupted with such

raillery

As mocks

cannot scorn

because

itself,

The thoughts

it

it

would extinguish

't

Yet

pleasing, such as once, so poets

The

devils held within the dales of Hell

Concerning God,

Of

all

Is

it

men imagine

may

may

descanted, and I (for ever

still

not wise to

make

be.

or believe.

paint or suffering

Or hope can

was

tell.

and destiny

that earth has been or yet

All that vain

We

freewill,

now

achieve.

the best of ill?)

[39]

forlorn,

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Argued against despondeacy, but pride

Made my companion
The

sense that he

take the darter side.

was greater than his kind

Had struck, methinks, his eagle spirit


By gazing on its own exceeding light.
Meanwhile the sun paused ere

should alight,

it

Over the horizon of the mountains

How

beautiful

is

sunset,

when

Of Heaven descends upon

Thou Paradise
Of

cities

seas

Oh,

a land like thee,

and vineyards and the towers

they encircle

Just where

the glow

of exiles, Italy

Thy mountains,
To stand on

blind

was ours

it

thee, beholding it

we had dismounted,

and then.
the Count's

gondola.

men

Were waiting for us with the


As those who pause on some delightful way
Tho' bent on pleasant pilgrimage, we stood
Looking upon the evening, and the flood

Which

lay between the city

and the shore

Paved with the image of the sky.

And

The hoar

aery Alps towards the North appeared

Thro' mist, an heaven-sustaining bulwark reared

Between the East and West

Was

and half the sky

roofed with clouds of rich emblazonry,

Dark purple

Down

at the zenith,

the steep

West

which

into a

still

grew

wondrous hue

Brighter than burning gold, even to the rent

Where

Among

the swift sun yet paused in his descent


the many-folded hills

Those famous Euganean

hills,

[40]

they were

which bear

MONG the

Eusanean

" ^MUl

the

Hills.

mountains Kuqannau

1 stood listening to the pcean

With which the Ugioned rooks did hail


The smis uprise Tnaiestical/^ Euganean

" Those famous Euganean hills, which bear


seen from Lido thro' the harbour piles
The likeness of a clump of peaked isles. " -

Hills, p.18.

As

Julian and Maddalo,

p. 40.

THE YEAR

1818

As seen from Lido thro' the harbour piles


The likeness of a clump of peaked isles

And

then, as if the Earth and Sea

Dissolved into one lake of

fire,

had been

were seen

Those mountains towering as from waves of flame

Around the vaporous


The inmost purple

sun, from which there

spirit of light,

Said

my

companion, " I

will

and made

" Ere

Their very peaks transparent.

came

it

fade,"

show you soon

A better station " so, o'er the lagune


We glided, and from that funereal bark
I leaned, and saw the

How

from

their

Its temples

Like

and

many
its

and could mark

city,

evening's gleam.

isles in

palaces did seem

enchantment piled to Heaven.


" We are even
I was about to speak, when
fabrics of

Now

at the point. I meant," said Maddalo,

And bade

the gondolieri cease to row.

" Look, Julian, on the west, and


If

you hear not a deep and heavy

listen well

bell."

I looked, and saw between us and the sun

building on an island

As age

to age

such a one

might add, for uses

vile,

windowless, deformed and dreary pile

And on

the top an open tower, where

hung

A bell, which in the radiance swayed and swung;


We could just hear its hoarse and iron tongue
The broad sun sunk behind
In strong and black
Shall be the

relief.

madhouse and

it,

and

it

tolled

" What we behold


its

[41

belfry tower,"

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Said Maddalo, " and ever at this hour

Those who may cross the water, hear that

bell

Which calls the maniacs each one from his cell


" As much skill as need to pray
To vespers/^

In thanks or hope for their dark

To

maker," I

their stern

Yon

have they

"

ho

talk as in years past," said Maddalo.

" 'T is strange men change

Among

lot

replied.

You

not.

were ever

still

Christ's flock a perilous infidel,

wolf for the

meek lambs

if

you

swim

can't

I looked ou him.

Beware of Providence."

But the gay smile had faded in his eye,


" And such,"
he cried, " is our mortality,

And

this

must be the emblem and the sign

Of what should be

eternal

and divine

And like that black and dreary bell, the soul


Hung in a heaven-illumined tower, must toll
Our thoughts and our desires to meet below
Eound the rent heart and pray
as madmen do
For what ? they know not, till the night of death
As sunset that strange vision, severeth

Our memory from

itself,

and us from

"We sought and yet were bafQed."

The

sense of

The

force of his expressions.

what he

said, altho'

all

I recall
I mar

The broad

star

Of day meanwhile had sunk behiud the

hill.

And
And

between

the black bell became invisible.


the red tower looked grey, and

The churches,

Huddled

in

all

ships and palaces were seen

gloom

into the purple sea

[42

;:

THE YEAR
The orange hues

We

sunk

of heaven

1818
silently.

hardly spoke, and soon the gondola

Conveyed me to

my

lodgings by the way.

The following morn was


Ere Maddalo

And

rainy, cold

and dim.

on him.

arose, I called

whilst I waited with his child I played

A lovelier toy sweet Nature never


A serious, subtle, wild, yet gentle

made,
being.

Graceful without design and unforeseeing,

With

eyes

Oh speak not

Twin mirrors

in the

human

as

fine

we never

countenance.

She was a special favourite

Her

which seem

of Italian Heaven, yet gleam

With such deep meaning,


But

of her eyes

see

With me

I had nursed

and feeble limbs when she came

this bleak

On

second sight her ancient playfellow.

world

first

and she yet seemed to know

To

Less changed than she was by six months or so j

For

after her first shyness

We

sate there, rolling billiard balls about.

When

the Count entered.

"The word you spoke

was worn out

darkness on

my

last

spirit

The passive thing you

Salutations past

night might well have cast

if

man

be

say, I should not see

Much harm in the religions and old saws


(Tho' I may never own such leaden laws)
Which break a teachless nature to the yoke
Mine is another faith "
thus much I spoke
And noting he replied not, added " See

This lovely child, blithe, innocent, and free,

[43

WITH SHELLEY
She spends a happy time with

IN ITAI.Y
little

care

to such sick thoughts subjected are

While we

As came on you

last

night

our will

it is

"Which thus enchains us to permitted

We
We

Where
But

of,

in our

mind ? and

Should we be

" Aye,

How

happy, high, majestical.

the love, beauty, and truth

is

we were not weak


"

if

vainly to be strong

" You talk Utopia/'

and we

"

aspire

Maddalo

said

" It remains

I then rejoined, " and those

How

we seek

deed than in desire ?

less in

we were not weak

if

we might be aU

might be otherwise

dream

ill

who

try

know,"

to

may

find

strong the chains are which our spirit bind;

Brittle perchance as straw.

Much may

'.

We

are assured

much may be endured


and crushes us. We know

be conquered,

Of what degrades

That we have power over ourselves to do

And

suffer

what,

we know not

But something nobler than

till

we

try

to live and die

So taught those kings of old philosophy

Who
And
Yet

those

who

suffer

To your

Make

"My

judgment

opinion, tho' I think

dear friend,"

will not

bend

you might

such a system refutation-tight

far as

Who

my

blind

with their suffering kind

feel their faith, religion."

Said Maddalo, "

As

made men

reigned, before Eeligion

words go.

to this city

knew one

like

you

came some months ago,

With whom I argued

in this sort,
[

44

and he

THE YEAR
Is

and

now gone mad,


But

Poor fellow

We

'11

How

visit

so he answered me,

you would

him, and his wild talk will show

to prove the induction otherwise.

that a

want of that true theory,

still.

Which seeks a ' soul of goodness in things


Or in himself or others, has thus bowed
'

His being

Who
To

there are

patient in

love

And

go

lite to

vain are such aspiring theories."

" I hope

And

if

1818

some by nature proud.

demand but

all else

this

and be beloved with gentleness

being scorned, what wonder

Some

ill.

living death? this

But man's own

is

they die

if

not destiny

wilful ill."

As thus I spoke
Servants announced the gondola, and

Through the

fast-falling rain

Sailed to the island where the

We

The

disembarked.

we

and high-wrought sea

madhouse

stands.

clap of tortured hands,

Fierce yells and bowlings and lamentings keen.

And daughter where

complaint had merrier been,

Moans, shrieks, and curses, and blaspheming prayers


Accosted

us.

We

climbed the oozy

Into an old courtyard.

stairs

I heard on high.

Then, fragments of most touching melody.

But looking up saw not the singer

there.

Through the black bars in the tempestuous

air

I saw, like weeds on a wrecked palace growing.

Long tangled

locks flung wildly forth, and flowing.

Of those who on a sudden were beguiled

[45]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Into strange silence, and looked forth and smiled

Then

Hearing sweet sounds.

"Methinks

I:

were

cnre of these with patience and kind care.

If music can thus

Whom

we seek

move

here ? "

but what

" Of

he

is

his sad history

I know but this," said Maddalo, " he came

To Venice a

dejected man, and fame

Said he was wealthy, or he had been so

Some thought

the loss of fortune wrought

But he was ever talking

in such sort

As you do
far more sadly ; he seemed
Even as a man with his peculiar wrong.
To
Or

him woe

hurt.

hear but of the oppression of the strong,


those absurd deceits (I think with you

In some respects you know) which carry through

The

excellent impostors of this earth

When

they outface detection

Poor feUow

he had worth.

but a humourist in his way "

" Alas, what drove him mad ? " "I cannot say
A lady came with him from France, and when
She

left

him and

About yon
Till

lonely isles of desert sand

he grew wild

Eemaining,

Some

returned, he wandered then

he had no cash

him

here

fancy took him and he would not bear

Eemoval ;

so I fitted

up

Those rooms beside the

And

or land

the police had brought

sent

for

him

sea, to please his

him busts and books and urns

Which had adorned

whim.

for flowers

his hfe in happier hours,

[46]

there

>*;.

I-

i
3


THE YEAR
And

instruments of music

stranger could do

little

1818

you may guess


more or

For one so gentle and unfortunate

less
:

And those are his sweet strains which charm the weight
Erom madmen's chains, and make this Hell appear

heaven of sacred

" Nay,

this

silence,

hushed to hear."

was kind of you

he had no
but

" None
As the world says "
Which 1 on all mankind were I

as

his

Fallen to such deep reverse


Is interrupted

Of madmen,
Let us now

now we

claim,

the very same

he

melody

hear the din

shriek on shriek again begin;


visit

himj

He ever communes
And sees nor hears

after this strain

with himself again.

Having

not any."

said

These words we called the keeper, and he led

To an apartment opening on the

sea

There the poor wretch was sitting mournfully

Near a piano,

One with

his pale fingers twined

the other, and the ooze and wind

Eushed through an open casement, and did sway


His

hair,

and starred

it

with the brackish spray;

His head was leaning on a music book.

And he was
His

lips

muttering, and his lean limbs shook;

were pressed against a folded leaf

In hue too beautiful for health, and grief


Smiled in their motions as they lay apart

As one who wrought from


The eloquence

his

own

fervid heart

of passion, soon he raised

His sad meek face and eyes lustrous and glazed

[47]


WITH SHELLEY
And

spote

sometimes

IN

ITALY

one who wrote and thought

as

His words might move some heart that heeded not


If sent to distant lands

and then as one

Eeproachiug deeds never to he undone

With wondering
Wa;s

Unmodulated,

But
It

self-compassion

lost in grief,

and then

his

then his speech

words came each

cold, expressionless,

that from one jarred accent

you might guess

was despair made them so uniform

And

all

the while the loud and gusty storm

Hissed thro^ the window, and we stood behind


Stealing his accents from the envious wind

I yet remember what he said

Unseen.
Distinctly

such impression his words made.

" Month

And

after month,^'

as a jade

To drag

life

he

cried,

" to bear

on, which like a heavy chain

Lengthens behind with many a link of pain

And
To

But

As

not to speak

give a
live

if

Alas

my

grief

voice to

my

this

mask

most dear

not to dare
despair.
!

smile

on

of falsehood even to those

not

my own

for

repose

no scorn or pain or hate could be

So heavy as that falsehood

is

But that I cannot bear more

Than needs must

More

I never went aside to groan,

are
1

human

and move, and wretched thing

And wear

Who

this load

urged by the whip and goad

be,

me

to

altered faces

more changed and cold embraces,

misery, disappointment, and mistrust

To own me

for their father

[48]

Would

the dust

THE YEAR
Were covered
That the

And

life

upon

in

my

1818

body now

ceased to toil within

my brow

then these thoughts would at the least be fled j

Let us not fear such pain can vex the dead.

" What Power

delights to torture us ?

know

That to myself I do not wholly owe

What now
Alas

I suffer, tho' in part I may.

none strewed sweet flowers upon the way

Where wandering

My

heedlessly, I

shadow, which will leave

met pale Pain,

me

not again

K I have erred, there was no joy in error.


But pain and

insult

and unrest and terror

I have not as some do, bought penitence

With

pleasure,

For then,

Had

My

if

and a dark yet sweet

love

offence.

and tenderness and truth

overlived hope's

momentary youth.

me from

creed should have redeemed

repenting

But loathed scorn and outrage unrelenting.

Met

love excited

by

far other

Until the end was gained

Of

seeming

...

as

one from dreaming

sweetest peace, I woke, and found

Such

as it

"

Who,

my

state

is.

Thou,

my

spirit's

for thou art compassionate

mate

and wise,

Wouldst pity me from thy most gentle eyes


If this sad writing

My secret

thou shouldst ever

see

groans must be unheard by thee.

Thou wouldst weep

tears bitter as blood to

Thy lost friend's incommunicable wo&,


" Ye few by whom my nature has been
4

49

know

weij

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

let me not that name degrade


By placing on your hearts the secret load
Which crushes mine to dust. There is one

In friendship,

To peace and

that

is

which follow ye

truth,

astray to misery.

Love sometimes leads

Yet think not tho' subdued

am subdued

Say that I

Within me would

Of

and I may

well

that the full Hell

infect the untainted breast

sacred nature with

As some

road

own

its

unrest

perverted beings think to find

In scorn or hate a medicine for the mind

Which

wounded

scorn or hate hath

The dagger

may rend

heals not but

Believe that I

am

ever

how

again

vain
.

the same

still

In creed as in resolve, and what may tame

My heart,
Or

all

must leave the understanding

would sink in

Nor dream

keen agony

this

free.

that I will join the vulgar cry.

Or with my

silence sanction tyranny.

Or seek a moment's

shelter

my

from

pain

In any madness which the world

calls gain.

Ambition or revenge or thoughts

as stern

As those which make me what


To

I am, or turn

avarice or misanthropy or lust

Heap on me soon

Poverty and Shame

Halting beside
'

me on

he may

its

may meet and

the public

That love-devoted youth

Beside him

grave, thy welcome dust

TiU then the dungeon may demand

And

live

is

ours

some

[50

prey.

say

way

six

let 's sit

months

yet.'

THE YEAR
Or the red

May
May

1818

our country bends,

scaffoldj as

ask some willing victim, or ye, friends.

under some sorrow which

fall

Or hand may share


I

am

prepared

To do

this heart

or vanquish or avert

in truth with

or suffer aught, as

no proud joy

when a boy

I did devote to justice and to love

My nature,

worthless

now

" I must remove

A veil from my

'T is torn aside

pent mind.

0, pallid as Death's dedicated bride.

Thou mockery which

Am I

wan

not

my

by

art sitting

side.

like thee ? at the gravels

caU

I haste, invited to thy wedding-ball

To

greet the ghastly paramour, for

Thou
Thy

hast deserted

bridal bed

Will

lie

Thus

me

But I

and watch ye from


.

whom

and made the tomb

beside your feet

my

wide awake tho^

winding sheet

dead

stay!

Go

not so soon

Hear but

my

My

is

fancy

is

As

in

it

most true

...

finished

" Nay, was

Which,

^t is

yet

I fear,

am

but thou

left

alone

repayment of the warmth

it

for thine

[51

this breast

lent ?

own

art gone.

thou envenomest

me

stay,

thou art not here

I who wooed thee to

like a serpent

Didst thou not seek

say

... I am mad,

reasons

o'erwrought

Pale art thou,

Thy work

I know not what I

content ?

WITH SHELLEY
Did not thy

love

IN ITALY
I thought

awaken mine ?

You kiss me
me now '

That thou wert she who said

'

Everj I fear you do not love

In truth I loved even

my

to

not

overthrow

Her, who would fain forget these words

but they

Cling to her mind, and cannot pass away.

" You say that I

am proud

My

lip is tortured

The

spirit it expresses

Humbled
Even

Never one

himself before, as I have done

the instinctive

Turns, tho'

it

worm on which we

then with

wound not

Sinks in the dusk and writhes like

No

when I speak

that

with the wrongs which break

tread

prostrate head

me and

wears a living death of agonies

dies ?

As the slow shadows of the pointed grass


Mark the eternal periods, his pangs pass

making moments be
each an immortality

Slow, ever-moving,

As mine seem

" That you had never seen me

My

voice,

and more than

The deep pollution of

my

That your eyes ne'er had

all

had

never heard
endured
embrace

my
ne'er

loathed

lied love in

face

That, like some maniac monk, I had torn out

The nerves

of

manhood by

their bleeding root

With mine own quivering fingers, so that ne'er


Our hearts had for a moment mingled there
To

disunite in horror

With

thee, like

these were not

some suppressed and hideous thought

[62]

T EANING

Towers

of Bologna.

" You might almost fancy


by

an earthquake.

the city is rocked

"

Letter from Bologna, p. G6.

THE YEAR
Whicli

No

flits

athwart our musings^ but can find

rest within a

Thou

1818

pure and gentle mind

them with many a bare broad word

sealedst

my memory

And
And

searedst

One

after one, those curses.

can forget not

for I heard

they were ministered

o'er them,

Mix them up

Like self-destroying poisons in one cup,

And

they will

make one

Didst imprecate

blessing which thou ne'er

on me,

for,

death.

" It were

most cruel

cruel punishment for one

If such can love, to

make

Of

hate, scorn, remorse, despair

the mind's hell

But me

whose

As water-drops

Who

that love the fuel

the sandy fountain-stone.

loved and pitied

all things,

and could moan

For woes which others hear not, and could

The absent with the glance

And

see

of phantasy.

with the poor and trampled

and weep.

sit

Following the captive to his dungeon deep

Me who am
The

as a nerve o'er which

do creep

else unfelt oppressions of this earth.

And was to thee the flame upon thy hearth.


When aU beside was cold
that thou on me

Shouldst rain these plagues of blistering agony

Such curses are from

lips

love's too partial praise

Who

intend deeds too dreadful for a


if

once eloquent

With

Henceforth,

heart a stranger's tear might wear

let

none relent

name

an example for the same

[53

WITH SHELLEY
for thou on

They seek ...

And

IN

ITALY

lookedst sOj and so

me

didst speak thus ... and thus ... I live to

How much men

show

bear and die not

"Thou
how

"With the grimace of hate

my

It was to meet

when

love

how I

Thou

wilt admire

Such

features to love's

wilt tell,

horrible

thine grew less

could e'er address

work

this taunt, tho' true,

(Eor indeed nature nor in form nor hue

Bestowed on

me

her choicest workmanship)

Shall not be thy defence

Met mine

first,

"With soft

fire

Nor changed
But

...

for since thy lip

years long past, since thine eye kindled

under mine, I have not dwindled


in

mind or body, or

as love changes

After long years and

what

it

many

in aught

loveth not

trials.

" How vain


Are words

Not

I thought never to speak again.

even in secret,

my

But from

Is

dim

my

to

my own

heart

lips the unwilling accents start.

And from my pen


Dazzling

not

the words flow as I write.

eyes with scalding tears

... my

sight

to see that charactered in vain

On this unfeeling leaf which burns the brain


blotting all things fair
And eats into it
And wise and good which time had written there.
.

" Those who


The work

inflict

of their

Our chastisement

must

own

suffer, for

hearts and this

or recompense

[54]

they see

must be
child

THE YEAR

";

1818

I would that thine were like to be more mild

For both our wretched sakes


"Who

Without the power

And

for thine the

as slow years pass, a funereal train

the ghost of

Following

it

some

hope or friend

lost

thou bend

like its shadow, wilt

my

thought on

dead memory

" Alas,

me

Fear

not

A finger in

Do

I give thee

I not live

may be

whom

cause to grieve ?

less bitter

tears for scorn

that thy lot

love

would not move

against thee I

despite.

That thou mayst have

And

most

lost

to wish it thine again

Each with

No

...

thou hast

feelest already all that

and love for hate


'

less desolate

Than

his

From

that sweet sleep which medicines all pain.

on

thou tramplest, I refrain

Then, when thou speakest of me, never say


'

He

Under these words,


that which has

The grave

My
So

is

ill

upon

Upon my

He
Then

I do but hide

consumed me

yawning

...

my

heart

ceased,
rising,

quick and dark

as its roof shall cover

worms under and over

Oblivion hide this grief

Closes

away

like embers, every spark

limbs with dust and


let

cast

passions, all revenge, all pride

I think, speak, act no

Of

Here I

could forgive uot.^

human

All

the air

accents, as despair

let

death upon despair

and overcome leant back awhile,

with a melancholy smile

[55]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Went

and lay down, and

to a sofa,

heavy

and

sleep,

in his

slept

dreams he wept

And muttered some familiar name, and we


Wept without shame in his society.
I think I never was impressed so much j

The man who were

Of human nature

must have lacked a touch

not,

then we lingered not.

Although our argument was quite

But

calling the attendants,

At Maddalo's ;
Could give us

forgot.

went to dine

yet neither cheer nor wine

we

spirits, for

talked of

him

And nothing else, till daylight made stars dim j


And we agreed his was some dreadful ill
Wrought on him

By

a dear friend

boldly, yet unspeakable.

some deadly change

in love

Of one vowed deeply which he dreamed not


For whose sake

he, it seemed,

Of falsehood on

his

had

mind which

of;

fixed a blot

flourished not

But

in the light of all-beholding truth.

And

having stamped this canker on his youth

She had abandoned him

Might be

his woe,

and how much more


he had

we guessed not

store

Of friends and fortune once, as we could


From his nice habits and his gentleness
These were now
If he

lost

...

it

guess

were a grief indeed

had changed one unsustaining reed

For

all

The

colours of his

that such a

man might

For the wild language of


Such as

else adorn.

mind seemed

yet unworn;

his grief

was high,

in measure were called poetry,

[56]

THE YEAR
And

Are cradled

He

If I

" Most wretched men

by wrong,
what they teach in song."

suffering

had been an unconnected man

from

Never

said

into poetry

They learn in

It

1818

I remember one remark which then

Maddalo made.

I,

this

moment, should have formed some plan

to leave sweet Venice,

for to

me

was dehght to ride by the lone sea

And
Or

then the town

is silent

may

one

write

read in gondolas by day or night,

Having the

little

brazen lamp alight.

Unseen, uninterrupted
Pictures,

and

casts

from

boots are there.


all

Which were twin-born with

We

seek in towns, with

those statues fair


poetry,

little

and

all

to recall

I might

Eegrets for the green country.

sit

In Maddalo's great palace, and his wit

And subtle talk would cheer the winter night


And make me know myself, and the firelight
Would flash upon our faces, till the day
Might dawn and make me wonder at my stay
But I had

friends in

London too

the chief

Attraction here, was that I sought relief

Prom

the deep tenderness that maniac wrought

Within me

't

But I imagined

was perhaps an
that if day

idle

thought

by day

I watched him, and but seldom went away.

And

studied all the beatings of his heart

With

zeal, as

men

study some stubborn art

[57

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

For their own good, and could by patience find

An

entrance to the caverns of his mind,

I might reclaim him from this dark estate

In friendships I had been most fortunate

Yet never saw I one

More

willingly

my

whom

friend

I would

call

and

was

this

all

Accomplished not ; such dreams of baseless good


Oft come and go in crowds or solitude

but what I now designed

And leave no trace


Made for long years

my mind.
by my affairs

impression on

The following morning urged


I

left

bright Yenice.

After

And many

years

changes I returned ; the name

Of YenicCj and

aspect,

its

But Maddalo was

Among

many

was the same

away

travelling far

the mountains of Armenia.

His child had now become

His dog was dead.

A woman

such as

it

has been

my doom

To meet with few, a wonder of this earth


Where there is little of transcendant worth.
Like one of Shakespeare's

And

women

kindly she,

with a manner beyond courtesy,

and when I asked

Eeceived her father's friend

Of the

memory tasked

And

lorn maniac, she her

told as she

had heard the mournful

" That the poor

sufferer's health

Two

my

years from

The lady who had

tale.

began to

fail

departure, but that then

left

him, came again.

Her mien had been imperious, but she now

[58

S-

THE YEAR
Her coming made him

my

him "

for I played

the lady's shawl

I might be six years old


left

and they stayed

better^

father's

As I remember with
She

1818

perhaps remorse had brought her low.

Looked meek

Together at

but

after all

" Why, her heart must have been

tough

How

did

it

end

"

" And was not

The stamp of why they

parted,

this

enough

" Child, is there no more ? "


They met
they parted "
" Something within that interval which bore

Yet

if

how they met

thine aged eyes disdain to wet

Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remembered

Ask me no more, but


Be

let

the silent years

closed and cered over their

As yon mute marble where


I urged

and questioned

All happened

memory

their corpses lie."

still,

but the

tears.

she told

me how

cold world shall not know.

TO MES. SHELLEY
(Bagni di Lucca).
Venice, Sunday morning.
August 23, 1818.
,

My

deakest Mary.

twelve o'clock, and

morning.

it

is

We

arrived here

now

I can, of course,

tell

before breakfast the next

you nothing of the future

and though I shall not close this


do not

know

exactly

when

that

[59

last night at

letter till post time, yet


is.

Yet,

if

you are very

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY
you

impatient, look along the letter and


date,

when I may have something

will see another

to relate.

I came from Padua hither in a gondola, and the gondoliere,

among

inotto Inglese, with a

He

said he

part,

giov-

nome stravagante, who

luxuriously, and spent great


it

my

was a

other things, without any hint on

began talking of Lord Byron.

lived very

sums of money.

This man,

No

seems, was one of Lord Byron's gondolieri.

had we arrived
about him

at the inn,

said, that

sooner

than the waiter began talking

he frequented Mrs. H.'s convenor

zioni very much.

Our journey from Florence to Padua contained nothing


which may not be related another time. At Padua, as I
we took a gondola

said,

and

left

at three o'clock.

it

These gondolas are the most beautiful and convenient


boats in the world.

They

are finely carpeted

with black, and painted black.

and furnished

The couches on which you

lean are extraordinarily soft, and are so disposed as to be


the

most comfortable to those who lean or

windows have at

The

sit.

will either Venetian plate-glass flowered,

or Venetian blinds, or blinds of black cloth to shut out the


light.

The weather here

is

extremely cold

times very painfully so, and yesterday

We

it

passed the laguna in the middle of

most violent storm of wind,

rain,

indeed, some-

began to

rain.

the night in a

and lightning.

It

was

very curious to observe the elements above in a state of

such tremendous convulsions, and the surface of the water


almost calm

for these lagunas,

though

five miles broad, a

space enough in a storm to sink a gondola, are so shallow


that the

boatmen drive the boat along with a

[60]

pole.

The

THE YEAR
sea-water, furiously

sparkles like stars.

by the driving
were

dearest

by the wind, shone with

now hidden and now

shone dimly with

rain,

this while

all

agitated

Venice,

says,^

disclosed

We

lights.

its

and comfortable.

safe

Miss Byron

shall, as

1818

Well, adieu,

resume the pen in

the evening.

Sunday Night, S

o'clock in the-Morning.

Well, I will try to relate everything in

At

three o'clock I called

on Lord Byron

its

order.

he was delighted

to see me.

He took me

in his gondola across the laguna to a long

sandy island, which defends Venice from the Adriatic.

When we

disembarked, we found his horses waiting for us,

and we rode along the sands of the

sea, talking.

conversation consisted in histories of his

and questions as

to

my

affairs,

friendship and regard for me.

wounded

Our

feelings,

and great professions of

He

said, that if

been in England at the time of the Chancery

he had

^ affair,

he

would have moved heaven and earth to have prevented


such a decision.

We

talked

Fourth Canto,^ which, he


repeated
* i.e.,

son."
'

some stanzas

literary

matters,

his

and indeed

of great energy to me.

Harriet Byron, in Richardson's novel of " Sir Charles Grandi-

Ed.
An

children

allusion to the decision of Chancellor

by

his first marriage

Eldou whereby Shelley's two

were denied to him and placed under the care

of their maternal grandfather.


8

of

says, is very good,

0f"ChildeHarold."

[61]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

EsTE, October

We

the Baths of Lucca, I think, the day after I

left

wrote to you

on a

of seeing the

hardly

1818.

8,

visit to

...

city.

Venice

partly

for the sake

I saw Lord Byron, and really

knew him again ; he

is

changed into the

liveliest

and happiest-looking man I ever met. He read me the


a thing in the style of
canto of his " Don Juan "

first

Beppo, but

infinitely better,

and dedicated to Southey,

ten or a dozen stanzas, more like a mixture of

and verdigris than

The approach

city.

and

Venice

satire.

to

it

is

in

wormwood

a wonderfully

over the laguna, with

its

fine

domes

turrets glittering in a long line over the blue waves,

one of the

finest architectural delusions in the world.

and

seems to have

The

sea.

literally it

silent streets are

has

its

is

It

foundations in the

paved with water, and you hear

nothing but the dashing of the oars, and the occasional

The

I heard nothing of Tasso.

cries of the gondolieri.

gondolas themselves are things of a most romantic and


picturesque appearance
of which

a cofiin

hung with
grey

there
at the

I can only compare them to moths

might have been the

chrysalis.

They

are

black, and painted black, and carpeted with

they curl at the prow and stem, and at the former


is

a nondescript beak of shining steel, which glitters

end of

its

The Doge's

long black mass.

palace, with its library, is a fine

of aristocratic power.

scoundrels used to
three kinds

one

monument

I saw the dungeons, where these

torment their victims.


adjoining the place of

They

trial,

are of

where the

prisoners destined to immediate execution were kept.

[62]

" You forget that


it is

it is a picture as you look at it ; and yet


"
most unlike any of those things which we call reality.

Letter from Bologna, p. 64.

THE YEAR

1818

could not descend into them, because the day on which I


visited it
ace,

was

Another under the leads of the pal-

festa.

where the

sufferers

were roasted to death or madness

by the ardours of an Italian sun


Pozzi

or

and others called the

deep underneath, and communicating

wells,

with those on the roof by secret passages


prisoners were confined sometimes half

When

stinting water.

in

found only one old

But

speak.

man

up

where

came

the French

here, they

in the dungeons, and he could not

Venice, which was once a tyrant,

next worse thing, a slave j for in fact

moment

oligarchy usurped the rights of the people.


it

was ever so degraded as

it

is

now

the

ceased to be free,

it

or worth our regret as a nation, from the

imagine that

the

to their middles

that the

Yet, I do not

has been since the

French, and especially the Austrian yoke.

The Austrians

take sixty per cent, in taxes, and impose free quarters on

the inhabitants.

horde of German soldiers, as vicious

and more disgusting than the Venetians themselves, insult


these miserable people.
to

I had no conception of the excess

which avarice, cowardice, superstition, ignorance, pas-

sionless lust,

grade

human

and

all

the inexpressible brutalities which de-

nature, could be carried, until I

had passed a

few days at Venice.

We

have been living this

from which I date

has been lent to us, and

ceedmg
city

we

to Florence,
shall

the spring.

last

month near the

this letter, in a

we

are

little

town

very pleasant villa which

now on

Eome, and Naples

the point of pro-

at

which

last

spend the winter, and return northwards in

Behind us here are the Euganean

beautiful as those ,of the

Bagni

[63]

hills,

di Lucca, with

not so

Arqua,

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

where Petrarch's house and tomb are religiously preserved

and

At the end of our garden is an extensive


now the habitation of owls and bats, where

visited.

Gothic

castle,

the Medici family resided before they came to Florence.

We

see before us the wide flat plains of

which we see the sun and moon


ning

and

star,

first

wonder

reserve

I have been writing


the

and

act of a lyric

and

"Prometheus Unbound."
is

and

and the

set,

for Naples.

indeed have just finished


classical

drama, to be

Will you teM

by jEschylus under

I have seen a quantity of things here


palaces, statues, fountains,
like

it

will obey,

to the cathedral,

9,

1818.

churches,

my

brain

a portfolio of an architect, or a

I will try to

something of what I have seen;

requires, if

and pictures; and

print-shop, or a common-place book.


collect

there

written

this title?

Bologna, Monday, Nov.

moment

called

me what

drama supposed to have been

in Cicero about a

is at this

in

eve-

the golden magnificence of autumnal

all

But I

clouds.

rise

Lombardy,

an act of

volition.

re-

for, indeed, it

we went

Eirst,

which contains nothing remarkable, except

a kind of shrine, or rather a marble canopy, loaded with


sculptures,

and supported on four marble columns.

went then to a palace

where we saw

in a picture gallery
forget, for one

sure I forget the

you

see three

name
Of

of

it

course,

hundred pictures you

you remember.

We saw

I am

a large gallery of pictures.

We

besides one picture of Eaphael

this is in another

and higher

style

[64]

St. Cecilia:

you forgot that

it is

THE YEAR
a picture as

you look

of those things which

and

ideal kind,

at it

we

1818

and yet

it is

most unlike any

It is of the inspired

call reality.

and seems to have been conceived and

executed in a similar state of feeling to that which pro-

duced among the ancients those perfect specimens of poetry

and sculpture which are the


generations.

There

baffling

models of succeeding

a unity and a perfection in

is

The

incommunicable kind.

central figure, St. Cecilia, seems

rapt in such inspiration as produced- her

mind

painter's

of an

it

image

in the

her deep, dark, eloquent eyes lifted up

her chestnut hair flung back from her forehead

an organ in her hands

her

countenance, as

she holds
were,

it

calmed by the depth of

its

passion and rapture, and pene-

trated throughout with

tlie

warm and

She

is

listening to the

radiant light of

life.

music of heaven, and, as I imagine,

has just ceased to sing, for the four figures that surround
her evidently point, by their attitudes, towards her
ticularly St. John,

gesture,

par-

bends his countenance towards her, languid with

the depth of his emotion.

At her

feet lie various instru-

ments of music, broken and unstrung.


I do not speak

and

who, with a tender yet impassioned

it

Of the colouring

eclipses nature, yet it has all her truth

softness.

We saw some pictures of Domenichino, Carracci, Albano,


Guercino, Elisabetta Sirani.
I do not pretend to taste
ter there are

of Guercino,

The two former, remember,


I cannot admire.

some beautiful Madonnas.


which they said were very

Of the

lat-

There are several


fine.

I dare say

they were, for the strength and complication of his figures

my

made
s

head turn round.

[65

One, indeed, was certainly


]

WITH SHELLEY
powerful.

It

IN ITALY

was the representation of the founder of the

Carthusians exercising his austerities in the desert^ with a

youth

as his attendant, kneeling beside

him

another altar stood a skull and a crucifix

at an altar

the rocks and the trees of the wilderness.

dried snake's skin, and drawn in long hard lines

hands were wrinkled.

He was

on

I never saw

His face was wrinkled

such a figure as this fellow.

and around were

like a

his verj

looked like an animated

mummy.

He

clothed in a loose dress of death-coloured flannel,

such as you might fancy a shroud might be, after

wrapt a corpse a month or two.


ghastly hue, which

it

had a yellow,

It

it

had

putrefied,

cast on all the objects around, so that

the hands and face of the Carthusian and his companion

Why

write

may hang up

such

were jaundiced by this sepulchral glimmer.

hooks against
pictures ?

But the world

The gloomy
time,

its

when we

religion,

efiect of this

either will not or cannot see.

was softened, and, at the same

sublimity diminished, by the figure of the Virgin

and Child in the sky, looking down with admiration on the

monk, and a

beautiful flying figure of an angel.

I have just returned from a moonlight walk through


Bologna.

moonlight
here

It
is

is

a city of colonnades, and the effect of

strikingly picturesque.

one four hundred

brick,

which lean both

feet

high

different

delusion of moonlight shadows,


that the city

is

ways

but I observe in

the church towers lean.

[66]

things built of

and with the

you might almost fancy

rocked by an earthquake.

were built so on purpose

Lombardy

There are two towers

ugly

They say they


all

the plain of

'/

THE YEAR

1818

EoME, November

20, 1818.

I take advantage of this rainy evening, and before

has

effaced all

the vanished scenes through which


left

Eome

other recollections^ to endeavour to recall

we have

We

passed.

Bologna, I forget on what day, and passing by Rimini,

Fano, and Eoligno, along the Yia Flaminia and Terni,


have arrived at
but

most

things

Eome

after ten days'

we saw were the Eoman excavations

Eoman

heard that there are a


at Eiminij
is

in the rock,

Of course you have

and the great waterfall of Terni.

bridge

somewhat tedious,

The most remarkable

journey.

interesting,

bridge and a triumphal arch

and in what excellent

not unlike the Strand bridge, but more bold in

From Fano

proportion, and of course infinitely smaller.

we

left

the coast of the Adriatic, and entered the Apen-

nines, following the course of the

Metaurus, the banks of

which were the scene of defeat of Asdrubal

(you can

refer to the

and

it is

said

book) that Livy has given a very

exact and animated description of


it,

The

taste they are buUt.

I forget

all

about

but shall look as soon as our boxes are opened.

Fol-

it.

lowing the river, the vale contracts, the banks of the river

become steep and rocky, the


overhang

its

precipices.

forests of

oak and

ilex

which

emerald-coloured stream, cling to their abrupt

About four

miles

river forces for itself a passage

from Fossombrone, the

between the walls and top-

pling precipices of the loftiest Apennines, which are here


rifted to their base,

tumultuous torrent.

and undermined by the narrow and


It

was a cloudy morning, and we

had no conception of the scene that awaited us.

[67]

Suddenly

WITH SHELLEY

by the

the low clouds were struck

clear north wind,

and

gauze, removed one by one,

the finest

like curtains of

IN ITALY

were drawn from before the mountain, whose heavencleaving pinnacles and black crags overhanging one an-

The

other, stood at length defined in the light of day.

road runs parallel to the river, at a considerable height,

and

is

carried through the

The marks

mountain by a vaulted cavern.

Eoman

of the chisel of the legionaries of the

Consul are yet evident.

We passed

on day

after day, until

we came

I think the most romantic city I ever saw.

to Spoleto,

There

is

here

an aqueduct of astonishing elevation, which unites two


rocky mountains,

there

is

the path of a torrent below,

whitening the green dell with


of stones, and above there

is

its

broad and barren track

a castle, apparently of great

strength and of tremendous magnitude, which overhangs


the city, and whose marble bastions are perpendicular with

the precipice.

I never saw a more impressive picture; in

which the shapes of nature are of the grandest order, but


over which the creations of man, sublime from their an-

and greatness, seem to predominate.

tiquity

The

castle

was built by Belisarius or Narses, I forget which, but was


of that epoch.

From

Spoleto

of the Velino.

of the

This

is

we went

The

Arveiron
the second.

is

to

Temi, and saw the

glaciers of

the

cataract

Montanvert and the source

grandest spectacle I ever saw.

Imagine a river sixty

feet in breadth,

with a vast volume of waters, the outlet of a great lake

among

the higher mountains, falling 300 feet into a sight-

less gulf of

snow-white vapour, which bursts up for ever

[68]

WATERFALL at Terni.

See Letter from Rome,

p. GS.

THE YEAR
and for ever from a

circle of

ing downwards, makes


fifty

black crags, and thence leapsix other

five or

cataracts, each

or a hundred feet high, which exhibit, on a smaller

scale,

and with beautiful and sublime

will not express


cliff,

and

But words

appearances.

of

1818

which

directly opposite.

Kke

folds, flaking off

it,

which gird

and
it

is

it

You

see the ever-

comes in thick and tawny

It

snow gliding down a mountain.

solid

seem hollow within, but without

like the folding of linen

follows

same

Stand upon the brink of the platform

it.

is

moving water stream down.

It does not

variety, the

far less could painting

it is

unequal,

thrown carelessly down ; your eye

lost

below

around, but in

the cload-like vapours boiling

not in the black rocks

own foam and

its

spray, in

up from below, which

is

not like rain, nor mist, nor spray, nor foam, but water, in
a shape wholly unlike anything I ever saw before.
as white as snow, but thick

The very imagination

bewildered in

is

it.

comes up from the abyss wonderful to hear ;


it

ever sounds,

it is

changing motion,

thunder

for,

though

never the same, but, modulated by the

rises

and

falls

intermittingly

half an hour in one spot looking at

few minutes had gone by.


its

It is

and impenetrable to the eye.

it,

we passed

and thought but a

The surrounding scenery

is,

in

kind, the loveliest and most sublime that can be con-

ceived.

In our

groves, of large

first

trunks leaned in
of orange trees
fruit,

walk we passed through some olive

and ancient

trees,

by

whose hoary and twisted

We

all directions.

then crossed a path

the river side, laden with their golden

and came to a

forest of ilex of a large size,

whose

evergreen and acorn-bearing boughs were intertwined over

[69

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

Around, hemming in the narrow

our winding path.

vale,

were pinnacles of lofty mountains of pyramidical rock


clothed with

all

evergreen plants and trees; the vast pine

feathery foliage trembled in the blue air, the ilex,

whose

that ancestral inhabitant of these mountains, the arbutus

with

crimson-coloured

its

fruit

and

glittering

we came beneath
distance of haK a mile ;

leaves.

After an hour's walk,

the cataract of

Terni, within the

nearer you can-

not approach, for the Nar, which has here

We

with the Yelino, bars the passage.

formed by

river

this confluence,

its

confluence

then crossed the

over a narrow natural

bridge of rock, and saw the cataract from the platform I


first

year

We

mentioned.

think of spending some time next

The inn

near this waterfall.

is

very bad, or we

should have stayed there longer.

We

came from Temi

and to-day arrived


pagna
It

is

di

at

Eoma, a

last night to

Eome

a place called Nepi,

across the much-belied

Cam-

my

taste.

place I confess infinitely to

a flattering picture of Bagshot

Heath.

there are the Apennines on one side, and


Peter's oil the other, and

it is

intersected

But then

Rome and

by perpetual

St.

dells

clothed with arbutus and ilex.


Naples, December

23, 1818.

Since I last wrote to you, I have seen the ruins of

Eome,

the Yatican, St. Peter's,

ancient

and

modem

The impression
enced in

of

it

my travels.

art

and

all

the miracles of

contained in that majestic

city.

exceeds anything I have ever experi-

We

stayed there only a week, intend-

ing to return at the end of February, and devote two or

[70]

"it.

^ s
i i

9
S
a-

THE YEAR
three

months

1818

to its mines of inexhaustible contemplation,

which period I refer you for a minute account of

to

We

Eorum and

visited the

The Coliseum

day.

ever saw before.

and the arches

unlike any work of

is

it.

the ruins of the Coliseum every

It is of

human hands

enormous height and

circuit,

massy stones are piled on one

built of

another, and jut into the blue air, shattered into the forms

of overhanging rocks.

It has been changed by time into

the image of an amphitheatre of rocky hills overgrown by

the wild olive, the myrtle, and the fig-tree, and threaded

by

little

wind among

paths, which

immeasurable galleries
as

you wander through

its labyrinths,

of this climate of flowers

arena

is

its

ruined stairs and

the copse-wood overshadows

you

and the wild weeds

bloom under your

feet.

The

covered with grass, and pierces, like the skirts of

a natural plain, the chasms of the broken arches around.

But a small
it is

part of the exterior circumference remains

exquisitely light

perfection

of

its

and beautifulj and the

effect of the

adorned with ranges

architecture,

Corinthian pilasters, supporting a bold cornice,


to diminish the effect of its greatness.
ruin.

The

is

of

such as

interior is all

I can scarcely believe that when encrusted with

Dorian marble and ornamented by columns of Egyptian


granite its effect could have been so sublime

pressive as in its present state.


it

It is

and so im-

open to the sky, and

was the clear and sunny weather of the end of November

in this climate

Near
Trajan

Eome

it is

for

when we

visited

it,

day

after day.

Arch of Constantine, or rather the Arch of


the servile and avaricious senate of degraded
the

ordered that the

monument

[71

of his predecessor should

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

be demolished in order to dedicate one to the Christian


reptile,

who had

the blood of his murdered

among

crept

family to the supreme power.

and

The Eorum

perfect.

is

It

is

exquisitely beautiful

a plain in the midst of

Eome,

a kind of desert full of heaps of stones and pits, and though


so near the habitations of men,

The

you can conceive.


around
plete,

it,

is

the most desolate place

ruins of temples stand in and

shattered columns and ranges of others com-

supporting cornices of exquisite workmanship, and

vast vaults of shattered

partments, once

filled

domes

distinct with

regular com-

with sculptures of ivory or brass.

of Jupiter, and Concord, and Peace, and the

The temples

Sun, and the Moon, and Vesta, are

all

within a short dis-

Behold the wrecks of what a great

tance of this spot.

nation once dedicated to the abstractions of the mind

Eome

is

a city, as

who cannot

it

were, of the dead, or rather of those

and who survive the puny generations

die,

which inhabit and pass over the spot which they have made
sacred to eternity.

asm

In Eome,

at least in the

of your recognition of ancient time,

of the Italians.
for its vast

The nature

first

you

see nothing

of the city assists the delusion,

and antique walls describe a circumference of

sixteen miles, and thus the population

is

thinly scattered

over this space, nearly as great as London.


fields are enclosed

copses winding

within

among

it,

cypress,

modem
and

the ruins, and a great green

with weeds.

palaces are like wild

pine,

"Wide wild

and there are grassy lanes and

lonely and bare, which overhangs the Tiber.

of the

enthusi-

hill,

The gardens

woods of

cedar, and

and the neglected walks are overgrown

The English burying-place

[72]

is

a green slope

THE YEAR

1818

near the walls, under the pyramidal tomb of Cestius, and


is,

I think, the most beautiful and solemn cemetery I ever

beheld.

To

when we

first visited it,

see the sun shining

on

its

bright grass, fresh,

with the autumnal dews, and hear

the whispering of the wind

among

the leaves of the trees

which have overgrown the tomb of Cestius, and the

which

sun-warm

stirring in the

is

tombs, mostly of

women and young

there, one might, if

one were to

earth,

the human mind, and so

sleep.

wishes vacancy and oblivion.

Such

who were buried

die, desire the sleep

with

its

and to mark the

people

seem to

is

it

STANZAS
WRITTEN IN DEJECTION, NEAR NAPLES
I

The

sun

is

warm, the sky

The waves
Blue

isles

is clear.

are dancing fast

and bright.

and snowy mountains wear

The purple noon's transparent might,


The breath

Around

its

of the moist earth

is light.

unexpanded buds

Like many a voice of one delight.

The winds, the


The

birds, the ocean floods.

City's voice itself

is soft

like Solitude's.

II

I see the Deep's untrampled floor

With green and purple seaweeds strown


I see the waves upon the shore.

Like light dissolved

in star-showers,

[73]

soil

thrown

they

peoples

WITH SHELLEY
I

upon the sands

sit

alonCj

of the noontide ocean

The lightning

Is flashing round me,

Arises from

How

sweet

ITALY

IN

and a tone

measured motion.

its

did any heart

now

share in

my

emotion.

Ill

Alas

I have nor hope nor health,

Nor peace within nor calm around.


Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage

in meditation found.

And walked with inward glory crowned


Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround

Smiling they

To me

live,

and

call life pleasure

that cup has been dealt in another measure.

IV
Yet now despair

Even
I could

itself is

as the winds
lie

down

mild.

and waters are

like a tired child.

And weep away

the

life

of care

Which I have borne and


Till death like sleep

And

My

I might

might

feel in the

yet

must

steal

warm

bear,

on me.
air

cheek grow cold, and hear the sea

Breathe o'er

my

dying brain

its last

[74]

monotony.

g.

THE YEAR

1818

V
Some might lament

As

when

I,

Which my

that I were cold.

this sweet day

is

grown

lost heart, too soon

"Whom men

love not,

old.

moan

Insults with this untimely

They might lament

gone.

I am one
and
for

yet regret.

Unlike this day, which, when the sun


Shall on

Will

glory set.

its stainless

linger,

though enjoyed,

like joy in

memory

yet.

December, 1818.

Naples, December

22, 1818.

External nature in these delightful regions contrasts


with and compensates for the deformity and degradation of

We

humanity.

have a lodging divided from the sea by

the royal gardens,

and from our windows we see perpetually

the blue waters of the bay, forever changing, yet forever


the same, and encompassed

woody

hill of Posilipo,

Misenum and

by the mountainous island of

which overhang Salerno, and the

Caprese, the lofty peaks

whose promontories hide from us

the lofty

isle

Inarime,^ which,

with

the pleasant walks of the garden

by day and a

fire

by night

is

we

seen

see Vesuvius

delicious.

We

sit

without a

smoke

upon its summit, and the

glassy sea often reflects its light or shadow.


is

its

From

divided summit, forms the opposite horn of the bay.

fire,

The climate

with the windows

open, and have almost all the productions of an English

summer.
'

The weather

is

The ancient name of

usually like what

Ischia.

[75

[Note by Mrs.
]

Wordsworth
Shelley.]

WITH SHELLEY
calls

"the

first fine

day of March"

warmer, though perhaps

it

ITALY

IN

sometimes very much

wants that " each minute

sweeter than before," which gives an intoxicating sweetness

awakening of the earth from

to the

England.

We

have made two excursions, one to Baise and

one to Yesuvius, and we propose to


islands, Peestum,

We
a

boat

upon the

visit, successively, the

Pompeii, and Beneventum.

an hour after sunrise one radiant morning

set off

little

Winter's sleep in

its

there

sea,

was not a cloUd

in

nor a wave

in the sky,

which was so translucent that you could

see the hollow caverns clothed with the glaucous sea-moss,

and the leaves and branches of those delicate weeds that pave

As noon

the unequal bottom of the water.

approached,

We

the heat, and especially the light, became intense.

passed Posilipo, and came

Bay

to the eastern point of the

first

of Pozzuoli, which is within the great

and which again encloses that of


rocks and craggy

islets,

Baise.

Bay

of Naples,

Here

are lofty

with arches and portals of precipice

standing in the sea, and enormous caverns, which echoed


faintly

with the

called

La Scuola

murmur
di

of the languid tide.

We

Virgilio.

across to the promontory of


cipitous island of Nisida

on the

Misenum, leaving the

pre-

fields

the

on which Virgil places the scenery of the Sixth

^neid.
hills,

is

Here we were con-

right.

ducted to see the Mare Morto, and the Elysian


spot

This

then went directly

and

Though extremely
tliis

appointment.

divine sky

beautiful, as a lake,

must make

it,

and woody

I confess

my

dis-

The guide showed us an antique cemetery,

where the niches used


dead yet remain.

We

for placing the cinerary urns of the

then coasted the

[76

Bay of

Baiae to the

THE YEAR
in which

left,

ruins

1818

we saw many picturesque and

but I have to remark that we never disembarked

but we were disappointed

while from the boat the effect

of the scenery was inexpressibly delightful.

the water and the air breathe over

ance of their

own

of

things here the radi-

antique grandeur standing

its

like rocks in the transparent sea

We

Lake Avernus.

all

The colours

After passing the bay of Baiae,

beauty.

and observing the ruins of

"to visit

interesting

under our boat, we landed

passed through the cavern of

the Sibyl (not Virgil's Sibyl), which pierces one of the hUls

which circumscribe the

lake,

and came to a calm and lovely

basin of water, surrounded by dark

Some

foundly solitary.

stand on a lawny hill on one side of


its

windless mirror.

sian fields
latter,

hills,

and pro-

It is far

and are

it,

reflected in

more beautiful than the Ely-

there are all the materials for beauty in the

and the Avernus was once a chasm of deadly and pes-

tilential
hill,

but

woody

vast ruins of the temple of Pluto

vapours.

called

About

half a milerfrom Avernus, a high

Monte Nuovo, was thrown up by volcanic

Passing onward we

came

to

Pozzuoli,

the

fire.

ancient

Dicsearchea, where there are the columns remaining of a

temple to Serapis, and the wreck of an enormous amphitheatre, changed, like the Coliseum, into a natural hill

Here

the overteeming vegetation.


of which there

is

also is the Solfatara,

a poetical description in the Civil

Petronius, beginning

" Est

locus,"

War

inter,

magnaeque Dicarchidos arva,

Cocytia perfusos aqna,

Qui

furit, effusus

nam

spiritos, extra

fauesto spargitur sestu, &o.

Petkohii Aebitei Satyficon.


[

TT

of

and in which the

Est locus exciso peuitna demersus Hatu,

Parthenopem

by

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

verses of the poet are infinitely finer than


for it

we

is

not a very curious place.

returned by

moonhght

what he

describes,

After seeing these things

to Naples in

What

our boat.

colours there were in the sky, what radiance in the evening

and how the moon was encompassed by a hght

star,

unknown

to our regions

Our next

Eesina in a carriage,

and

We

went

where Mary and I mounted

to

mules,

was carried in a chair on the shoulders of four

men, much
his

excursion was to Vesuvius.

like a

election,

member

and

of parliament after he has gained

So we arrived

frightened.

with

looking,

less

reason,

quite

at the hermitage of

San

as
Sal-

vador, where an old hermit, belted with rope, set forth the
plates for our refreshment.

Vesuvius

is,

after the glaciers, the

most impressive

hibition of the energies of nature I ever saw.

the immeasurable
cence, nor, above
it

has

all

strength.

greatness, the overpowering

all,

magnifi-

the radiant beauty of the glaciers

their character of

From Eesina

tremendous and

to the hermitage

ex-

It has not

but

irresistible

you wind up the

mountain, and cross a vast stream of hardened lava, which


is

an actual image of the waves of the

hard black stone by enchantment.


ing flood seem to hang in the
lieve that the billows

fire.

Prom

The
and

changed

lines of the boil-

it is difficult

we

crossed another vast

the only part of the ascent in which there

culty,

and that

to be-

This plain was once a sea of

the hermitage

stream of lava, and then went on foot up the cone


is

into

which seem hurrying down upon you

are not actually in motion.

liquid

air,

sea,

difficulty

has been

[78]

much

is

any

this

diffi-

exaggerated.

It

"iW.M^S-

p
o

t-l
t-l

O
^

Ct l^*

i.

iK^SSSS^i-

,j'fi&t*S*i""

'

mtim,.

mmm

S.:

THE YEAR
Is

composed of rocks of

lava,

and

1818
declivities of ashes

ascending the former and descending the


very

On

fatigue.

little

the summit

is

latter, there is

a kind of irregular

most horrible chaos that can be imagined

plain, the

by

riven

into ghastly chasms,

and heaped up with tumuli of great

stones and cinders,

and enormous rocks blackened and

calcined,

which had been thrown from the volcano upon

one another in terrible confusion.

In the midst stands

the conical hill from which volumes of smoke, and the


fountains of liquid

mountain
a thick

is

The

are rolled forth forever.

fire,

at present in a slight state of eruption

heavy white smoke

is

perpetually

rolled

and
out,

interrupted by enormous columns of an impenetrable black

bituminous vapour, which

is

hurled up, fold after fold, into

the sky with a de^p hollow sound, and fiery stones are
rained
fell

down from

its

even where we

darkness, and a black shower of ashes

sat.

The

lava, like the glacier, creeps

on perpetually, with a crackling sound as of suppressed

fire.

There are several springs of lava; and in one place

it

down the
own overhanging waves; a

gushes precipitously over a high crag, rolling


half-molten

rocks

and

its

We

cataract of quivering fire.

of one of the rivers of lava;

breadth and ten in height


not rapid,

its

approached the extremity

it is

about twenty feet in

and as the inclined plane was

motion was very slow.

We

saw the masses

of its dark exterior surface detach themselves as

and betray the depth of the liquid fiame.


fire

is

it

moved,

In the day the

but slightly seen; you only observe a tremulous

motion in the

air,

and streams and fountains of white

sulphurous smoke.

[79]

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY

At length we saw the sun sink between Capreae and


Inarimej and, as the darkness increasedj the effect of the
fire

became more

We

beautiful.

were, as

it

were, sur-

rounded by streams and cataracts of the red and radiant


fire;

and in the midst, from the column of bituminous

smoke shot up

into the air, fell the vast masses of rock,

white with the light of their intense heat, leaving behind

them through the dark vapour

trains of splendour.

We

descended by torch-light, and I should have enjoyed the

my

scenery on

return, but they conducted me, I

how, to the hermitage in a

know not

state of intense bodily suffering,

the worst effect of which was spoiling the pleasure of

and C

Our guides on the

savages.

You

Mary

occasion were complete

have no idea of the horrible cries which

they suddenly utter, no one knows why, the clamour, the


vociferation, the tumult.

most from

it;

in her palanquin suffered

and when I had gone on

before, they

threatened to leave her in the middle of the road, which

my

they would have done had not

them a

beating, after which they

Italian servant promised

became

quiet.

Nothing,

however, can be more picturesque than the gestures and


the physiognomies of these savage people.

And

when, in

the darkness of night, they unexpectedly begin to sing in

chorus some fragments of their wild but sweet national


music, the effect

is

exceedingly

fine.

Naples, February 25, 1819.

There was a Greek

city,

sixty miles to the south of

Naples called Posidonia, now Pesto,i where


1

Pesto iu Italian, Paestum in English

[80

still

Eb.

subsist

s^

^ a

IS

Si,

a s

THE YEAR

1818

three temples of Etrascau ^ architecture, one almost per-

From

fect.

this city

we have

just returned.

The weather

was most unfavourable for our expedition.

months of cloudless serenity,

The

dogs.

first

night

we

it

slept at

Salerno, a large city

the recess of a deep bayj

situated in

After two

began raining cats and

surrounded with

stupendous mountains of the same name.

few miles

from Torre del Greco we entered on the pass of the


mountains, which

is

enormous

rock which compose the southern boun-

piles of

Bay

dary of the
Salerno.

On

a line dividing the isthmus of those

of Naples and the northern one of that of

one side

is

a lofty conical hUl, crowned with

the turrets of a ruined castle,


cultivation

and cut into platforms for

at least every ravine

and glen, whose precipi-

tous sides admitted of other vegetation than that of the

rock-rooted ilex; on the other, the sethereal snowy crags

immense mountain, whose

of an

at intervals

under the tempest.

clouds, rolling
spot,

terrible lineaments

Half a mile from this

between orange and lemon groves of a lovely

suspended as

were

concealed or disclosed by volumes of dense

it

village,

were on an amphitheatral precipice, whose

golden globes contrasted with the white walls and dark


green leaves which they almost outnumbered, shone

A burst

sea.

of the declining sunlight illumined

it.

the

The

road led along the brink of the precipice towards Salerno.

Nothing could be more glorious than the scene.

The

immense mountains covered with the rare and divine vegetation of this climate,

with many-folding vales, and deep

dark recesses, which the fancy scarcely could pnetrate,


^ Doric,

not Etruscan arcHteoture.

[81]

Ed.

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

descended from their snowy summits precipitously to the


Before us was Salerno, huilt into a declining plain,

sea.

between the mountains and the

Beyond, the other

sea.

shore of sky-cleaving mountains, then


.

of tempest.

dim with

the mist

Underneath, from the base of the precipice

where the road conducted, rocky promontories jutted into


the sea, covered with olive and ilex woods, or with the

Norman

ruined battlements of some

We

slept at Salerno,

or Saracen fortress.

and the next morning before day-

The night had been tem-

break proceeded to Posidonia.

pestuous, and our way lay by the sea sand.


dark, except

when

the long line of wave burst, with a

sound like thunder, beneath the


a kind of mist of cold white

we found

it

and cast up

starless sky,

lustre.

When morning

came,

ourselves travelling in a wide desert plain, per-

petually interrupted

on

was utterly

It

all sides

by

by wild

irregular glens,

and bounded

the Apennines and the sea.

was covered with

forest,

Sometimes

sometimes dotted with under-

wood, or mere tufts of fern and furze, and the wintry dry
tendrils

of creeping plants.

I have never, but

the

in

Alps, seen an amphitheatre of mountains so magnificent.

After travelling fifteen miles


of

we came

to a river, the bridge

which had been broken, and which was so swollen that

the ferry would not take the carriage across.


therefore, to

led to

the

The

was scented with the sweet smell of

air

We

had,

walk seven miles of a muddy road, which


ancient city

across

extraordinary size and beauty.

the

desolate

Maremma.

violets of

At length we saw

an
the

sublime and massy colonnades, skirting the horizon of the


wilderness.

We

entered by the ancient

[82]

gate,

which

is

"

niTY

and Bay

of Salerno.

" Before us was Salerno, huilt into a declining plain between


mountains and the sea. Beyond, the other shore of skycleaving mountains, then dim with the mist of tempest.
the

Letter from Naples, p. 82.

THE YEAR
now no more than

1818

a chasm in the rock -like wall.

sunk in the ground beside

itj

Deeply

were the ruins of a sepulchre,

which the ancients were in the custom of building beside

The

the public way.

temple, which

first

is

the smallest,

an outer range of columns, quite perfect, and

consists of

supporting perfect architrave and two shattered frontis-

The proportions

pieces.

architecture

entirely

columns do not seem more than forty


proportions

perfect

magnitude

it

massy, and the

are extremely

These

unornamented and simple.

but the

feet high,*

diminish the apprehension

seems as

if

of

their

inequality and irregularity of

form were requisite to force on us the relative idea of

The scene from between the columns of the

greatness.

temple^ consists on one side of the sea, to which the


gentle hill

on which

purple mountains,

built slopes,

and on the

other, of

Apennines, dark

crowned with snow and intercepted

by long bars of hard and leaden-coloured cloud.

there

The

it is

amphitheatre of the loftiest

the grand

of the jagged outline of mountains, through

effect

groups of enormous columns on one side, and on the other


the level horizon of the sea, is inexpressibly grand.

second temple'
Beside the
terior

is

much

larger,

range of column above

of a wall
little

is

and also more

outer range of columns,

column,

which was the screen of the

diversity

of

The colnmns of

feet 6 in.
2

tlie

Temple of Neptune

Mgh.

Known as Temple of Ceres.


Known as Temple of Neptune.

[83

are

perfect.

an in-

and the ruins

penetralia.

ornament, the order of

similar to that of the first temple.


1

contains

it

feet

With

architecture

The columns
29

The

in all

of Basilica, 21

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

are fluted and built of a porous volcanic stone

has dyed with a rich and yellow colour.


one-third larger, and like that of the
the base to

The columns

first,

are

diminish from

the capital, so that, but for the chastening

of their

effect

which time

admirable

proportions,

their

magnitude

would, from the delusion of perspective, seem greater, not

than

less,

this

it is

though perhaps we ought to say not that

symmetry diminishes your apprehension of

nitude, but that


ness,

it

by establishing within

destructire of your idea of

on which our ideas of

what they

its

size

itself a

and

frieze

mag-

in

system of relations

relation with other objects

depend.

call a Basilica; three

the interior range; the


cornice

their

overpowers the idea of relative great-

The

third temple

is

columns alone remain

of

exterior is perfect, but that the

many

places

have

fallen.

This

temple covers more ground than either of the others, but


its

columns are of an intermediate magnitude between

those of the second and the

We

first.

only contemplated these

sublime monuments for

two hours, and of course could only bring away so imperfect a conception of

them

as is the

remembered dream.

[84]

shadow of some

half-

THE YEAR

1819

THE YEAR

1819

ROME; LEGHORN FLORENCE


:

INTRODUCTORY
(^^PnO

realize the importance

of this year, not only in


of Shelley, hut in the history of English
poetry, we have only to note that it produced "Prothe life

metheus
visions

Unbound,''''

" The

most radiant of

the

Cenci,'" the greatest

of

Shakespeare; the " Ode to the West

most perfect of English


each

among

its

own

Jcind

Utopian

the tragedies since

Wind,''''

That

lyrics.

all

perhaps the

these three

poems,

taking a supreme place, should

have been produced by one

man and

in a single year

of
The
world at the moment was quite unheeding ; but more and
mare as the years pass it is coming to see how manysided a poet Shelley really is, how supreme his gift of
expression when strongly moved.
his life is

He

one of the marvels of literary biography.

was a

by

social reformer

equal opportunities for all

instinct,

men and

all

a champion for

women, a "poet

of democracy^ before that catching phrase came into


being.

poems

He foresaw
to

the struggle between classes,

England which

The news of
the solitude

the

of

and

sent

his friends did not dare to print.

Manchester Massacre reaching him in

his villa

near Leghorn, and in the midst

of the composition of " The

Cenci,''''

[87

he seizes his

pen

to

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
write a poem for the people

proclaiming that

it is

"

and

to apostrophize freedom,

not.

as w,

A shadow soon to pais away,


A superstition and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.

For
'

'

the labourer thou art bread,

And a

comely table spread.

Science, Poetry

Are thy lamps ;

Of the
So

An

and Thought
they make the

lot

dwellers in a cot

serene, they curse it not."

ambition to help along the good time coming had

inspired his early

poems " Queen

Mah " amd

" Revolt of

had been unNow, though still

Isla/m^ but the boyish mind, the crude art

equal to the task

it

set

for

itself.

young in

years, having "learned in stLffermg"" he could


" tea^h in song^ and turning once more to his favorite
theme, he gives utterance to his convictions in " Prome-

theus

Unbound" with a

poetic

mated

to the lofty ideal.

The

art which is

now fully

subject is the redemption

of humanity, personified in the character of Prometheus


a redemption accomplished not only through the up-

rooting of evil, but through the active force of good.

The poem was more than a year in process of composiand it grew with the authors growth. Begun at
in
the Autumn of 1818, it was resumed the next
Este

tion,

Spring at Rome, where, according to Mrs. Shelley, " the


charm of the Roman climate helped to clothe his thoughts
in greater beauty than they had ever worn before.""
The

[88

THE YEAR
first three acts

occurred to Shelley that

an expression of

the

But

sum up

to

type, it

the universe over

Accordingly in the Autumn, at


act closing with some lines

the whole matter

and

nating with

Shelley, has

eapressive

the

modem

that fairly blaze with

a phrase

" enthusiasm of humanity "

of

sent

was in

it

needed yet one more element

a fourth

Florence, he wrote
that

it

poem

the

hefore

joy of man and

the great redemption.

his

and

were completed

England for publication.

1819

which, origi-

been adopted as peculiarly

spirit.

It is not true to say, as so often is said, that the great

of " Prometheus Unbound "


imagery and the "purple patches'" of
distinction

short, that the parts are greater

is

its

its

exquisite

songs,

than the whole.

in

Although

indeed these alone are feasible in a volume of selections

he who reads the poem as a whole will


how great is its spiritual unity, and how both
form and thought are shaped by the poeCs aspiration for
freedom and universal love among men.
like the present,

discover

Such aspirations inspired not only


latest utterances,
Shelley''s

and perhaps

it

verse has done most

remembered.

is

his earliest, but his

on

this account that

good and

will be longest

Just before his death, he sings in " Hellas "

" Tie world! s great age begins anew.


The golden gears return.

And earth
Her

doth like a snake renew

tointer

Heaven

weeds outworn

smiles,

and faiths and empires gleam

lAhe wrecks of a dissolving dream''

Such

visions,

though vague, help toward the progress

of humanity and a

belief in

[89

a divine ordering of
]

the

WITH SHELLEY
vniverse hy ineans of mercy

ITALY

IN

and

They appeal

lave.

to

minds of ardent youth everywhere, and we have it


on the testimony of a distinguished English clergyman ^
that " there are more clergyman and more religious laythe

men than we imagine who trace to the emotion Shelley


awakened in them when they were young, their wider and
better views

of God.''''

FEAGMENT:
TO ITALY

As THE sunrise to the night.


As the north wind to the clouds.
As the earthquake's fiery flight,
Euining mountain

solitudes.

Everlasting Italy,

Be those hopes and

fears

on

thee.

FRAGMENT
A EOMAN^S CHAMBER
I

In the cave which wild weeds cover

Wait

for thine ethereal lover;

For the

pallid

moon

is

waning,

O'er the spiral cypress hanging

And

the
*

moon no

cloud

is

Stopford A. Brooke.

[90]

staining.

p
""

P3

o
3

2,

a
"

THE YEAR

1819

n
It

was once a Eoman's chamber,

Where he kept

And

his darkest revelsj

the wild weeds twine and clamber /

It was then a chasm for devils.

FRAGMENT:
EOME AND NATmiB

EoME

has fallen, ye see

Heaped
Nature

is

it

lying

in undistinguished ruin

alone undying.

Rome, March

From Naples we came by slow


horses, to

Eome,

journeys, with our

resting one day at

inn called Villa di Cicerone,

23, 1819.

Mola

from being

built

on the ruins

whose immense substructions overhang the

of his Villa,

own

di Gaeta, at the

and are scattered among the orange-groves.

sea,

Nothing can

be lovelier than the scene from the terraces of the inn.

On

one side precipitous mountains, whose bases slope into an


inclined

plane

forming, as

it

innumerable

of olive

and orange- copses

the latter

were, an emerald sky of leaves, starred with

globes

of their ripening fruit, whose

splendour contrasted with the deep green foliage


other the sea

bounded on one

Gaeta, and the other

promontory of Circe.
scenery

is

of the

side

to be

an

island, the

to Terracina the whole

most sublime character.

[91

on the

by the antique town of

by what appears

From Gaeta

rich

At Terracina

'

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
precipitous conical crags of

immense height shoot

sky and overhang the

At Albano we

sight of

sea.

into the

arrived again in

Arches after arches in unending

Eome.

lines

stretching across the uninhabited wildernesSj the blue defined line of the mountains seen between

them

masses of

nameless ruin standing like rocks out of the plain


plain

itself,

with

its

the neighbourhood of
of

Eome?

stones piled

and the

billowy and unequal surface, announced

And what

Eome.

shall

I say to you

If I speak of the inanimate ruins, the rude

upon

stones,

which are the sepulchres of the

fame of those who once arrayed them with the beauty


which has faded,
vital,

will

you

believe

What

ing in their perfection ?

insensible to the

has become, you will ask,

of the Apollo, the Gladiator, the

What

me

the almost breathing creations of genius yet subsist-

Venus

of the Apollo di Belvedere, the

of the Capitol

of Eaffaelle and Guido ?

These things are best spoken

when the mind has drunk

in the spirit of their forms

little

indeed can

months

I,

who must devote no more than

to the contemplation of them, hope to

know

What

Laocoon?

of

and

a few
or feel

of their profound beauty.

I think I told you of the Coliseum, and

on me on

my

first visit to this city.

siderable relic

Thermae of

impressions

its

The next most

of antiquity, considered as a ruin,

These consist of

Caracalla.

six

is

conthe

enormous

chambers, above 200 feet in height, and each inclosing a


vast space like that of a

number of towers and

field.

There

labyrinthine

are, in addition, a

recesses, hidden and

woven over by the wild growth of weeds and


was any desolation more sublime and

[92]

ivy.

lovely.

Never

The

per-

A CORNER
"^in

of the

Forum

Shelley's time.

" I walk forth in the purple and golden light of an Italian


and return hy star or moonlight.
I see the radiant
Orion through the mighty columns of the temple of Saturn, and
the mellow fading light softens down the modern buildings of

evening,

the capitol."

Letter from Rome,

p. 96.

THE YEAR
pendicular wall of ruin

is

1819

cloven into steep ravines

filled

up

with flowering shrubs, whose thick twisted roots are knot-

At every

ted in the rifts of the stones.

pinnacles of shattered stone group into


of effect,
distant

and tower above the

new combinations

lofty yet level walls, as the

mountains change their aspect to one travelling

The perpendicular

rapidly along the plain.

nothing more than that

cliff

grown with wood, and yet

know

step the aerial

the one I

of

is

mean ; not

walls resemble

Bisham wood, that

is

over-

you

stony and precipitous

the chalk-pit, but the spot that

has the pretty copse of fir-trees and privet-bushes at


base,

my

and where

its

* * and I scrambled

up, and you, to

would go home.

These walls sur-

infinite discontent,

round green and level spaces of lawn, on which some elms


have grown, and which are interspersed towards their
skirts

by masses

of the fallen ruin, overtwined with the

broad leaves of the creeping weeds.


it,

and

is

The blue sky canopies

as the everlasting roof of these

But the most

enormous

interesting effect remains.

buttresses, that supports

an immense and

halls.

In one of the

lofty arch,

which

"bridges the very winds of heaven," are the crumbling


remains of an antique winding staircase, whose sides are

open in

many

places to the precipice.

and arrive on the summit of these

This you ascend,

piles.

There grow on

every side thick entangled wildernesses of myrtle, and the


myrletus, and bay, and the flowering laurustinus,

white blossoms are just developed, the wild

fig,

whose

and a thou-

sand nameless plants sown by the wandering winds.

These

woods are intersected on every side by paths, like sheep


tracks through the copse- wood of steep mountains,

[93

which

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

From

wind to every part of the immense labyrinth.


midst

those pinnacles

rise

and masses, themselves

mountains, which have been seen from below.

you wind along a narrow

place

on one side

is

and supporting a
like itself

is

weed-grown ruin ;

bounded by an arch of enormous

by the many-coloured

fringed

In one

the immensity of earth and sky, on the other

a narrow chasm, which


size,

strip of

the
like

lofty

and blossoms,

foliage

and irregular pyramid, overgrown

Around

with the all-prevailing vegetation.

rise

other crags and other peaks, all arrayed, and the deformity
of their vast desolation softened down, by the undecaying

Come

investiture of nature.

which expression
convey.

Still

to

Home.

overpowered;

is

further,

It is a scene by

which words cannot

winding up one-half of the

shat-

tered pyramids, by the path through the blooming copse-

wood, you come to a


wild shrubs

and

whose

violets,

little

mossy lawn, surrounded by

overgrown with anemones,

it is

stalks pierce the starry moss,

radiant blue flowers,

whose names I know

the

wall-flowers,

not,

and with

and which

scatter

through the

recline

under the shade of the ruin, produces sensations

air

the divinest odour, which, as you


of

voluptuous faintness, like the combinations of sweet music.

The paths

still

wind on, threading the perplexed windings,

other labyrinths, other lawns, and deep dells of wood, and


lofty

rocks,

and

terrific

chasms.

these ruins cover several acres,

When

tell

you

that

and that the paths above

penetrate at least half their extent, your imagination will

up

all

that I

am

fiU

unable to express of this astonishing

scene.

I speak of these things not in the order in which I visited

[94]

THE YEAR
thenij

1819

but in that of the impression which they made on me,

or perhaps chance directs.

The ruins

Forum

of the ancient

are so far fortunate that they have not been walled

modern

the

They stand

city.

The

Mount,

tourists tell

so well

you

city,

and the other by

covered with shapeless masses of ruin.


all

am

about these things, and I

Temple of Con-

I fear that the immense ex-

cord,^

founded by Camillus.

pense

demanded by these columns forbids us

to

hope that

they are the remains of any edifice dedicated by that

and virtuous of men.

repaired

It is supposed to

under the Eastern Emperors

trast of recollections

alas,

what a con-

Near them stand those Corinthian

and entablature are worked with

the architrave

Beyond, to the south,

sculpture.

column ; and

still

more

Forum,

is

is

distant, three

wreck of an entablature.

delicate

another

solitary

more, supporting the

Descending from the Capitol to

the triumphal arch of Septimus Severus, less

perfect than that of Constantine,


tions

most

have been

columns, which supported the angle of a temple

fluted

the

is

There remain eight granite columns of the

known.

Ionic order, with their entablature, of the

perfect

afraid

on their language when I enumerate what

of stumbling

in

an open, lonesome place,

in

bounded on one side by the modern


the Palatine

up

though from

its

propor-

and magnitude, a most impressive monument.

of Constantine,
sculpture,

or rather of Titus

(for the

relief

That
and

and even the colossal images of Dacian captives,

were torn by a decree of the senate from an arch dedicated


'

So-called in Shelley's time.

this ruin the

slope of

Temple of Saturn

Modem

archaeologists agree iu calling

Temple of Concord lying on the


the Capitoline Hill only a few stones remain.
Ed.

" Shelley's error

of the

for Titus read Trajan.

[95

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

to the latter/ to adorn that of this stupid

and wicked mon-

Constantine, one of whose chief merits

ster,

consists in

establishing a religion, the destroyer of those arts which

would have rendered


the most perfect.

It

so base a spoliation unnecessary),

an admirable work of

is

and the outline of the

built of the finest marble,

many

in

is
is

reliefs is

Four

parts as perfect as if just finished:

It

art.

Corin-

thian fluted columns support, on each side, a bold entabla-

whose bases are loaded with

reliefs

of captives in

every attitude of humiUation and slavery.

The compart-

ture,

ments above express in bolder


success

relief

the enjoyment of

the conqueror on his throne, or in his chariot, or

nodding over the crushed multitudes, who writhe under


his horses' hoofs, as those

below express the torture and

There are three arches, whose

abjectness of defeat.

are panelled with fretwork,


similar reliefs.

and

The keystone

of these arches

is

supported

each by two winged figures of Yictory, whose hair


the wind of their

own

floats

earth,

it

They

were, borne from the subject extremities of the

on the breath which

and desolation, which

it is

Never were monuments


for

on

speed, and whose arms are out-

stretched, bearing trophies, as if impatient to meet.

look, as

roofs

their sides adorned with

is

the exhalation of that battle

their mission to

commemorate.

so completely fltted to the purpose

which they were designed, of expressing that mixture

of energy and error which

is called

a triumph.

I walk forth in the purple and golden light of an


Italian evening,
1

to

Tom

Ms

and return by star or moonlight, through

not from an arch, but from a iuilding of Trajan, at the entrance

Foriuu.

[96]

o
pa

THE YEAR
The elms

this scene.

are

and the warm

just budding,

unknown

Spring winds bring

1819

odoursj

all

sweet, from the

mighty

I see the radiant Orion through the

country.

columns of the Temple of Concord,^ and the mellow fading

down

light softens

the

modern buildings of the

Capitol,

the only ones that interfere with the sublime desolation of

On

the scene.

the steps of the Capitol

colossal statues of Castor


finely

though far

executed,

This walk

this is

my

What
the

I say of the

to our lodging,

to-

and

modem

Eome

city?

is

yet

of palaces

and

more glorious than those which any other

city

the world.

capital of

contains,

Monte

know we saw

evening walk.

shall

temples,

is close

his horse,

those of

inferior to

CavaUo, the cast of one of which you


gether in London.

stand two

itself,

and Pollux, each with

It is

a city

and of ruins more glorious than they.


surround

from any of the eminences that

it

it,

Seen

exhibits

domes beyond domes, and palaces, and colonnades inT


terminably, even to the horizon
of desert,

interspersed with patches

and mighty ruins which stand

by

girt

their

own

midst of the fanes of living religions

desolation, in the

and the habitations of living men, in sublime loneliness.


St. Peter's is, as

Europe.

to St. Paul's,
it

exhibits

respect

it is

on a large

opposed to antique

opinion

and I

in vain

taste.

building in

scale,

it;

and

is

internally

in every

You know my

tried to persuade

pro-

myself out of

the more I see of the interior of


1 Saturn.

loftiest

inferior in architectural beauty

though not wholly devoid of

littleness

pensity to admire
this

you have heard, the

Externally

[97]

WITH SHELLEY
St. Peter's,

the less impression as a whole does

I cannot even think

on me.

IN ITALY

though

lofty,

it

considerably higher than any hiU within

don ; and when one

reflects, it is

of the daring energy of man.


fully fine,

like

and

produce

dome

its

an astonishing monument
Its colonnade

is

wonder-

rise in spire-

columns of water to an immense height

in the sky,

on the porphyry vases from which they

spring,

the whole air with a radiant mist, which at noon

fill

thronged with innumerable rainbows.

an obelisk.

In front

is

the

Peter's, certainly magnificent;

is

miles of Lon-

fifty

and there are two fountains, which

falling

it

is

In the midst stands

faqade of

palace-like

and there

is

St.

produced, on

the whole, an architectural combination unequalled in the

world.

But the dome

of the temple

at a very great distance,

is

concealed, except

by the facade and the

inferior

part of the building, and that diabolical contrivance they


call

an

The

attic.

effect of the

Pantheon

is totally

Though not a fourth

of St. Peter's.

as it were, the visible

the reverse of that

part of the

image of the universe ;

fection of its proportions, as

when you regard

ured dome of heaven, the idea of magnitude

up and

lost.

It

is

open to the sky, and

its

in the per-

the unmeas-

is

fly

over

it,

and

at night the

swallowed

wide dome

lighted by the ever-changing illumination of the

clouds of noon

size, it is,

air.

keen

is

The

stars are

seen through the azure darkness, hanging immoveably, or


driving after the driving

by moonhght

moon among

the clouds.

We

visited

it

fluted

and Corinthian, of a certain rare and beautiful

yeUow marble,

it is

exquisitely

supported by sixteen columns,

polished,

[98]

caUed here giallo

Titits

crowned by Victory.

Sculptured relief inside Arch of Titus.

Triumphal Procession, a sculpture on inside Arch of Titus.


Shelley's Roman Note-Book, pp. 101,

102.

THE YEAR
Above

antico.

twelve

these are the niches for the statues of the

This

gods.

1819

is

the

only defect of this

sublime

temple; there ought to have been no interval between the

commencement

of the

dome and

the magnificent simplicity of


is

the cornice, supported by

Thus there would have been no diversion from

the columns.

its

This improvement

form.

alone wanting to have completed the unity of the idea.

The fountains of Eome


combinations of
see.

are, in themselves,

such as alone

art,

it

magnificent

were worth coming to

That in the Piazza Navona, a large square,

com-

is

posed of enormous fragments of rock, piled on each other,

and penetrated,

by caverns.

as

This mass supports an

On the

Egyptian obelisk of immense height.

four corners

of the rock recline, in different attitudes, colossal figures

The water

representing the four divisions of the globe.

They are sculp-

bursts from the crevices beneath them.

tured with great spirit


his eyes; another

Fontana di Trevi

one impatiently tearing a veil from

is

the most celebrated, and

rock, with a gigantic figure of Neptune;


river

is

rather a

gushing out from masses of

waterfall than a fountain;

two

The

with his hands stretched upwards.

and below are

gods, checking two winged horses, straggling up

from among the rocks and waters.

The whole

not

is

ill-

but you know not how delicate

the imagination becomes

by dieting with antiquity day

conceived nor executed

after day.

The only things

are Raphael,

that sustain the comparison

Guido, and Salvator Eosa.

The fountain on the

Quirinal, or

rather

the

formed by the statues, obelisk, and the fountain,


ever, the

most admirable of

From

all.

[99

group

is,

how-

the Piazza Quiri-

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Monte

nale, or rather

CslysIIo,

you

see the boundless ocean

of domes, spires, and columns, which

On

marble

a pedestal of white

an obelisk of red

Before

granite, piercing the blue sty.

the City, Eome.

is

rises

purest water, which collects into itseK

a vast basin

it is

of porphyry, in the midst of which rises a

column of the
the overhang-

all

ing colours of the sky, and breaks them into a thousand


prismatic hues and graduated shadows

with

its

elevated situation

they

fall

together

The

of this fountain produces, I imagine,

this effect of colour.


tal,

dashing water-drops into the outer basin.

On

each side, on an elevated pedes-

stand the statues of Castor and Pollux, each in the act

of taming his horse, which are said, but I believe wholly

without authority, to be the work of Phidias and Praxiteles.

These figures combine the

irresistible

energy with

the sublime and perfect loveliness supposed to have be-

longed to their divine nature.

The

reins

no longer

exist,

but the position of their hands and the sustained and calm

command

of their regard, seem to require no mechanical

aid to enforce obedience.

The countenances

at so great a

height are scarcely visible, and I have a better idea of that

we saw a cast together in London, than of the


But the sublime and living majesty of their limbs

of which
other.

and mien, the nervous and

fiery

animation of the horses

they restrain, seen in the blue sky of Italy, and overlooking the city of

Eome, surrounded by the

light

and the

music of that crystalline fountain, no cast can communicate.


These figures were found at the Baths of Constantine,
but, of course, are of remote antiquity.

I do not acquiesce,

however, in the practice of attributing to Phidias, or Prax-

[100]

THE YEAR

or Scopas, or some great master^ any admirable

iteles,

work

1819

may

that

We find little of what

be found.

remainedj

and perhaps the works of these were such as greatly surpassed

little

of most perfect and admirable

has escaped the deluge.

whom we

should worship,

I have said what I

feel

am

this inexhaustible

critical

Eome, and the mere outside

mine of thought and feeling.

of

Hobhousej

and Forsyth, will tell all the shew-knowledge


" the common stuff of the earth." By-the-bye,

Eustace,
it

pardon me.

too jealous

creators, the

without entering into any

discussions of the ruins of

about

If I

honour of the Greeks^ our masters, and

of the

gods

we conceive

all that

what

in

Eorsyth

is

worth reading, as I judge from a chapter or two

I have seen.

I cannot get the book here.

I ought to have observed that the central arch of the


triumphal Arch of Titus
1

yet subsists, more perfect in

Endenfly, Slelley here was writing from a confusion of memories re-

garding

tlie

two arches of Constantine and of Titus, since portions of

paragraph apply to the one and portions to the other


been

Arch
his

left

uncorrected by

of Constantine

all his editors.

Roman Note-Book,

as follows

On

the fury of conflagration,

this

a confusion that has

on the

Arch of Titus occurs in

TITUS.

Boman Note-Booh.

inner compartment of the Arch of Titus,

the desolation of a city.

figures of Victory are

AKCH OF
On the

The

the true description of the

'From Shelley's

lief,

its

one

side,

hang tottering

is

sculptured in deep re-

by
The accompani-

the walls of the Temple, split

in the act of ruin.

ments of a town taken by assault, matrons and virgins and children and old

men gathered

into groups,

and the rapine and licence of a barbarous and

enraged soldiery, arc imaged in the distance.

by a procession of the
candlesticks

The foreground

yictors, bearing in their profane

is

occupied

hands the holy

and the tables of shewbread, and the sacred instruments of the

eternal worship of the Jews.

On

the opposite side, the reverse of this sad

[101

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

This I

proportions^ they say, than any of a later date.

figures of Victory, with unfolded

The

did not remark.

wings, and each spurning back a globe with outstretched


feet, are,

perhaps,

Their lips are parted

the others.

on

beautiful than those

more

either of

a delicate mode of

in-

dicating the fervour of their desire to arrive at the destined


resting-place,

and to express the eager respiration of

their

Indeed, so essential to beauty were the forms ex-

speed.

pressive of the exercise of the imagination

considered by

Greek

artists,

tiquity, not destined to

and the affections

that no ideal figure of an-

some representation

sive of

such a character,

Within

this arch are

directly exclu-

to be found with closed

is

two panelled alto

lips.

one repre-

relievos,

senting a train of people bearing in procession the instru-

ments of

Jewish worship,
with seven

candlestick

standing in

among which

the

holy

other,

Titus

winged Victory.

The

branches;

quadriga, with a

on the

is

grouping of the horses, and the beauty, correctness, and


energy of their delineation,

much

is

remarkable, though they are

destroyed.

picture, Titus is represented standing in a cHariot

crowned with

laurel,

drawn by

four horses,

and surrounded by the tumultuous numbers of

triumphant army, and the magistrates, and

priests,

ophers, dragged in chains beside his wheels.

and generals, and

his

philos-

Behind him stands a Victory

eagle-winged.

The arch

now mouldering

is

by the

lapse

Hebrew

desolation, is seen the

of

fifty

into ruins,

generations.

and the imagery almost erased

Beyond

this

obscure

tomb of the Destroyer's

monument
family,

now

of

mountain of ruins.

The Flavian amphitheatre has become a habitation for owls and di'agons.
The power, of whose possession it was once the type, and of whose departure
it is now the emblem, is become a dream and a memory.
Rome is no more
than Jerusalem.
[

102

T HE Arch

Coliseum seen through

the

of Titus.

" The Flavian amphitheatre has become a liabitatwn for


and dragons. The power, of whose possession it was

owls

once the type,

is

become a dream, and a memory.

"

Shelley's Roman Note-Book, p. 102.

THE YEAR

1819

PEOMETHEUS UNBOUND
A

Lyrical Deama in Eoue Acts


AMPHIARAE, SUB TBRKAM ABDITE

ATJDISNE HiEC

PREFACE
The Greek

tragic writers^ in selecting as their subject

any portion of their national history or mythology, employed in their treatment of

it

a certain arbitrary discretion.

They by no means conceived themselves bound to adhere


to the

common

title their rivals

iuterpretation or to imitate in story as in

and predecessors.

Such a system would

have amounted to a resignation of those claims to preference over their competitors which incited the composition.

The Agamemnonian story was exhibited on the Athenian


theatre with as

many

variations as dramas.

The
I have presumed to employ a similar licence.
" Prometheus Unbound " of ^schylus supposed the reconciliation of Jupiter

with his victim as the price of the dis-

closure of the danger threatened to his empire

consummation of

his marriage with Thetis.

by the

Thetis, ac-

cording to this view of the subject, was given in marriage


to Peleus,

delivered

my

and Prometheus, by the permission of Jupiter,


from his captivity by Hercules.

story on this model, I should have done

Had

I framed

no more than

have attempted to restore the lost drama of ^schylus


ambition which,
the subject

had

if

my

incited

preference to this

me to

mode

an

of treating

cherish, the recollection of the

high comparison such an attempt would challenge might


[

103

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

But^ in truth, I was averse from a catastrophe

well abate.

so feeble as that of reconciling the

pressor of mankind.
is

by the

him

his

sufferings

would be annihilated

of Prometheus,

successful

Op-

and endurance

we could conceive

if

as unsaying his high language

the

of the fable, which

The moral interest

so powerfully sustained

of

Champion with

and quailing before

The only im-

and perfidious adversary.

aginary being resembling in any degree Prometheus,

Satan ; and Prometheus

in

is,

my judgment,

more

is

poeti-

cal character than Satan, because, in addition to courage,

and majesty, and firm and patient opposition to omnipotent


force,

he

exempt from

susceptible of being described as

is

the taints of ambition, envy, revenge, and a desire for personal aggrandisement, which, in the

The character

interfere with the interest.

ders in the

weigh his

mind a pernicious

faults

who

feeling

it

of Satan engen-

casuistry which leads us to

with his wrongs, and to excuse the former

because the latter exceed


those

Hero of Paradise Lost,

all

In the minds of

measure.

consider that magnificent fiction with a rehgious

But Prometheus

engenders something worse.

is,

as it were, the type of the highest perfection of moral and


intellectual nature, impelled

by the purest and the

truest

motives to the best and noblest ends.


This

Poem was

chiefly

written

upon the mountainous

among

ruins of the Baths of CaracaUa,

and thickets of odoriferous blossoming

the flowery glades

trees,

tended in ever winding labyrinths upon

its

forms and dizzy arches suspended in the


blue sky of Rome, and the

effect of the

104

immense

The

air.

plat-

bright

vigorous awaken-

ing Spring in that divinest climate, and the


[

which are ex-

new

life

with

THE YEAR
which

it

1819

drenches the spirits even to intoxication, were the

inspiration of this drama.

me of acknowledging

Let this opportunity be conceded to

what a Scotch philosopher

that I have,

characteristically

" what passion

termsj " a passion for reforming the world

him

incited

to write

For

explain.

my

and publish

his bookj

part I had rather be

he omits to

damned with Plato

and Lord Bacon, than go to Heaven with Paley and Mal-

But

thus.

it

is

a mistake to suppose that I dedicate

my

poetical compositions solely to the direct enforcement of

reform, or that I consider

them in any degree

ing a reasoned system on the theory of


tic

poetry

is

my

abhorrence

expressed in prose that

My

verse.

is

human life.

Didac-

nothing can be equally well

not tedious and supererogatory

in

purpose has hitherto been simply to familiarise

the highly refined imagination of the

lence; aware that until the

more

select classes of

idealisms of moral excel-

poetical readers with beautiful

trust,

as contain-

mind can

love,

and admire, and

and hope, and endure, reasoned principles of moral

conduct are seeds cast upon the highway of

life

which the

unconscious passenger tramples into dust, although they

would bear the harvest of

his happiness.

accomplish what I purpose, that


history of

human

is,

Should I

live to

produce a systematical

what appear to me to be the genuine elements of

society, let

stition flatter

not the advocates of injustice and super-

themselves that I

rather than Plato as

my

model.

105

should
.

take ^schylus

;:

WITH SHELLEY
FROM ACT
Scene.

ITALY

OF "PROMETHEUS UNBOUND"

Prometheus

is

discovered bound to a precipice of icy

lone and Panthea

rooks in the Indian Caucasus.

Hope and

IN

(sister-spirits of

of Paith) seek to soothe his stern agony.

The chorus

of

Furies having been repulsed by Prometheus, a chorus of benign


spirits

appear and sing that

all evil is

the occasion for higher good.^

Chorus of Spirits

From unremembered

ages we

Gentle guides and guardians be

Of heaven-oppressed

And we

The atmosphere

Be

it

mortality j

breatbej and sicken not^


of

human thought

dim^ and dank, and grey.

Like a storm-extinguished day.


Travelled o'er by dying gleams

Be

it

bright as

all

between

Cloudless skies and windless streams,


Silent, liquid,

As

the birds, within the wind.

As
As

the fish within the wave.

the thoughts of man's

Float thro'

We

and serene

make

all

own mind

above the grave

there our liquid

lair.

Voyaging cloudlike and unpent


Thro' the boundless element
1

The world

voices

in whicli the action is sapposed to

and what these

spirits sing is

move rings with spiritmore purged of mortal dross than any

other poet's ear has caught, while listening to his


the rhythms of the world.

Stmonds.

[106

own

heart's song, or to

THE YEAR

1819

Thence we bear the prophecy


"Which begins and ends in thee
lone.

More

yet comej one

Looks radiant

by one

Mrst

On

the air around

around a

as the air

star.

Spirit.

a battle-trumpet's blast

I fled hither^ fast, fast, fast,

'Mid the darkness upward

From
From

cast.

the dust of creeds outworn.


the tyrant's banner torn.

Gathering 'round me^ onward borne.

There was mingled

Freedom

Hope

many
Death

Till they faded thro' the

And

a cry

Yictory

sky;

one sound, above, around.

One sound

beneath, around, above.

Was moving

't

was the soul of love

'Twas the hope, the prophecy,


"Which begins and ends in thee.

Second Spirit.

rainbow's arch stood on the sea.

Which rocked

And

beneath, immovably

the triumphant storm did

flee.

Like a conqueror, swift and proud.


Between, with

many

shapeless, dark

a captive cloud,

and rapid crowd,

[107

them

;:

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Each by lightning riven

in half

I hear the thunder hoarsely laugh

Mighty

And

were strewn

fleets

like chaff

spread beneath a hell of death

O'er the white waters.

alit

On a great ship lightning-split,


And speeded hither on the sigh
Of one who gave an enemy
His plank, then plunged aside to

Third

die.

Spirit.

I sate beside a sage's bed,

And

the

lamp was burning red

Near the book where he had

When
To

Dream

fed,

with plumes of flame.

his pillow hovering came.

And

I knew it was the same


Which had kindled long ago
Pity, eloquence,

and woe

And the world awhile below


Wore the shade its lustre made.
It has borne

As

here as

it

back ere morrow.

the sage will

wake

Fowth

On

fleet

Desire's lightning feet

I must ride

Or

me

in sorrow.

Spirit.

a poet's lips I slept

Dreaming

like a love-adept

In the sound

his breathing kept;


[

108

THE YEAR

1819

Nor

seeks nor finds he mortal blisses.

But

feeds on the aerial kisses

Of shapes that haunt thought's

He

will

The

wildernesses.

watch from dawn to gloom

lake-reflected sun illume

The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom.

Nor heed nor


But from

see,

what things they be

these create he can

Forms more

real

than living man.

Nurslings of immortality

One

awakened me.

of these

And I

sped to succour thee.


lone.

Behold'st thou not two shapes from the east and west

Come,

as

two doves to one beloved

Twin nurslings of the

On

swift

still

And, hark

nest.

all-sustaining air

wings glide down the atmosphere

their sweet, sad voices

't is

despair

Mingled with love and then dissolved in sound.


Fanthea,
Canst thou speak, sister

all

my

words are drowned.

lone.

Their beauty gives

On

me

their sustaining

voice.

See

how

they

float.

wings of skiey grain.

Orange and azure deepening into gold

Their soft smiles light the air like a star's

Chorus of Spirits.

Hast thou beheld the form of Love

[109

fire.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Fifth Spirit.

As over wide dominions


I sped, like some swift cloud that wings the wide air's
wildernesses,

That planet-crested shape swept by on lightning-braided


pinions.

Scattering the liquid joy of

life

from his ambrosial

tresses

His footsteps paved the world with ligEt; but as I past


't

And

was fading,

hollow Euin yawned behind

great sages

bound

in

madness.

And

headless patriots, and pale youths

who

perished, un-

upbraiding,

Gleamed

in the night.

I wandered

o'er, till thou,

King

of sadness.

Turned by thy smile the worst I saw to

Ah,

sister

Desolation

It walks not

But

recollected gladness.

a delicate thing

is

on the earth,

it floats

not on the

air.

treads with killing footstep, and fans with silent wing

The tender hopes which

in

their

hearts

the

best

and-

gentlest bear;

Who, soothed to false repose by the fanning plumes above


And the music-stirring motion of its soft and busy feet.
Dream visions of aerial joy, and call the monster. Love,
And wake, and find the shadow Pain, as he whom now we
greet.

[110

THE YEAR

1819

Chorus.

Tho' Ruiu

now

Love's shadow be.

Following him, destroyingly,

On

Death's white and winged steed,

"Which the

fleetest

cannot

flee,

Trampling down both flower and weed

Man

and beast, and foul and

Like a tempest thro' the

Thou

shalt quell this

fair.

air

horseman grim,

Woundless though in heart or limb.


Prometheus.
Spirits

how know ye

this shall be ?

Chor'us.

In the atmosphere we breathe.

As buds grow red when the snow-storms

Prom Spring gathering up


Whose mild winds shake the

elder brake.

And

know

the wandering herdsmen

beneath,

That the white-thorn soon will blow

Wisdom,

When

Justice, Love,

and Peace,

they struggle to increase.

Are to us

as soft

To shepherd

Which

winds be

boys, the prophecy

begins and ends in thee.


lone.

Where

are the spirits fled ?

[Ill

flee.

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

PantJiea.

Only a sense
Remains of them,

Of musiCj when

like the

omnipotence

the inspired voice

and

lute

Languish, ere yet the responses are mute,

Which

thro^ the

deep and labyrinthine soul.

Like echoes thro^ long caverns, wind and

roll.

Prometheus.

How

fair these air-born

Most vain
Asia

Wert

my

who, when

shapes

hope but love

all

and yet I

and thou

being overflowed,

like a golden chalice to bright

Which

else

had sunk into the

All things are

still

feel

art far,

alas

wine

thirsty dust.

how

heavily

This quiet morning weighs upon

my

heart;

Tho^ I should dream I could even sleep with

Be what

it is

my

destiny to be.

The saviour and the strength

Or

grief

I would fain

If slumber were denied not.

of suffering

man.

sink into the original gulf of things

There

is

no agony, and no solace

left

Earth can console. Heaven can torment no more.


PaniJiea.

Hast thou forgotten one who watches thee

The

cold dark night, and never sleeps but

The shadow of thy

spirit falls
[

112

on her?

when

THE YEAR

1819

Prometheus.
I said

all

hope was vain but love

thou

lovest.

Deeply in truth ; but the eastern star looks white.

And

Asia waits in that far Indian vale

The scene of her sad

And

rugged once

exile;

desolate and frozen, like this ravine

But now invested with

And haunted by sweet


Among the woods and
Of her transforming

fair flowers

airs

and herbs,

and sounds, which flow

waters, from the ether

presence, which

If it were mingled not with thine.

END OF THE FIRST

IROM ACT

II,

In the second
Prometheus,

SC. 5

act,

who

would fade

Farewell

ACT.

OP "PROMETHEUS UNBOUND"

the interest centres round Asia, the beloved of

first

awaits

him

afar in sorrow,

and afterward un-

The

act closes with a

dertakes a pilgrimage for his redemption.

Voice (the voice of the unseen Prometheus) singing to her a worshipful lyric, followed

by her response

Panthea

How
I

feel

thou

art

changed

but see thee not.

to

{to Asia).

I dare not look on thee


I scarce endure

Some good change

The radiance of thy beauty.


Is

it.

working in the elements, which

Thy

suffer

The Nereids

presence thus unveiled.

That on the day when the clear hyaline


8

lis

tell

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Was

cloven at thy uprise, and thou didst stand

Within a veined
Over the calm

Among
Which
Of

shell,

which floated on

floor of the crystal sea.

the iSgean isles, and by the shores

bear thy

the sun^s

name ;

flre filling

atmosphere

love, like the

the living world.

Burst from thee, and illumined earth and heaven

And
And

the deep ocean and the sunless caves


all

them ;

that dwells within

till

Eclipse upon the soul from which

Such

art

thou

now

nor

it

grief cast

came

I alone.

is it

own chosen

Thy

sister,

But

the whole world which seets thy sympathy.

thy companion, thine

Hearest thou not sounds

Of

all articulate

beings

the air which speak the love

i'

Feelest thou not

The' inanimate winds enamoured of thee ?

Thy words

Whose
its

yet

love

all

Common

is

as light is love.

familiar voice wearies not ever.

makes the

They who
^

sweet,

Like the wide heaven, the all-sustaining


It

List

are sweeter than aught else but his

echoes they are

Given or returned.

And

one.

equal to the

reptile

" For the loving

Were

worm

within

its

clod

diviner than a loveless god."

Also Shelley again in Epipsychidion

" The

most are fortunate,

inspire it

Compare Browning

God

air.

spirit of

the

worm

heneath the sod

In love and worship blends


[

114

itself

with God."

(Music.)

THE YEAR

1819

As I am now ; but those who


Are happier

As I

shall

after

stilly

feel it

most

long sufferings.

soon become.

PaniAea.
List

Spirits speak

Voice in the Air, singing.


Life of Life

With

thy lips enkindle

their love the breath between

them

And thy smiles before they dwindle


Make the cold air fire then screen them
;

In those looks, where whoso gazes


Eaints, entangled in their mazes.

Child of Light

thy limbs are burning

Thro' the vest which seems to hide them

As

the radiant lines of morning

Thro' the clouds ere they divide them

And

atmosphere divinest

this

Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.


Fair are others

none beholds

thee.

But thy voice sounds low and tender


Like the

From

And aU
As I

feel,

feel

Lamp
Its

fairest, for it folds

thee

the sight, that liquid splendour.


yet see thee never.

now,

of Earth

lost for ever

dim shapes

where'er thou movest


are clad with brightness,

[115]

;;

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

And the souls of whom thou


Walk upon the winds with
Till they failj as I am failings
Dizzy,

lost,

loves
lightness.

yet unbewailing

Asia}

My

soul

is

an enchanted boat,

"Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float

Upon the silver waves of thy sweet


And thine doth like an angel sit
Beside a helm conducting

Whilst

all

singing

it.

the winds with melody are ringing.

It seems to float ever, for ever.

Upon that many-winding

river,

Between mountains, woods, abysses,

A paradise
Till, like

of wildernesses

one in slumber bound.

Borne to the ocean, I

float

down, around.

Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound.

Meanwhile thy

spirit lifts its pinions

In music's most serene dominions


Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven.

And we

sail on,

away,

afar.

Without a course, without a

star.

But, by the instinct of sweet music driven

through Elysian garden

Till

By
1

thee,

most beautiful of

This has been read by

many

chanUj

its

pilots,

of U3 scores of times with scarcely a

wish perhaps to trace out its intricate


its ideal

islets

meaning, but with a keen delight in

supersensuous meander.

[116]

Rossetti.

THE YEAR

1819

"Where never mortal pinnace glided,

The boat of

my

Realms where the

Which

in the winds

Harmonising

We

desire
air

guided

is

we breathe

love,

is

and on the waves doth move.

this earth

with what we feel above.

have pass'd Age's icy caves.

And manhood's dark and


And Youth's smooth ocean,
Beyond the glassy

gulfs

tossing waves.

smiling to betray

we

flee

Of shadow-peopled Infancy,
Through Death and

Birth, to a diviner day

paradise of vaulted bowers.

Lit by downward-gazing flowers.

And

watery paths that wind between

Wildernesses calm and green.

Peopled by shapes too bright to

And

rest,

having beheld,

Which walk upon

The second

act, in

wHch

the

myth

ACT.^

of Asia

Prometheus Unbound,

whole cycle of English song.

like thee,

the sea, and chant melodiously

END OF THE SECOND

the most wonderful in the

see.

somewhat

Vida

is

D. Scuddeb.

[117

unfolded, is poetically

that

is

to say, in the

! :

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Prometheus and
Act IV follows with its chorus of rejoicing, in
powers of earth and air, of the world natural and the world

The tHrd

act having accomplished the release of

his reunion with Asia,

which

all

spiritual, unite.

PROM ACT IV OF "PROMETHEUS UNBOUND"


Voice of unseen Spirits.

The pale

stars are

Eor the sun,

To

gone

their swift shepherd.

them compelling.

their folds

In the depths of the dawn.


Hastes, in meteor-eclipsing array, and they

Beyond

flee

his hlue dwelling,

As fawns

flee

the leopard.

But where are ye ?

Train of dark Forms <md Shadows passes by


confusedly, singing.

Here, oh, here

We
Of

the Father of

bear the bier

many a
we

cancelled year

Spectres

Of

the dead

We bear Time to

his

Hours

tomb

be.

in eternity.

Strew, oh, strew

Hair, not

Wet

yew

the dusty pall with tears, not

Be

dew

the faded flowers

Of Death^s bare bowers


Spread on the corpse of the King of Hours!
[

118

THE YEAR

1819

Haste, oh, haste

As shades

are chased,

Trembling, by day, from heaven's blue waste.

We

melt away,

Like dissolving spray,

Erom

the children of a diviner day.

With

the lullaby

Of winds

On

the

bosom

that die

own harmony

of their

lone.

Even

New

notes arise.

What

is

whilst

we speak

that awful sound ?

Panihea.
'T

is

the deep music of the rolling world

Kindling within the strings of the waved

air,

iEolian modulations.
lone.

Listen too.

How

every pause

is filled

Clear, silver, icy, keen,

Which
As

pierce the sense,

with undernotes.

awakening tones.
and

live within the soul,

the sharp stars pierce Winter's crystal air

And

gaze upon themselves within the sea.

Panihea.

But

see where,

through two openings in the forest

Which hanging branches

overcanopy,

[119

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
And where two

runnels of a rivulet,

Between the close moss violet-inwoveuj

Have made

Who

their path of melody, like sisters

Turning their dear disunion

Of

may meet

part with sighs that they

lovely grief, a

wood

an

to

in smiles.

isle

of sweet sad thoughts.

upon

Two

visions of strange radiance iloat

The

ocean-like enchantment of strong sound,

Which

flows intenser, keener, deeper yet

Under the ground and through the windless

air.

I see a chariot like that thinnest boat.

In which the Mother of the Months

By

When

borne

she upsprings from interlunar dreams.

O'er which

Of

is

ebbing night into her western cave.

is

curved an orb-like canopy

gentle darkness,

and the

and woods.

hills

Distinctly seen through that dusk airy veil,

Eegard

like shapes in

an enchanter's glass;

Its wheels are solid clouds, azure

and gold.

Such as the genii of the thunderstorm


Pile

on the

When

floor of the illumined sea

the sun rushes under

And move and grow


Within

it sits

it

they roll

as with an inward

wind ;

a winged infant, white

Its countenance, like the whiteness of bright snow.


Its

plumes are as feathers of sunny

Its limbs

Of its

frost.

gleam white, through the wind-flowing

white robe, woof of ethereal pearl.


[

120

folds

THE YEAR

1819

Its hair is white, the brightness of white light

Scattered in strings

yet

its

two eyes are heavens

Of liquid darkness, which the Deity


Within seems pouring, as a storm

Prom jagged
fire

that is not brightness

A guiding power
its

air
j

around

in its

directs the chariot's

prow

wheeled clouds, which as they

Over the

grass,

hand

moonbeam^ from whose point

It sways a quivering

Over

poured

clouds, out of their arrowy lashes,

Tempering the cold and radiant

With

is

and

flowers,

Sweet as a singing rain of

roll

and waves, wake sounds

silver

dew.

Panthea.

And from

the other opening in the

wood

Eushes, with loud and whirlwind harmony,

sphere,

which

many thousand

is as

Solid as crystal, yet through all its

spheres.

mass

Elow, as through empty space, music and light

Ten thousand orbs involving and involved.


Purple and azure, white, and green, and golden.
Sphere within sphere

and every shape between

Peopled with unimaginable shapes.

Such as ghosts dream dwell in the lampless deep.


Yet each inter-transpicuous, and they whirl

Over each other with a thousand motions,

Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning.


And with the force of self- destroying swiftness.
Intensely, slowly, solemnly roll on.

Kindling with mingled sounds, and

[121

many

tones,

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Intelligible

words and music wild.

With mighty whirl

the multitudinous orb

Grinds the bright brook into an azure mist

Of elemental

And

subtlety, like light

the wild odour of the forest flowers.

The music

of the living grass

The emerald

Bound

its

and

air.

light of leaf-entangled

beams

intense yet seK-conflicting speed,

Seem kneaded

into one aerial

Which drowns

the sense.

Pillowed upon

its

mass

Within the orb

Like to a child overwearied with sweet

On

its

The

own

itself,

alabaster arms.
toil.

folded wings, and wavy hair.

Spirit of the

Earth

is laid asleep.

And you can see its little lips are moving.


Amid the changing light of their own smiles,
Like one who talks of what he loves in dream.
lone.

'T is only mocking the orb's harmony.


Panthea.

And from

a star

upon

Like swords of azure

With

its

forehead, shoot.

fire,

or golden spears

tyrant-quelling myrtle overtwined.

Embleming heaven and

earth united now,

Yast beams like spokes of some invisible wheel

Which

whirl as the orb whirls, swifter than thought.

Filling the abyss with sun-like lightnings.

And

perpendicular now, and


[

122

now

transverse,

THE YEAR
Pierce the dark

Make

and

soil,

1819
and pass.

as they pierce

bare the secrets of the earth's deep heart

mine of adamant and gold,

Infinite

Valueless stones, and unimagined gems,

And

caverns on crystalline columns poised

With

vegetable silver overspread

Wells of unfathomed

Whence

Whose vapours
With

and water springs

clothe earth's

monarch mountain-tops
flash

on

appear the melancholy ruins

cancelled cycles

anchors, beaks of ships

Planks turned to marble

And gorgon-headed
Of scythed

is fed.

The beams

kingly, ermine snow.

And make
Of

fire,

the great sea, even as a child,

targes,

quivers, helms,

and

spears.

and the wheels

and the emblazonry

chariots,

Of trophies, standards, and armorial beasts,


Eound which death laughed, sepulchred emblems
Of dead

destruction, ruin within ruin

The wrecks beside of many a

Whose

Was

city vast.

population which the earth grew over

mortal, but not

human ;

see,

they

lie,

Their monstrous works, and uncouth skeletons.

Their statues, homes and fanes

prodigious shapes

Huddled

in grey annihilation, split,

Jammed

in the hard, black deep

and over

these.

The anatomies of unknown winged things.

And
And
The

fishes

which were

serpents,

bony

isles of living scale,

chains, twisted around

iron crags, or within heaps of dust

To which the tortuous


[

strength of their last pangs

123

WITH SHELLEY
Had

crushed the iron crags

The jagged

alligator,

IN ITALY

and over these

and the might

Of earth-convulsing behemoth, which once

Were monarch beasts, and on the slimy shores


And weed-overgrown continents of earth
Increased and multiplied like Summer worms

On

an abandoned corpse,

Wrapt deluge round

the blue globe

till

like a cloak,

it

and they

Yelled, gasped, and were abolished ; or

Whose

some God

throne was in a comet, passed and cried

" Be not "

And

like

my

words they were no more.

Demogorgon.
This

is

the day, which

down

the void

abysm

the Earth-bom's spell yawns for Heaven's despotism,

At

And Conquest
Love, from

its

is

dragged captive through the deep

awful throne of patient power

In the wise heart, from the

last

Of dread endurance, from

giddy hour

the slippery, steep,

And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs


And folds over the world its healing wings.
Gentleness, Virtue,

These are the

Wisdom, and Endurance,

seals of that

most firm assurance

Which bars the pit over Destruction's


And if, with infirm hand. Eternity,
Mother of many

The serpent
These are the

An

acts

that

spells

and hours, should

free

would clasp her with

by which

his length,

to reassume

empire o'er the disentangled doom.


[

strength;

124

; ;

THE YEAR

;;

1819

To

suffer

To

forgive wrongs darker than death or night

woes which Hope thinks

infinite

To defy Power, which seems omnipotent


To

love,

Erom

its

and bear

to

own wreck

hope

Neither to change, nor

Hope

till

the thing

falter,

This, like thy glory, Titan,

creates

contemplates

it

nor repent
be

is to

Good, great and joyous, beautiful and


This

is

freej

alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Yictory.

Home,

My

" Prometheus Unbound "

month or two I

shall

send

from him, and

sent

the

As
and

As

is

just finished,

It

is

1819.

and in a

a drama, with char-

better than

is

any of

am

him from Naples,

to the Reviews,
is

to the

way or the

not hearty or

I believe,

my

tence, tranquillity

in safety or not.

nothing but abuse

enough to amuse me.

printing,^ I lay

no

stress

on

it

one

are natural.

dear Peacock, that you wish us to come

How

back to England.

takes away.

since3;e

is

The concluding Hnes

other.

I never

I think, "Lines on

entitled,

I suppose there

poem now

and

former

ignorant whether some verses

Euganean Hills," have reached him

this

my

By-the-bye, have you seen Oilier?

attempts.

6,

and mechanism of a kind yet unattempted;

acters

I think the execution

hear

it.

April

aU

am

is

it

possible?

regarded by

aU.

me, except, I think, on the whole,


1

Health, compe-

these Italy permits, and

who know or hear

125

of

five individuals, as a

Rosalind and Belen,


[

England

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

whose look even

rare prodigy of crime

and

might

a large computation, and I don't

This

infect.

could mention more

think I

compensate, indeed, for

alone I should laugh

which I

things,

from those

Such

than three.

is

the

English abroad as well as at home.

spirit of the

Few

is

pollution,

or

if

the rest, and

all

I were rich enough to do


Pity

shall never be.

me

for

my

me, and which I know so well how to appreciate.

some

all

absence

enjoyments which England might

social

shall return

I were

if

afford

Still,

morning, out of pure weakness of

fine

heart.

THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK,

To

On the

Publication of his "Nightmaee Abbey."


LiTOENO, July

We

have changed our design of -going

now

mediately, and are

6,

1819.

to Florence im-

established for three months in

country house ^ in a pretty verdant scene near

little

Livorno.

I have a study here in a tower something like Scythrop's,^

where I

am

just

beginning to recover the faculties of

reading and writing.^

with

one

islands,

its

side,

Prom my tower I

see the sea

Gorgona, Capraja, Elba, and Corsica on

and the Apennines on the

other.

Now known

as Villa

A character

in Nightmare Ahley somewhat resembUng Shelley.

" tower " no longer


brick and

exists,

Mecocci, on Via del Fagiano, Leghorn.

but the house-top

commands the same

is

extensive view.

airy cell he wrote the principal part


* After the death of his son

Mrs. Shelley says, " In

oiThe Cenci."

William in

126

The

enclosed by a low parapet of

Rome on June

7th.

this

iORTRAlT

of Beatrice Cenci.

the Barberini Gallery,

In

Kome.

-See Preface to

"The

Cenci," p. 127.

THE YEAR

many hopes

All good wishes and


that success

1819

on which there

will

you have already

that

be no congratulations

more cordial than those you wUl receive from me.

FEOM THE PREFACE TO THE CENCI " i


On my

Eome

arrival at

I found that the story of the

Cenci was a subject not to be mentioned in Italian society

without awakening a deep and breathless interest ; and that


the feelings of the

company never

failed to incline to a

romantic pity for the wrongs^ and a passionate exculpation

which they urged her who has been

of the horrible deed to

common

mingled two centuries with the


of people
in the

knew the

overwhelming interest which

magic of exciting in the human

Guide's picture of Beatrice which

my

Colonna Palace, and


as the portrait of

La

it

heart.
is

All ranks

dust.

outlines of this history,

and participated

seems to have the


I had a copy of
preserved

in

the

servant instantly recognised

it

Cenci.

I endeavored whilst at

Eome

to observe

such monu-

ments of this story as might be accessible to a stranger.

The portrait of Beatrice


rable as a

work of

art

it

confinement in prison.
just representation of

But

there

May

Now

admi-

is

most interesting as a

is

a fixed and pale com-

ardent desire to have his tragedy presented on the london

was never realized during his

it

There

stage

7,

is

was taken by Guido during her

one of the loveliest specimens of the

workmanship of Nature.
1 Shelley's

Colonna Palace^

at the

life.

Its first

performance took place

1886, under the auspices of the Shelley Society.

in the Barberini Palace.


[

Ed.
127

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
posure upon the features

she seems sad and stricken down

in spirit^ yet the despair thus expressed is lightened by

Her head is bound with folds


of white drapery, from which the yeUow strings of her
golden hair escape, and fall about her neck.
The mouldthe patience of gentleness.

ing of her face


distinct

exquisitely delicate; the eyebrows are

is

and arched

the lips have that permanent meaning

of imagination and

sensibility

repressed and which

it

extinguish.

which suffering has not

seems as

Her forehead

is

if

death scarcely could

large and clear; her eyes,

which we are told were remarkable for their

vivacity, are

swollen with weeping and lustreless, but beautifully tender

and

serene.

Li the whole mien there

a simplicity and

is

dignity which, united with her exquisite loveliness and deep

sorrow, are inexpressibly pathetic.

Beatrice Cenci appears

to have been one of those rare persons in

whom

energy and

gentleness dwell together without destroying one another

her nature was

miseries in which she was an actor

the

mask and

The crimes and

simple and profound.

and a

sufferer are as

the mantle in which circumstances clothed

her for her impersonation on the scene of the world.

The Cenci Palace

and though

in part

modernised, there yet remains a vast and gloomy

pile of

is

of great extent;

feudal architecture in the same state as during the dreadful


scenes which are the subject of this tragedy.
is situated in

The

Palace

an obscure corner of Eome, near the quarter

of the Jews, and from the upper

windows you

see the im-

mense ruins of Mount Palatine half hidden under


profuse

overgrowth of

trees.

There

is

their

a court in one

part of the Palace ( perhaps that in which Cenci built the


[

128

THE YEAR
Chapel to

St.

1819

Thomas ), supported by

adorned with antique friezes of

fine

granite columns and

workmanship, and built

up, according to the ancient Italian fashion, with balcony

One

over balcony of open-work.

of the gates of the Palace

formed of immense stones and leading through a passage,


dark and lofty and

opening into gloomy subterranean

me

chambers, struck

particularly.

CLOSING SCENES OF "THE CENCI"


Beatrice

sentence for the murder of her

in prison awaiting

is

She

father.

there by her

is visited

brothers Bernardo and Giacomo, and

Act V.

Scene III

trice

The

discovered

is

stepmother

Lucretia,

her

by Cardinal Camillo.

Cell of a Prison.

asleep

on

BeaUnter

cotich.

Bernardo.
Bernardo.

How

gently slumber rests

Like the

last

upon her

face.

thoughts of some day sweetly spent

Closing in night and dreams, and so prolonged.


After such torments as she bore last night.

How

light

and

shall never sleep again.

But I must shake the heavenly dew of

From

this sweet folded flower,

What,

sister,

Ah me

soft her breathing comes.

Methinks that I

thus

rest
.

wake

awake

canst thou sleep ?

I was just dreaming

That we were
This

cell

all in

Thou knowest

Paradise.

seems like a kind of Paradise

After our father's presence,


9

129

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Bernardo.
Dear, dear

Would

How

that thy

shall

dream were not a dream

sister,

God

tell ?

Beatrice.

What

wouldst thou

tell,

sweet brother ?

Berri,ardo.

Look not

so calm and happy, or even whilst

I stand considering what I have to say

My

heart will break.


Beatrice.

See now, thou mak'st

How

me weep

very friendless thou wouldst be, dear child,

Say what thou hast to

If I were dead.

say.

Bernardo.

They have confessed


The

tortures

they could endure no more

Beatrice.

Ha

What was

there to confess ?

They must have told some weak and wicked

To

flatter tlieir

Have

tormentors.

That they were guilty

white Innocence,

That thou shouldst wear the

mask

of guilt to hide

Thine awful and serenest countenance

From

those

who know

lie

they said

thee not
[

130

THE YEAR

1819

Enter Judge with Lucketia and Giacomo, guarded.


Ignoble hearts!

Por some brief spasms of pain, which are

As mortal

as the limbs

at least

through which they pass.

Are centuries of high splendour laid in dust

And

that eternal honour which should live

Sunlike, above the reek of mortal fame,

Changed to a mockery and a bye- word

What

Will you give up these bodies to be dragged

At

horses' heels, so that our hair should

The

footsteps of the vain

Who,

may make our

that they

sweep

and senseless crowd,


calamity

Their worship and their spectacle, will leave

The churches and the

As

their

own

hearts

theatres as void

Shall the light multitude

Fling, at their choice, curses or faded pity.

Sad funeral flowers to deck a living corpse.

Upon us

And

we pass

as

leave

to pass away,

what memory of our having been

Infamy, blood, terror, despair

Who

Brother,
let

lie

is

Let not her wrongs

down with me upon

kill thee

the rack.

us each be silent as a corpse

It soon will

'T

thou.

wert a mother to the parentless.

Kill not thy child

And

be as soft as any grave.

but the falsehood

Makes the rack

it

can wring from fear

cruel.

[131

Even from
For

will tear the truth

thee at last, those cruel pains

pity's sake say

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

They

thou art guilty now.


Imcretia.

Oh, speak the truth

And

He

will

Let us

God

after death

all

quickly die

our judge, not they

is

have mercy on

us.

Bernardo.
If indeed
It can be true, say so, dear sister

And then the Pope


And aU be well.

will surely

mine

pardon you,

Judge.
Confess, or I will warp

Your limbs with such keen

tortures

Beatrice.

Tortures

The rack henceforth

Torture your dog, that he

may

tell

when

last

He

lapped the blood his master shed

My

pangs are of the mind, and of the heart,

not

And of the soul ay, of the inmost soul.


Which weeps within tears as of burning gall
;

To

see, in this ill

My
And

into a spinning wheel

world where none are true.

kindred false to their deserted selves.


with considering

all

the wretched

133

life

me

Turn

c ENCI

PALACE

at

Eome.

See Preface to " The Cenci," p. 128.

THE YEAR

1819

Which I have livedo and its now wretched end,


And the small justice shown by Heaven and Earth
To me or miae ; and what a tyrant thou

And what

slaves these

and what a world we make.

The oppressor and the oppressed

My

What

answer.

art,

such pangs compel

thou wouldst with

is it

me ?

Judge.

Art thou not guilty of thy father's death ?


Beatrice.

Or

God

wilt thou rather tax high judging

That he permitted such an act as that

Which

Made

An

I have suffered, and which he beheld;

it

unutterable, and took from

it

refuge, all revenge, all consequence.

But that which thou hast

Which

is

Which

either I

or

Say what ye
If ye desire

And

No

not what

is

men

my

father's death ?

call a crime.

have done, or have not done

will.
it

called

I shall deny no more.

thus, thus let

so an end of

all.

it

Now

be.

do your will

other pains shall force another word.

Judge.

She

Be

is

it

convicted, but has not confessed.

enough.

Until their final sentence

Let none have converse with them.

You, young Lord,

Linger not here


BeaVrice.

Oh, tear him not away


[

133

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Judge.

Guards

do yoar duty.

Bernardo {embracing Beatrice).

Oh
Body from

would ye divide

soul ?
Officer.

That

the headsman's business.

is

\Exev,nt all hut Luceetia,

Beatrice, and Giacomo.


Giacomo.

Have

No

I confessed ?

hope

Which

No

Is

father

Ay, thee
In

over

now ?

weak, wicked tongue

refuge ?

hast destroyed me, would that thou hadst been

Cut out and thrown

My

it all

to dogs first

To have

and then betrayed

first,

my

sister

killed

the one thing innocent and pure

this black guilty

So well deserve

world

My

wife

Destitute, helpless, and I

to that which I

my

little

Father

ones

God

Canst thou forgive even the unforgiving,

When

their full hearts break thus, thus

[Covers his face and weeps.

Lmretia.

my
To what

Why

dreadful end are

did I yield

Those torments

Why

we

all

come

did I not sustain

Oh, that I were

all

Into these fast and unavailing tears.

Which

flow and feel not


[

134

dissolved

child

THE YEAR

!!

1819

Beatrice.

What
'T

't

was weak to do

weaker to lament, once being done

is

Take cheer

The God who knew my wrong, and made

Our speedy

act the angel of his wrath.

Seems, and but seems, to have abandoned us.

Let us not think that we shall die for

me

near

Brother,

sit

You had

a manly heart.

give

me your

Bear up

this.

firm hand.

Bear up

dearest Lady, put your gentle head

Upon my

lap,

and

try to sleep awhile

Your

eyes look pale, hollow, and overworn.

With

heaviness of watching and slow grief.

Come, I

Not

will sing

you some low,

cheerful, nor yet sad

sleepy tune.

some dull old thing.

Some outworn and unused monotony,


Such
Till

as our country gossips sing

they almost forget they live

Have

and

spin.

lie

down

So, that

wiU

Faith

They are sadder than I thought they were.

do.

I forgot the words ?

SONG
Palse friend, wilt thou smile or weep

When my

asleep ?

life is laid

Little cares for a smile or a tear.

The

clay-cold corpse

Farewell

What
There

And

is

upon the

bier

Heigho

is this

whispers low

a snake in thy smile,

my

bitter poison within thy tear.


[

135

dear

WITH SHELLEY
Sweet

Or

if

sleep,

ITALY

IN

were death like to thee.

thou couldst mortal be,

I would close these eyes of pain

When

to

Never again.

wake ?

O World

Farewell

Listen to the passing bell


It says, thou

With

and I must

part.

a light and a heavy heart.

[The scene closes^

SCENE

rV.

Hall of the

Prison.

Enter Ca-

MiLLO and Besnaedo.


Camillo.

The Pope

He

is

stem ; not

to be

Which tortures and which


From aught that it iniiicts

rite,

He
Of

moved

looked as calm and keen as

a law, a custom

frowned,

as if to

his machiaery,

is

kills,
;

or bent.

the engine

exempt

itself

a marble form,

not a man.

frown had been the trick

on

l3ie

advocates

Presenting the defences, which he tore

And

threw behind, muttering with hoarse, harsh voice

" Which among ye defended their old father


Killed in his sleep ?

Dost

"

this in virtue of

Then

to another

thy place;

" Thou

'tis well."

He turned to me then, looking deprecation,


And said these three words, coldly " They must
:

Bernardo,

And

yet

you

left

him not?
[

136

die."

THE YEAR

1819

I urged him

still

wrong

Pleading, as I could guess, the devilish

Which prompted your unnatural parent's


And he replied " Paola Santo Croce

death.

Murdered

And

he

his

mother yester evening.


Parricide grows so rife

is fled.

That soon, for some just cause no doubt, the young


Will strangle us

all,

dozing in our chairs.

Authority, and power, and hoary hair

Are grown crimes

You come
Here

are

the letter,

it

be

my

nephew.

moment

stay a

me more

sentence ; never see

is their

Till, to

You

capital.

to ask their pardon

all fulfilled."

Bernardo.

God, not so
That

all

I did believe indeed

you said was but sad preparation

For happy news.

To bend

Now

I forget

them

What think you


His

feet

Oh, there are words and looks

the sternest purpose

if

at

my

I seek

Once

him

out,

and robe with hot and

He

bitter tears ?

May
And

me

with bis pastoral cross, and trample

prostrate head, so that

stain the senseless dust

remorse waken mercy

Oh, wait

his brain

perpetual cries, until in rage

strike

Upon my

them.

and bathe

Importune him with prayers, vexing

With my

I* knew

dearest need.

till

my

blood

on which he
I will do

I return

treads.

it

\_BusJies out.
[

137

;! !

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Gamillo.

Alas

poor boy

wrect-devoted seaman thus miglit pray

To

the deaf sea.

Enter Luoeetia, Beatrice, and Giacomo, guarded.


Beatrice.

I hardly dare to fear

That thou bring'st other news than a just pardon.


Gamillo.

May God
To

in heaven be less inexorable

the Pope's prayers, than he has been to mine.

Here

is

the sentence and the warrant.

Beatrice {wildlif).

Oh,

My God
To

Can

it

be possible I have

die so suddenly ?

Under the

To be
To

down

nailed

see

So young

How

go

wormy ground

into a narrow place

muse not again

familiar thoughts, sad, yet thus lost


fearful

What ?

to be nothing

Oh, where

am

Or

Let

to be

me

Sweet Heaven, forgive weak thoughts

No

no more sweet sunshine ; hear no more

Blithe voice of living thing

Upon

to

obscure, cold, rotting,

God, no Heaven, no Earth

not go
!

mad

If there should be

in the void world

The wide, grey, lampless, deep, unpeopled world


If

aU things then should be ...


[

138

my

father's spirit,

o
t-l

CO

t-l

THE YEAR
His

If sometimes, as a shape

my

more

dead

in grey hairs

And wind me

me

life

like himself.

Even the form which tortured me on

Masked

: !

1819

touch surrounding

eye, his voice, his

The atmosphere and breath of

earth.

and wrinkles, he should come


and

in his hellish arms,

fix

me down, down, down

His eyes on mine, and drag

For was he not alone omnipotent

On

and ever present

earth,

Does not

Even

tho' dead.

his spirit live in all that breathe.

And work

for

me and mine

the same ruin.

still

Who

Scorn, pain, despair ?

ever yet returned

To teach the laws of death's untrodden realm

Unjust perhaps as those which drive us now.

Oh, whither, whither

Imcretia.

Trust in God's sweet love.

The tender promises of Christ

ere night.

Think, we shall be in Paradise.


Beatrice.

'T

Whatever comes

And

How

yet, I

my

past

know not why, your words

tedious, false

and cold seem

Have met with much

Wo

is

heart shall sink no more.

all

world

made by God

or man,

Or any power moulding my wretched


I

am

things.

injustice in this

difference has been

'T wixt good or

strike chill

evil, as

lot,

regarded me.

cut off from the only world I know,

[139

::

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

rrom light, and life, and love, in youth's


You do well telling me to trust in God,
In whom

I hope I do trust in him.

Can any

And

trust ?

yet

my

heart

sweet prime.

else

is cold.

Giacomo has

\_Durinff the latter speeches

retired,

conversing with Camillo, who now goes out;

Giacomo advances.
Giacomo.

Know you

not,

Mother

Bernardo even now

The Pope

is

Sister,

know you not ?

gone to implore

to grant our pardon,

Ltocretia.

Child, perhaps

We

It will be granted.

To make

may

then

all

live

these woes a tale for distant years

Oh, what a thought

It gushes to

my

heart

Like the warm blood.


Beatrice.

Yet both
Oh, trample out that thought

Worse than

the bitterness of death,

It is the only

Upon

ill

is

despair,

hope

which can find place

the giddy, sharp, and narrow hour

Tottering beneath us.

That

will soon be cold.

Worse than

it

Plead with the swift frost

should spare the eldest flower of Spring

Plead with awakening earthquake, o'er whose couch

Even now

Now

a city stands, strong, fair, and free

stench and blackness yawn,


[

140

Uke

death.

Oh, plead

!!

THE YEAR
With

1819

famine, or wind-walking Pestilence,

man

Blind lightning, or the deaf sea, not with

manj

Cruel, cold, formal

No, Mother, we must

In deeds a Cain.

righteous in words.
die

Since such is the reward of innocent lives.

Such the alleviation of worst wrongs.

And

whilst our murderers live,

and hard, cold men.

Smiling and slow, walk thro' a world of tears

To death as

to life's sleep

Were some strange joy

And wind me

me to

rock

Live ye,

who

As we were

Come, obscure Death,

for us.

in thine all-embracing arms

Like a fond mother hide

And

were just the grave

't

me

in thy bosom,

the sleep from which none

once,

wake

subject to one another

live,

who now

[Beenaedo

rushes in.

Bernardo.

Oh,
That

tears, that looks, that

Even

till

the heart

Should aU be vain

is
!

hope poured forth

The

Blood on the face of one

Soon the heart's blood of

ministers of death

all

I thought I saw

What

if 't

were only

me

let

me

rain.

if 't

were fancy ?

I love on earth

Will sprinkle him, and he will wipe

As

in prayer,

vacant and despairs.

Are waiting round the doors.

Cover

horrible,

life

be no more

world

it off

To

see

That perfect mirror of pure innocence

Wherein I gazed, and grew happy and good,

[141]

WITH SHELLEY
Shivered to dust

Wtio made

Thee, light of

life

To hear I have no

Whose
Dead

To

all lovely
.

see thee^ Beatrice,

thou didst look upon


dead, dark

sister

love was as a

while I say, " Sister,"

and thou, Mother,

bond to

our loves

all

The sweet bond broken

IN ITALY

Unter Camillo and Guards.

They come
Kiss those

warm

Are blighted

lips before their


.

white

You

Say

cold.

Death chokes that gentle voice

Let me

crimson leaves

Oh,

let

farewell, before

me

hear

speak
Beatrice.
Farewell,

Of our sad

fate

my

tender brother.

with gentleness, as

And

let mild,

Thy

sorrow's load.

But

tears

now

Think

pitying thoughts lighten for thee

Err not in harsh

and patience.

despair,

One thing more, my

child,

Por thine own sake be constant to the love

Thou

bearest us

and to the

faith that I,

Tho' wrapt in a strange cloud of crime and shame.


Lived ever holy and unstained. And tho'

HI tongues

Be

as a

shall wound me, and our common name


mark stamped on thine innocent brow

For men to point

at as they pass,

do thou

Forbear, and never think a thought unkind


Of those who perhaps love thee in their
graves.

So mayest thou die as I do, fear and


pain
Being subdued. PareweU FareweU
!

142

Farewell

|5

t!^

THE YEAR

1819

Bernardo.
I cannot say farewell

Camillo.

O Lady Beatrice

Beatrice.

Give yourself no unnecessary pain.

My
My

dear Lord Cardinal.

Here^ Mother,

me, and bind up

girdle for

this hair

In any simple tnot

And

coming down.

yours I see

Have we done

We
We

shall not

is

ay, that does well.

this for

do

it

one another

My

any more.

are quite ready.

tie

Well,

't is

How

often

now

Lord,

very well.

THE END.

FEAGMENT
ON THE MEDUSA OF LEONARDO DA VINCI IN THE
FLORENTINE GALLERY
I

It

lieth,

gazing on the midnight sty.

Upon

the cloudy mountain peak supine;

Below, far lands are seen tremblingly


Its horror

Upon

its lips

and
and

its

beauty are divine.

eyelids seems to

lie

Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine.

Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath.

The agonies of anguish and


[ 14.3 J

of death.

; ;

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

n
Tet

the horror than the grace

it is less

Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone


Whereon the lineaments of that dead face
Are graven,
Into

itself,

the characters be

till

grown

and thought no more can trace

'T is the melodious hues of beauty thrown

Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain.

Which humanise and harmonise

the strain.

m
And from

its

As

head as from one body grow.

grass out of a watery rock.

Hairs which are vipers, and they curl and flow

And their long tangles in each other


And with unending involutions show
Their mailed radiance, as

The

torture

The

solid air with

it

lock.

were to mock

and the death within, and saw

many a ragged jaw.


IV

And, from a stone

beside, a poisonous eft

Peeps idly into those Gorgonian eyes

Whilst in the

Of
Out

air a ghastly bat, bereft

sense, has flitted with a

mad

of the cave this hideous light

And he comes

hastening like a

surprise

had

cleft.

moth

that hies

After a taper; and the midnight sky


Elares, a light

more dread than


[ 144 ]

obscurity.

THE YEAR

1819

'T is the tempestuous loveliness of terror

For from the serpents gleams a brazen


Kindled by that inextricable

Which makes
Become

Of

a thrilling vapour of the

air

and ever-shifting mirror

the beauty and the terror there

all

glare

error,

woman's countenance, with serpent

locks.

Gazing in death on heaven from those wet rocks.

LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY

The fountains mingle with the river


And the rivers with the ocean.
The winds

mix

of heaven

for ever

With a sweet emotion


Nothing

AU

in the world

is

single

things by a law divine

In one

spirit

Why not

meet and mingle.

I with thine

II
See, the mountains kiss high heaven

And the waves clasp one another


No sister-flower would be forgiven
If
10

it

disdained
[

its

brother,

145

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

And the sunlight clasps the earth


And the moonbeams kiss the sea
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not

me?

ODE TO THE WEST WIND

wiu) West Wind, thou breath of Autumn'iS

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

Who

chariotest to their

The winged

Each

lie

cold and low.

like a corpse withia its grave, until

Thine azure

Her

where they

seeds,

thou.

dark wintry bed

the Spring shall blow

sister of

clarion o'er the

dreaming earth, and

fill

(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)

With

living hues

1 This

poem was

and odours plain and

hill

conceived and chiefly written in a

wood

that skirts the

Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose
temperature

is

at once

mUd

and animating, was

which pour down the autumnal


with a violent tempest of

hail,

rains.

and

They began,

rain, attended

collecting

the vapours

as I foresaw, at sunset

by that magnificent thun-

der and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.

The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well


known to naturalists. The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and
of lakes, sympathises with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is con-

sequently influenced by the winds which announce


[

146

it.

Shblley's Note.

"VS/^OODS

of the Cascine and the River Arno, near Florence.

" This poem was conceived and chiefly


Arno, near Florence."

written in a

wood

that skirts the

Shelley's Note to the " Ode to the West Wind," p.l46.

THE YEAR
Wild

Spirit,

which

art

1819

moving everywhere

Oh

Destroyer and preserver ; hear,

hear

II

Thou on whose

stream, "mid the steep sky's commotion,

Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed.

Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,


Angels of rain and lightning

On

there are spread

the blue surface of thine airy surge.

Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge


Of the horizon to the zenith's height
The locks

Of

of the approaching storm.

Thou

dirge

the dying year, to which this closing night

Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,

Yaulted with

all

thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose

solid

Black

hail will burst

rain,

and

fire^

and

atmosphere
:

Oh

hear

Ill

Thou who

didst

waken from

his

Summer dreams

The blue Mediterranean, where he

LuUed by

the coil of his crystalKne streams.

Beside a pumice

And saw

lay,

isle in Baise's

in sleep old palaces

bay.

and towers

Quivering within the wave's intenser day,


[

147

; ;

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers

So sweet, the sense

faints picturing

For whose path the Atlantic's

level

them

Thou

powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below

The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear

know

The

sapless foliage of the ocean,

Thy

voice,

And

tremble and despoil themselves

and suddenly grow grey witb

fear,

Oh

hear

IV
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee

A wave

to pant beneath thy power,

The impulse

Than

thou,

The comrade

As

then,

of thy strength, only less free

I were as in

uncontrollable

my

lift

fall

me

If even

of thy wanderings over heaven.

when

to outstrip thy skiey speed


;

I would ne'er have striven

thus with thee in prayer in

Oh,
I

boyhood, and could be

Scarce seemed a vision

As

and share

my

sore need.

as a wave, a leaf, a cloud

upon the thorns

of

life

I bleed

heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed

One

too like thee

tameless,

[148

and

swift,

and proud.

! !

THE YEAR

1819

V
Make me thy lyre,
What if my leaves
The tumult

even as the forest

is

own ?

are falling like its

of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone.


Sweet though in sadness.

My

spirit

Drive

Be thou. Spirit
Be thou me, impetuous one

my

fierce.

dead thoughts over the universe

Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth

And, by the incantation of


Scatter, as

this verse.

from an unextinguished hearth

Ashes and sparks,

Be through my
The trumpet

my

words among mankind

lips to

unawakened earth

of a prophecy

Wind,

Winter comes, can Spring be

If

far

behind

THE INDIAN SERENADE i


I ARISE from dreams of thee

In the

first

sweet sleep of night.

When the winds are breathing low.


And the stars are shining bright
1

The Indian Serenade, written probably

until after Shelley's death,


Shelley's

in 1819i but not published

was found together with a volume of Keats on

body when washed ashore by the

sea.

The manuscript was

amined by Kobert Browning in 1857, who wrote of


religiously

but the characters are

all

but

illegible,

it,

" It

is

and I needed a strong

magnifying-glass to be quite sure of those that remain.

The end

is

that I

have rescued three or four variations in the reading of that divine

poem

as one reads

it,

at least, in the

Posthumous Poems."

149

ex-

preserved

little

!
;

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

I arise from dreams of thee.

And

a spirit in

Hath

led

me

my

feet

who knows how

To thy chamber window. Sweet


II

The wandering

airs

they faint

On the dark, the silent stream


And the Champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts

The

in a

dream

nightingale's complaint.

It dies

upon her heart

As

beloved as thou art

must

on

die

thine,

Ill

Oh

lift

I die

me from
I faint

the grass

fail

Let thy love in kisses rain

On my

My
My
Oh

lips

cheek

and eyelids

is

pale.

cold and white, alas

heart beats loud and fast;


!

press

"Where

it to

it will

thine

own

break at

[150]

again,

last.

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

ri
S

(I.

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

LEGEOBN; PISA

INTRODUCTORY

y fAD

f M

Shelky's powers been

and
by

less intuitive,

innately poetic

this time, since his productions hitherto

fallen upon an
"

this time

less

they must have been silenced

indifferent or hostile world.

But from

forward, for the short remainder of his

was never

circle

life,

he

of fmding sympa-

to be without the assurance

thy from an inner

had

Early

of appreciative friends.

in the year 1820, the Shelleys established themselves at

Pisa ; " so Pisa, you


birds,''''

see, has become a little nest of singing


Mrs. Shelley writes in the following year.

In the main,
himself that

it

made

was the magnetic personality of Shelley


Lord Byron had left Ravenna
it so.

Arno

and taken a large and handsome palace

across the

and nearly

of renewing his
drew Thomas

opposite, for the sole purpose

companionship with Shelley

Medwin,

Shelley''s

the

same

desire

second cousin and collaborator at the

age of Jifteen in some verses called " TTie Wandering


Jew.''''
Medwin's friends. Captain and Mrs. Edward
Williams, charmed by Medwin's tales of his cousin's inspired boyhood, his genius, his virtues,

and

his sufferings,

came from Switzerland and took apartments in the same


house with Shelley, while their friend Captain

[153]

Edward

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Trelawney soon made a welcome addition

to the

Besides these English friends, there were

Sgricd

Italians Vaccd the physician,

and

Greek

the

group.

famous

the improvisatore,

For a

Mavrocordato.

prince

SheUey''s admiration

the

tim,

of ByrorCs powers, which he con-

ceived to be far greater than his own, rather stifled his

genius and discouraged him from undertaking any long

But

work.

liberation

poem

Prince Mavrocordato, and his part in the

to

of

Greece, is directly due the " Hellas,""

in which Shelley once

more seized

the opportunity

favorite theme, the regeneration of manTrelawney, of " knight-errant aspect, dark, hand-

to return to hts

kind.

some and moustachised^'' appealed

and
in

it is

the enchanted isle

of

"

As for

his imagination,

that appears

" Fragments of an Unfinished Drama^'' as the

the

pirate

to

of Trelawney

the idealized portrait

He

was as

As

terrible

is the

sun in his fierce youth.

and hvely as

is

the tempest."

new friends, the Williamses,


who speedily
in the familiarity of daily
become " Ned " and " Jaru:
the lives of the four now become so closely
intercourse,
the

""

bound in community of

interests that henceforth one

hardly be considered apart from the others.

of

the

Of the

can

lady

" Ijpipsychidion^'' mention already has been made

in the Introduction.

At

Pisa, as usual, Shelley

found for himself an

out-

(f-door retreat where he could be alone with his muse.

Between Pisa and the sea-coast a dense forest, known as


Trelawney in his " Recol-

the Pineta, stretches for miles.


lections'"

has told how, after much search, he discovered


[

154

"

THE YEARS
Shelley there one day

AND

1820

among

1821

the pines, near

of dark, glimmering water, by


hat, books, and hose papers.

the side

a deep pool

of which lay a

" The strong light streamed through the opening


of the trees.
One of the pines, undermined hy the water, had fallen into it.
Under its lee, and nearly hidden, sat the poet gazing on the dark
beneath,

and so

my footstep.

lost in his

He

hardisk reverie that he did not hear

mas writing

verses on

up a fragment, hut could only make out


'

Ariel to Miranda

I picked

guitar.

the first two lines

Take

This slave of music'

In

the summer, Pisa was exchanged for Leghorn with


country walks through " lanes whose myrtle hedges were

its

the bowers

of fireflies^ and where

they sing only for the poet

the skylarks

sang as

or for the Baths of

Giuliano at the foot of the Pisan Mountains.

San

" The Boat

on the Serchio " preserves not only a picture of the life at


the Baths, but also some fwndamental features of Shelley's
t^iought.
Surely no " atheist " he who wrote:

" All

rose to do the task

Who shaped

He

set to each

us to His ends

and not our own."

Here news reached them of the death of John Keats at


RoTne.
Sympathy with a brother-poet whose treatment
by the world had been so like his own, and admiration of
the

supreme poetical gifts now forever silenced, were the


of the " Adonais,"" by Shelley himself modestly

inspiration

appraised as " the least imperfect of my compositions.''^

The poem

is

much concerned with

almost as

himself as with Keats.


self-portrait in stanzas

No

one fails

to

XXXI-XXXIV,
[

155

Shelley

recognize his

and

own

the last

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

own fate

stanza seems almost a premonition of his


swiftly to

follow:

so

" The breath whose might I have invoked in song


Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given.
The massy earth and sphered skies are riven !

lam

borne darkly, fearfully, afar!

Whilst, burning through the inmost veil of heaven,

The soul of Adonais, like a star,


Beacons from the abode where the Eternal

are.

Leghoen, July

We

are Just

now occupying

12, 1820.

the Gisbornes' house

at

Leghorn^ and I have turned Mr. Eeveley's^ wortshop

my

into

The Libeccio

study.

of fiends all day,


all hot, the

just pleasant,

is

Greek romances.

The

Longus; but they are

them

best of

all

much

with

translating in ottava

quality
1

Of

My

tion.

at

course

rima the "

my

the pastoral of

and

Hymn

to

ornate.

Mercury "

am
of

stanza precludes a literal transla-

next effort will be that

much

is

pleasure the

very entertaining, and would be

delightful if they were less rhetorical

Homer.

not

days being very misty, and the nights divinely

I have been reading

serene.

here howls like a chorus

and the weather

it

should be legible

to be desired in translations.

Mr. and Mrs. Gisbome were old friends and had

offered their house

for the use of the Shelleys during their absence in England.


^

Henry Beveley, an engineer and the son

of Mrs. Gisborne by a former

marriage.
"

Libeccio

is

the hot wind which blows from the southwest at this part

of the Italian coast.

[156

THE YEARS
I am

1820

AND

1821

told that the magazines, etc., blaspheme

why

me

at a

great rate.

I wonder

reads them.

It is a kind of disorder, for which the regu-

lar practitioners prescribe

I write verses, for nobody

what is called a torrent of abuse,

but I fear that can hardly be considered a

specific.

I enclose two additional poems, to be added to those


printed at the end of

you

to

some expressions

teenth stanzas

in the

and

fifteenth

six-

and that you would do me the favour

to

might not know what to do in case he

for fear Oilier

objected

" Prometheus/' and I send them

to

insert an asterisk or asterisks with as little expense to the

sense as

may

make two

The

be.

other

poem I send

to you, not to

letters.

LETTEE TO MAEIA GISBOENE^


Leghden, July

The

1, 1820.

spider spreads her webs, whether she be

In poet's tower,

The silk-worm

cellar,

in the

or barn, or tree

dark green mulberry leaves

His winding sheet and cradle ever weaves j


So

a thing

I,

whom

Sit spinning still

Prom

No

moralists call

worm.

round this decaying form.

the fine threads of rare and subtle thought

net of words in garish colours wrought

To catch the idle buzzers of the day


But a soft cell where, when that fades away,
1

Kfteenth and sixteenth stanzas of the Ode to Uberty

publisher.

^ This

Ed.

poem was

written from Mrs. Gisbome's

ceding prose letter serves to explain

many

own

Oilier is the

house.

The

of the aUosions of the poem.

[157]

pre-

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Memory may clothe in wings my living name


And feed it witli the asphodels of fame,
Which in those hearts which must remember me
Grow, making love an immortality.

Whoever should behold me now, I

Would

wist.

think I were a mighty mechanist.

Bent with sublime Archimedean

To
Of some machine

art

breathe a soul into the iron heart

Which by
Its

portentous, or strange gin.

the force of figured spells might win

way over the

sea,

and sport therein

For round the walls are hung dread engines, such

As Vulcan never wrought


Ixion or the Titan

Wit

of that

To convince

Or

man

for Jove to clutch

or the quick

of God, St. Dominic,

Atheist, Turk, or Heretic,

those in philanthropic council met.

Who

thought to pay some interest for the debt

They owed to Jesus Christ

By

for their salvation.

giving a faint foretaste of

To Shakespeare,

Who made

damnation

Sidney, Spenser, and the rest

our land an island of the

When
On Freedom's

lamp-like Spain,
hearth,

With thumbscrews,

blest.

who now relumes

her

grew dim with Empire

fire
:

wheels, with tooth and spike and

jag.

Which fishers found under the utmost crag


Of Cornwall and the storm-encompassed isles.
Where to the sky the rude sea rarely smiles

[158

THE YEARS

1820

AND

mom

Unless in treacherous wrathj as on the

When

1821

the exulting elements in scorn

Satiated with destroyed destruction, lay

Sleeping in beauty on their mangled prey.

As panthers

sleep

and

other strange and dread

Magical forms the brick floor overspread,

More

figures, or

Such shapes of

Of

tin

more strange; nor did he take

unintelligible brass.

Or heap himseK

And

make

Proteus transformed to metal did not

mass

in such a horrid

and iron not to be understood ;

forms of unimaginable wood.

To puzzle Tubal Cain and


Great

screws,

brood

all his

and cones, and wheels, and grooved

blocks.

The elements of what wiU stand the shocks

Of wave and wind and

time.

More knacks and quips

To

But

bowl of wood

quicksilver ; that

When

the table
I

there

catalogise in this verse of

pretty

Upon
be than
mine

am

able

not full of wine.

dew which

the

gnomes drink

at their subterranean toil they swink.

Pledging the demons of the earthquake, who

Eeply to them in lava

And

call

out to the

Eoofs, towers, and

cry

" halloo "


!

cities o'er their

shrines, the

This quicksilver no

The walnut bowl

and then

their sides

veined and thin,

[159]

all

and laugh.

gnome has drunk

it lies,

dying and the dead.

Crash through the chinks of earth

Another rouse, and hold

head,

within

quaff

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
In colour

like the

wake

of light that stains

The Tuscan deep, when from the moist moon


The inmost shower
Is

still

And

of

blue heaven

its

white

fire

rains

the breeze

smiles over the pale seas.

in this bowl of quicksilver

for I

Yield to the impulse of an infancy

I have made

hollow screw with cogs Henry


The
I mean and laugh
me,
Outlasting

A
A

manhood

to float

rude idealism of a paper boat

will

thing

at

if so.

Next

He fears

not I should do more mischief.

Lie

and calculations much perplext.

bills

With

know

steam-boats, frigates, and machinery quaint

Traced over them in blue and yellow paint.

Then comes a range of mathematical


Instruments, for plans nautical and statical

A heap of rosin,
With ink

(What

in it;

it will

a queer broken glass

a china cup

that

was

never be again, I think,)

thing from which sweet Ups were wont to drink

The liquor doctors


Will quaff in

We

'11

And
Near

and which I
them and when we

rail at

spite of

die

up who died first of drinking tea.


" heads or tails ? " where'er we
out,

toss

cry

that a dusty paint box,

A half-burnt match,

some odd hooks,

an ivory block, three books,

Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms.


To great Laplace, from Sannderson and Sims,
Lie heaped in their harmonious disarray

Of

figures,

be.

disentangle

them who may.

[160

THE YEARS
Baron de

Tott's

Memoirs beside them

And some odd volumes


Near those a most

With
I

I'm

conjecturing

understand

leave, as Spenser says,

vast a matter for so

And

lie.

of old chemistry.

This secret in the pregnant

Too

1821

inexplicable thing,

lead in the middle

How to make Henry


'11

AND

1820

but no

" with many mo,"

womb

of time.

weak a rhyme.

here like some weird Archimage

sit I,

Plotting dark spells and devilish enginery,

The

self-impelling steam-wheels of the

Which pump up
The gentle

mind

oaths from clergymen, and grind

spirit of

our meek Eeviews

Into a powdery foam of salt abuse,


Ruffling the ocean of their self-content

sit

and

But not

With an

for

smile or sigh as

them

is

my

bent.

Libeccio rushes round

inconstant and an idle sound,

I heed him more than them.


Is gathering

The thunder-smoke

on the mountains, like a cloak

Folded athwart their shoulders broad and bare

The

ripe corn under the undulating air

Undulates like an ocean ;

Are trembling wide in

The murmur

and

all their trellised lines

of the awakening sea doth

The empty pauses

of the blast

Looks hoary through the white

And from

the vines

electric rain,

the glens beyond, in suUen strain.

The interrupted thunder howls ; above

fill

the hill

161

;
;

WITH SHELLEY
One chasm

On

of heaven smiles^ like the eye of

the unquiet world

How

ITALY

IN

while such things

Love
are,

could one worth your friendship heed the war

Of worms ? the shriek

of the world's carrion jays.

Their censure, or their wonder, or their praise

You

are not here

In vacant

chairs,

the quaint witch

Memory

sees

your absent images,

And

points where once

But

are not.

you

I demand

Shall meet as then

if

we met

sat,

ever

and now should be

we

and

she replies,

Veiling in awe her second-sighted eyes

"I know

the past alone

My

sister

Hope,

But

I,

Every

but summon home

she speaks of

all

to come."

an old diviner, who knew well


false verse of that

sweet oracle.

Turned to the sad enchantress once again,

And

sought a respite from

my

gentle pain.

In citing every passage o'er and o'er

Of our communion

We

how on

the sea-shore

watched the ocean and the sky together.

Under the roof of blue

How

I ran

Italian weather

home through

last year's thunder-storm.

And felt the transverse lightning linger warm


Upon my cheek
and how we often made

Peasts for each other, where good will outweighed

The

frugal luxury of our country cheer.

As well it might, were it


Than ours must ever be ;

less firm

and clear

and how we spun

shroud of talk to hide us from the sun


[

162 J

THE YEARS
Of

this familiar life,

But

Of

is notj

all

or

we would

The jarring and

Of

this

is

which seems to be

believe,

and sadly blame

inexplicable frame

wrong world

and

then anatomise

of

"Were closed in distant years

men whose

eyes

or widely guess

issue of the earth's great business.

When we

(Like babbling gossips

You

sigh,

listened to

safe,

who hear

but tremble not)

in joy

the war

or how

and pain

Struck from the inmost fountains of


little skill

some interrupted flow

Adsionary rhyme,

With

be as we no longer are

shall

Of winds, and
Of

1821

but quaint mockery

The purposes and thoughts


The

AND

1820

perhaps

or

my

brain.

how we sought

Those deepest wells of passion or of thought

Wrought by

wise poets in the waste of years.

Staining their sacred waters with our tears

Quenching a

Or how

I,

thirst ever to

wisest lady

be renewed

then indued

The language of a land which now

And winged

is free.

with thoughts of truth and majesty,

Elits

round the tyrant's sceptre

And

bursts the peopled prisons, and cries aloud,

"

My

name

is

Legion!'"

Which Calderon
Of ages and

An

that majestic tongue

over the desert flung

of nations

and which found

echo in our hearts, and with the sound

Startled oblivion.

As

like a cloud.

is

a nurse

Thou wert then

when

inarticulately

[163]

to

me


WITH SHELLEY
A

child

would talk as

its

IN -ITALY

grown parents

do.

If living winds the rapid clouds pursue.


If

hawks chase doves through the

Huntsmen the innocent

Why
Out

deer,

ethereal way.

and beasts

should not we rouse with the

their prey,

spirit's blast

of the forest of the pathless past


^

These recollected pleasures

In London, that great

whose ebb and flow

You
At once

is

Vomits

its

Yet in

its

sea,

Among

wrecks, and

howls on for more.

still

depth what treasures

fallen

and

fallen

You wiR

see

greater none than he

on

evil times

to stand

the spirits of our age and land,

Before the dread tribunal of

The foremost,

You

now

deaf and loud, and on the shore

That which was Godwin,^

Though

are

come

while Eebuke cowers pale and dumb.

will see Coleridge^

In the exceeding

to

lustre,

he who

sits

obscure

and the pure

Intense irradiation of a mind.

Which, with

its

own

internal lightning blind.

Flags wearily through darkness and despair

A cloud-encircled meteor of the air,


A hooded eagle among blinking owls.
1

In

tlie

preceding Summer, at Mrs. Gisbome'a suggestion, Shelley be-

gan the study of Spanish, and they joined in a daily reading of Calderon.
Shelley, at that time,

had some thought of translating some of

Calderon's

plays into English.


2

Godwin, author of " Political Justice" and fether-in-law of

' Shelley's

acquaintance with Coleridge was but slight.

164

Shelley.

";

THE YEARS
You

Hunt ^

will see

"Which are the

AND

1820

one

of those

Is

is,

still

With

And
And
The

what others seem ;

happy souls

it is

whom

a tomb

room no doubt

his

adorned by many a cast from Shout,

graceful flowers tastefully placed about

coronals of bay from ribbons hung.

brighter wreaths in neat disorder flung

most leam'd among some dozens

gifts of the

Of female

friends, sisters-in-law,

and cousins.

And there is he
Which beat the

with his eternal puns.

Thundering

money

Alas

Or

1821

and without

salt of the earthy

This world would smell like what

Who

; ;

it is

for

dullest brain for smiles, like duns

no use to

oft in graver

at a poet's door

" I 'm poor

say,

mood, when he

will

look

Things wiser than were ever read in book.

Except in Shakespeare's wisest tenderness.

You

Hogg,^ and I cannot


though I know

will see

His virtues,

express

that they are great.

Because he locks, then barricades the gate

Within which they inhabit

of his wit

And wisdom, you '11 cry out when you


He is a pearl within an oyster shell.
One

of the richest of the deep

Is English

Peacock

i'

and

there

with his mountain fair

Turned into a Flamingo


That gleams

are bit.

the Indian

that shy bird

air.

Have you not heard

James Leigh Hunt, the most intimate of Shelley's Mends.


Thomas Jefferson Hogg, a schoolfellow and later Shelley's biographer.

'

Thomas Love Peacock,

to

whom

most of the Letters from Italy are

addressed.

[165]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
When

man

marries, dies, or turns Hindoo,

His best friends hear no more of him

but you

Will see him, and will like him too, I hope,


the milk-white Snowdonian Antelope

With

Matched with

Makes such

this

a wound, the knife

his fine wit

is lost in it

strain too learned for a shallow age.

Too wise

for selfish bigots; let his page

Which charms
Fold

Of

cameleopard

itself

up

the chosen spirits of the time.


for the serener clime

years to come, and find

In that just expectation.


Virtue and

Make
Are

Wit and
all

sense,

that might

world a business of delight.

combined in Horace Smith

With some
Your

recompense

human knowledge ;

this dull

all

its

.-^

And

these.

exceptions, which I need not tease

patience

by descanting

You and I know

in

on,

are all

London.
I recall

My thoughts,
As water

and bid you look upon the

Fills the void, hollow, universal air

What

see

night.

does a sponge, so the moonlight

you ?

unpavilioned heaven

Whether the moon,

into her

is fair

chamber gone.

Leaves inidnight to the golden

stars, or

wan

Climbs with diminished beams the azure steep

Or whether
Piloted
1

clouds

sail o'er

the inverse deep,

by the many -wandering


One

of

tlie

blast,

authors of " Rejected Addresses."

[166]

THE YEARS
And

AND

1820

the rare stars rush through them

All this

is

But what

beautiful in

you beside ?

see

Of hackney coaches

every land.

1821

dim and

fast

a shabby stand

brick house or wall

Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl

Of our unhappy poUtics

wretched

woman

or worse

reeling by, whose curse

Mixed with the watchman^s, partner of her .trade.

You must

accept in place of serenade

Or yellow-haired PoUonia murmuring


To Henry, some

I see

unutterable thing.

a chaos of green leaves and fruit

Built round dark caverns, even to the root

Of

the living stems that feed them, in whose bowers

There sleep in their dark dew the folded flowers

Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn


Trembles not in the slumbering

In

and borne

and ever-changing dance.

circles quaint,

Like winged

air,

stars the fire-flies flash

and glance.

Pale in the open moonshine, but each one

Under the dark

trees

A meteor tamed,
From

seems a

the silver regions of the milky

Afar the contadino's song

is

Which cannot be
I know none else
Because

it is

now

way ;

heard,

Eude, but made sweet by distance

sun,

little

a flxed star gone astray

and a

bird

the nightingale,^ and yet


that sings so sweet as

it

July, and nightingales are not supposed to sing later

tlan June in Italy, save when the weatlier


[

167]

is

cool

and their haunts shady.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
At

this late

Now

hour

Italy or

and then

all is still.

London, which you

will

Next Winter you must pass with me

My

house by

Of dead despondence and low-thoughted

And
Oh

all

With

We
And
As

Hogg, Peacock, and Smith were

every thing belonging to them fair

will

Ijave

care.

the dreams which our tormentors are

that Hunt,

I '11

that time turned into a grave

there.

have books, Spanish, Italian, Greek

make another week


I 'm unlike mine.

ask one week to

like his father, as

Which is not his fault, as you may divine.


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

And

jellies

Feasting on which

And we '11
To thaw

And
Oh
!

and mince-pies.

other such lady-like luxuries,

have

we

will philosophise

out of the Grand Duke's wood.

fires

the six weeks' winter in our blood.

then we '11 talk

what

there are themes

shall

we

talk about ?

enough for many a bout

Of thought-entangled descant ;
as to nerves
With cones and parallelograms and curves
I've sworn to strangle them

To bother me

when you

if

once they dare

me there.
And they shall never more sip laudanum.
From Helicon or Himeros ^
well, come,
are with

1 'l/ifpos (river Himera)

is,

witt a shade of difference, a synonyme of Love.


[

168

THE YEARS
And

in despite of

We

make our

'11

God and

1821

of the devil,

friendly philosophic revel

Outlast the leafless time

Warn

AND

1820

till

buds and flowers

the obscure inevitable hours,

Sweet meeting by sad parting to renew ;


" To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new."

THE CLOUD
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.

Erom my wings

are shaken the

The sweet buds every

When

rocked to rest on their mother's breast,

As

she dances about the sun.

I wield the

And
And

sift

of the lashing hail,

in rain.

it

laugh as I pass in thunder.

the snow on the mountains below.

And

And

flail

whiten the green plains under.

then again I dissolve

And
I

dews that waken

one.

all

their great pines

the night

While I

't is

my

sleep in the

Sublime on the towers of


Lightning

my

In a cavern under
It struggles

groan aghast ;

pillow white,

arms of the

my

blast.

skiey bowers.

pilot sits.

is

fettered the Thunder,

and howls
[

169

at fits
]

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion.


This pilot

is

guiding me.

Lured by the love of the Genii

that

move

In the depths of the purple sea

Over the

and the crags, and the

rills,

Over the lakes and the

hills.

plains.

Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,

The

And

Spirit he loves remains

I aU the while bask in heaven's blue smile,

Whilst he

The sanguine

And

is

dissolving in rains.

Sunrise, with his meteor eyes.

his burning

Leaps on the back of

When
As on

plumes outspread.

my

sailing rack,

the morning star shines dead.

the jag of a mountain crag.

Which an earthquake rocks and


An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the

swings,

light of its golden wings.

And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath.
Its ardours of rest

And

and of

the crimson pall of eve

love,

may

fall

From the depth of heaven above.


With wings folded I rest, on my airy nest.
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white

Whom

Glides glimmering o'er

By

fire

laden.

mortals call the Moon,

my

fleece-like floor.

the midnight breezes strewn

[170]

; ;

THE YEARS
And

AND

1820

1821

wherever the beat of her unseen

Which

May
And

feet,

only the angels hear.

have broken the woof of

The

stars

my

tent's thin roof.

peep behind her and peer;

I laugh to see them whirl and

flee.

Like a swarm of golden bees.

When

I widen the rent in

Till the

Like

calm

strips of the

my

wind-built tent.

and

rivers, lakes,

sky fallen through

seas.

me on

Are each paved with the moon and

high,

these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone.

And

the Moon's with a girdle of pearl

The Volcanoes are dim, and the

When
From

the Whirlwinds

Stars reel

my

and swim,

banner unfurl.

cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape".

Over a torrent

sea.

Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,

The mountains

its

columns be.

The triumphal arch through which I march

With

When

hurricane,

fire,

and snow.

the powers of the air are chained to

Is the million-coloured

The

Sphere-fire above

my

chair.

bow

its soft

colours wove.

While the moist Earth was laughing below.

am

the daughter of Earth and Water,

And

the nursling of the

Sky

I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores


I change, but I cannot

[171

die.

;!

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
For

after the rain

The pavilion

And the

when with never a


of heaven

is

stain^

bare,

winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,

Build up the blue dome of


I silently laugh at

And

my own

air,

cenotaph.

out of the caverns of rain.

Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild

again.

it

TO A SKYLAEK
Hail

to thee, blithe spirit

Bird thou never wert.

That from heaven, or near


Pourest thy
in.

profuse strains of unpremeditated

Higher

still

From

the earth thou springest


fire

The blue deep thou


singing

still

art.

and higher

Like a cloud of

And

it,

full heart

Tvingest,

dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of

the sunken sun.

O'er which clouds are brightning,

Thou dost

float

and run

Like an embodied joy whose race


[

172

is

just begun.

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

The pale purple even


Melts around thy

Like a

flight

star of heaven.

In the broad daylight

Thou

art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

Keen

Of

as are the arrows

that silver sphere.

Whose

lamp narrows

intense

In the white dawn


Until

we hardly

see,

we

clear,

feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy

voice

As, when night

From one
The moon

is

is

loud,

bare.

lonely cloud

rains out her beams,

and heaven

is

What thou art we know not;


What is most like thee ?
From rainbow clouds there flow
Drops

overflowed.

not

so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a

rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the

light of thought.

Singing hymns unbidden,


Till the

world

To sympathy with hopes and


[

is

wrought

fears

173

it

heeded not

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace-tower^
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour

With music

sweet as love, which overflows her bower

Lite a glow-worm golden


In a

dell of

dewj

Scattering unbeholden
Its aerial

Among

hue

the flowers and grass, which screen

it

from the

view:

Like a rose embowered

own green leaves,


By warm winds deflowered,
In

its

Till the scent it gives

Makes

faint

with too

much

sweet these

heavy-winged

thieves

Sound of vernal showers

On

the twinkling grass,

Eain-awakened flowers.
All that ever was

Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass

Teach

us, sprite or bird.

What

sweet thoughts are thine

I have never heard


Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so

[174

divine,

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

Chorus Hymeneal,

Or triumphal
Matched with

chaunt.

would be

thine,

But an empty vaunt

A thing wherein

we

all

some hidden want.

feel there is

"What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy

strain ?

What fields, or waves,


What shapes of sky
What

love of thine

or mountains ?

or plain ?

own kind ? what ignorance

With thy

clear

of pain

keen joyance

Languor cannot be

Shadow of annoyance
Never came near thee

Thou

lovest

but ne'er knew love's sad

Waking
Thou

satiety.

or asleep.
of death

must deem

Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream.

Or how could thy

We

notes flow in such a crystal stream

look before and

And
Our

after.

pine for what

is

not

sincerest laughter

With some
Our

pain

is

fraught;

sweetest songs are those that

thought.
[

175

tell

of saddest

WITH SHELLEY
Yet

if

we could

ITALY

IN

scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;


If

know

things born

we were

Not to shed a tear,


how thy joy we ever should come

not

Better than

Of

all

near.

measures

delightful sound.

Better than

all

treasures

That in books are found.

Thy

skill to

poet were, thou scorner of the ground

me

Teach

half the gladness

That thy brain must know.

Such harmonious madness

Prom my
The world should

lips

would

flow.

listen then, as

am

listening now.

ODE TO LIBEETY
Yet, Freedom, yet thy banner torn but flying

Streams

like a

tbunder-starm against the wind.

Btbon.
I

GLOEious people vibrated again

The lightning

From

of the nations

Liberty

heart to heart, from tower to tower, o'er Spain,

Scattering contagious

Gleamed.

My

fire

into the sky.

soul spurned the chains of its dismay,

And, in the rapid plumes of song.


Clothed

itself,

sublime and strong


[

176

THE YEARS
As

young eagle

soars the

Hovering in verse
Till

The

from

AND

1821

morning clouds among.


accustomed prey

o'er its

its station

in the heaven of

whirlwind rapt

Spirit's

Of

1820

fame

and the ray

it,

the remotest sphere of living flame

Which paves

the void was from behind

As foam from

A voice

a ship's swiftness,

out of the deep

it

when

flung.

there

came

I wiU record the same.

II

" The Sun and the serenest Moon sprang forth

The burning

were hurled

stars of the abyss

Into the depths of heaven.

The

dsedal earth,

That island in the ocean of the world.

Hung

in its cloud of all-sustaining air

But

Was

this divinest universe

yet a chaos and a curse,

Eor Thou wert not

but, power from worst producing

worse.

The

spirit of the beasts

was tindled

thefe.

And of the birds, and of the watery forms,


And there was war among them, and despair

Within them, raging without truce or terms

The bosom of

their violated nurse

Groaned, for beasts warred on beasts, and worms on

worms.

And men on men ;

each heart was as a hell of storms.

177

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
in
'

Man, the imperial

shape, then multiplied

His generations under the pavilion

Of

the Sun's throne

Temple and
Were,

palace and pyramid,

prison, to

many a swarming

million,

as to mountain-wolves their ragged caves.

human

This

living multitude

"Was savage, cunning, blind, and rude.

For Thou wert not ; but


Like one

fierce

o'er the

populous solitude.

cloud over a waste of waves

Hung Tyranny

beneath, sate deified

The sister-pest, congregator of slaves


Into the shadow of her pinions wide.

Anarchs and

priests

who

feed on gold and blood.

Till with the stain their

inmost souls are dyed.

Drove the astonished herds of men from every

side.

IV
'

The nodding promontories, and blue

And
Of

cloud-like mountains,

isles.

and dividuous waves

Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles

Of favouring heaven

from their enchanted caves

Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.

On
The

the unapprehensive wild


vine, the corn, the olive mild.

Grew, savage

And,

yet, to

human

use unreconciled;

like unfolded flowers beneath the sea,

Like the man's thought dark in the


Like aught that

is

which wraps what


-[

178

infant's brain.
is

to be,

THE YEARS

AND

1820

Art's deathless dreams lay veiled

Of Parian stone; and,

1821

by many a vein

yet a speechless child,

Yerse murmured, and Philosophy did strain

Her

" Athens

lidless eyes for

arose

Thee

when

o'er the

Mgean main

a city such as vision

Builds from the purple crags and sUver towers

Of battlemented

cloud, as in derision

Of kinghest masonry
Pave

it

the ocean-floors

the evening sky pavilions

it

Its portals are inhabited

By
Within

thunder-zoned winds, each head

its

divine

cloudy wings with sunfire garlanded,

work

Gleamed with

Of man,

as

Athens diviner yet


its crest

of columns, on the will

on a mount of diamond,

For Thou wert, and thine


Peopled, with forms that

mock

In marble immortality, that

Which was

set

all-creative skill

the eternal dead


hill

thine earliest throne

and

latest oracle.

VI
" Within the surface of Time's
Its

fleeting river

wrinkled image Hes, as then

Immovably

it

lay

unquiet, and for ever

It trembles, but it cannot pass

away

The voices of thy bards and sages thunder

With an earth-awakening
Through the caverns

blast

of the past

[179]

winged sound of

Which

One ocean

With

Oppression shrinks aghast


love,

and wonder.

and time asunder

veil of space

feeds the clouds,

illumines heaven
life

and

joy,

soars where Expectation never flew,

Eending the

One sun

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Eeligion veils her eyes

one

and streams, and dew;

spirit vast

and love makes chaos ever new.

As Athens doth

the world with thy delight renew.

VII
'

Then Eome was, and from thy deep bosom

fairest.

Like a wolf-cub from a Cadmsean Msenad,

She drew the milk of greatness, though thy dearest

From that Elysian food was yet unweaned ;


And many a deed of terrible uprightness
By thy sweet love was sanctified
And in thy smile, and by thy side.
Saintly Camillus lived,

But when

And
Thou

and firm Attilius died.

tears stained thy robe of vestal whiteness.

gold profaned thy capitolian throne.

didst desert, with spirit-winged lightness,

The

senate of the tyrants

Slaves of one tyrant

Palatinus sighed

Faint echoes of Ionian song

Thou

they sunk prone

that tone

didst delay to hear, lamenting to disown.

vni
'

From what Hyrcanian glen or frozen hill,


Or piny promontory of the Arctic main,
Or utmost islet inaccessible.
Didst thou lament the ruin of thy reign,

[180

S-'

k s

S'

a
3 g

=0

^ ^

SI,

o f

h,

<

<5^

S "S

^a
f

^'

'

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

Teaching the woods and waves^ and desert rocks.

And
To
Of

every Naiad's ice-cold urn.

talk in echoes sad and stem,

man had

that subUmest lore which

dared unlearn ?

For neither didst thou watch the wizard

Of the

What

if

flocks

Scald's dreams, nor haunt the Druid's sleep.

the tears rained through thy shattered locks

Were

quickly dried?

for

thou didst groan, not

weep

When

from

its

sea of death to kill

The Gahlean serpent

And made

and bum.

forth did creep,

thy world an undistinguishable heap.

IX
"

thousand years the Earth

cried,

'

Where

art

thou ?

And then the shadow of thy coming fell


On Saxon Alfred's olive-cinctured brow:
And many a warrior-peopled citadel.
Like rocks which

fire lifts

Arose in sacred

Frowning

Of

out of the

flat

deep.

Italy,

o'er the

tempestuous sea

kings, and priests, and

slaves,

in

tower-crowned

majesty

That multitudinous anarchy did sweep

And

burst around their walls, like idle foam.

Whilst from the human

spirit's

deepest deep

Strange melody with love and awe struck

Dissonant arms ; and Art, which cannot

With

divine

wand

dumb

die.

traced on our earthly

home

Fit imagery to pave heaven's everlasting dome.


[

181

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

X
" Thou huntress

Of the

swifter than the

world's wolves

Moon

thou terror

thou bearer of the quiver,

Whose sunlike shafts pierce tempest-winged Error,


As light may pierce the clouds when they dissever
In the calm regions of the orient day

Luther caught thy wakening glance

Like lightning, from his leaden lance


Reflected,

it

dissolved the visions of the trance

In which,

And

as in a

tomb, the nations lay ;

England's prophets hailed thee as their queen

In songs whose music cannot pass away,

Though

it

must flow

for ever.

Not

unseen.

Before the spirit-sighted countenance

Of Milton,

didst thou pass

from the sad scene

Beyond whose night he saw, with a

dejected mien.

XI
" The eager Hours and unreluctant Tears

As on

a dawn-illumined mountain stood.

Trampling to

silence their

loud hopes and

fears,

Darkening each other with their multitude.

And

cried aloud. Liberty

Indignation

Answered Pity from her cave


Death grew pale within the grave.

And Desolation howled to the destroyer. Save


When, like heaven's sun girt by the exhalation
Of

its

own

glorious light, thou didst arise.

Chasing thy foes from nation unto nation


[

182

;:
:

THE YEARS
Like shadows

as if

At dreaming midnight

Men

1820

AND

1821

day had cloven the skies

o'er the western wave^

started, staggering with a glad surprise,

Under the lightnings

of thine unfamiliar eyes.

XII
'

Thou heaven

of earth

In ominous

what

spells

could pall thee then,

eclipse ? a thousand years

Bred from the slime of deep oppression's den.

Dyed
Till

thy liquid light with blood and tears,

all

thy sweet stars could weep the stain away

How

like

Eound

Bacchanals of blood

France, the ghastly vintage, stood

Destruction's sceptred slaves, and Polly's mitred brood

When

one, like them, but mighter far than they.

The Anarch of thine own bewildered powers


Eose

armies mingled in obscure array.

Like clouds with clouds, darkening the sacred bowers

Of

He, by the past pursued,

serene heaven.

Eests with those dead but unforgotten hours

Whose

ghosts scare victor kings in their ancestral

towers.

XIII
'

England yet
Spain

sleeps

calls

was she not caUed of old

her now, as with

its thrilling

thunder

Vesuvius wakens ^tna, and the cold


Snow-crags by
O'er the

lit

its

reply are cloven in sunder

waves every ^olian

From

isle

Pithecusa to Pelorus

Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus


[

183

WITH SHELLEY
They cry, 'Be dim, ye lamps

IN ITALY

of heaven suspended o'er us I'

chains are threads of gold, she need but smile.

Her

And

they dissolve

Till bit to

but Spain's were links of

dust by virtue's keenest

Twins of a single destiny

To

steel.

file.

appeal

the eternal years enthroned before us.

In the dim West ; impress us from a


All ye have thought and done

seal.

Time cannot dare conceal.

XIV
" Tomb of Arminias
Till, like a

render up thy dead.

standard from a watch-tower's

staff,

His soul may stream over the tyrant's head

Thy victory shall be his epitaph


Wild Bacchanal of truth's mysterious
!

wine.

King-deluded Germany,

His dead

Why

spirit lives in thee

do we fear or hope ? thou art already free

And thou, lost Paradise of this divine


And glorious world thou flowery wilderness
!

Thou

island of eternity

Where

thou shrine

desolation clothed with loveliness,

Worships the thing thou wert

Italy,

Gather thy blood into thy heart ; repress

The

beasts

who make

their dens thy sacred palaces.

XV
" Oh,

that the free

Of King
So that

Were

would stamp the impious name

into the dust

this blot

or write

upon the page

of

it there.

fame

as a serpent's path, which the light air


[

184

; ;

THE YEARS
Erases, and the

Ye

flat

AND

1820

sands close behind

1821

the oracle have heard

Lift the victory-flashing sword,

And

cut the snaky knots of this foul gordian word.

Which weak

itself as stubble, yet

can bind

Into a mass, irrefragably firm.

The axes and the rods which awe mankind


The sound has poison

Of what makes

life foul,

in

it, 't is

the sperm

cankerous, and abhorred

Disdain not thou, at thine appointed term.

To

set thine

armed

heel on this reluctant

worm.

XVI
" Oh, that the wise from

their bright

Such lamps within the dome of

this

minds would kindle

dim world,

That the pale name of Pkibst might shrink and dwindle


Into the hell from which
,

scoff of

was hurled,

it flrst

impious pride from fiends impure

Till

human thoughts might

kneel alone

Each before the judgment-throne

Of

its

own

aweless soul, or of the

Power unknown

Oh, that the words which make the thoughts obscure

From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew


From a white lake blot heaven's blue portraiture.
Were stript of their thin masks and various due
And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own,
TiU in the nakedness of

They stand before

false

and true

their Lord, each to receive its

185

due

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

xvn
" He who

man

taught

Can be between the

to vanquish whatsoever
cradle

Crowned him the King of


on

If

He

his

own high

and the grave

Oh, vain endeavour

Life.

will, a willing slave.

has enthronecL the oppression and the oppressor.

What

if

earth can clothe and feed

Amplest millions

at their need,

And power in thought be as the tree within


Or what if Art, an ardent intercessor.
Driving on

fiery

the seed ?

wings to Nature's throne,

Checks the great mother stooping to caress her.

And
Over

all

cries

Give me, thy

'

height and depth ' ?

New wants,

if

child,

dominion

Life can breed

and Wealth, from those who

Eend, of thy

gifts

and

toil

and groan

hers, a thousand-fold for one ?

xvni
" Come Thou

but lead out of the inmost cave

Of man's deep

spirit, as

the morning-star

Beckons the Sun from the Eoan wave.

Wisdom.

I hear the pennons of her car

Self-moving, like cloud charioted by flame

Comes she

not,

and come ye not.

Rulers of eternal thought.

To judge, with solemn

truth, life's ill-apportioned lot ?

Blind Love, and equal Justice, and the

Of what has
Liberty

if

been, the

Hope

such could be thy name

[186]

Fame

of what will be?

1-3

2 S o

s s s.

g-

-1

s fa-

THE YEARS
Wert thou

1820

AND

1821

disjoined from these, or they from thee

If thine or theirs were treasures to be bought

By blood or tears,
Wept tears, and

have not the wise and free


blood

like

tears ?

"

The solemn

harmony

XIX
Paused, and the Spirit of that mighty singing

To

its

abyss was suddenly withdrawn

Then, as a wild swan, when sublimely winging


Its

path athwart the thunder-smote of dawn.

Sinks headlong through the aerial golden light

On the heavy sounding plain.


When the bolt has pierced its
As Summer
As

a brief insect dies with dying day,

song,

its

Drooped ;

Of

a far taper fades with fading night,

As

My

brain

clouds dissolve, unburthened of their rain

pinions disarrayed of might.


o'er it closed the echoes far

the great voice which did

As waves which

lately

its flight

paved

away

sustain.

his watery

way

Hiss round a drowner's head in their tempestuous play.

Naples, Jan.

Since you last heard from me,

Pompeii, and are waiting


weather, to
1

This letter

visit,
is

first,

now

26, 1819.1

we have been

to

see

for the return of Spring

Psestum, and then the islands;

inserted here,

out of

its

chronological order,

comment and explanation of allusions in the Ode


following.
The poem was written more than a year later.
nishing

187

to

as fur-

Naples

WITH SHELLEY
which we

after

Eome.

shall return to

at the remains of this city

IN ITALY

I had no conception of any-

My

thing so perfect yet remaining.

its

destruction was this

it,

and unroofed almost

First,

all

mode

idea of the

of

an earthquake shattered

and

temples,

its

light, small

columns; then a rain of

I was astonished

split, its

pumice stones

fellj

then torrents of boiling water, mixed with ashes, filled up

crevices.

all its

was excavated,
see the

is

wide,

now

tombs and the

flat hill,

from which the

theatres, the temples

and the houses,

surrounded by the uninhabited wilderness.


the town from the side towards the sea, and
theatres

city

covered by thick woods, and you

We

entered

first

saw two

one more magnificent than the other, strewn

with the ruins of the white marble which formed their

and cornices, wrought with deep, bold

seats

In

between the stage and the

the front,

cular

space, occasionally occupied

by the chorus.

stage is very narrow, but long, and divided

space by a narrow enclosure parallel to


the orchestra.

On

sculpture.

seats, is the cir-

it,

from

The
this

I suppose for

each side are the consuls^ boxes, and

below, in the theatre at Herculaneum, were found two


equestrian statues of admirable workmanship, occupying

the same place as the great bronze lamps did at Drury

Lane.

The

smallest of the theatres is said to have been

From both you

comic, though I should doubt.

you

sit

on the

seats, a

see, as

prospect of the most wonderful

beauty.

You

then pass through the

very narrow, and the

ancient streets;

houses rather small, but

they are
all

con-

structed on an admirable plan, especially for this climate.

L 188 J

THE YEARS
The rooms

AND

1820

1821

are built round a court, or sometimes two,

according to the extent of the house.

In the midst

is

a fountain, sometimes surrounded with a portico, supported on fluted columns of white

stucco;

paved with mosaic, sometimes wrought


vine leaves, sometimes in quaint

the floor

is

in imitation

of

and more or

figures,

according to the rank of the inhabitant.

less beautiful,

There were paintings on

but most of them have been

all,

removed to decorate the royal museums.

winged

Little

and small ornaments of exquisite elegance, yet

figures,

There

remain.

an ideal hfe in the forms of these

is

paintings of an incomparable loveliness, though most are

work of very

evidently the
if,

It seems as

inferior artists.

of mental beauty which sur-

from the atmosphere

rounded them, every human being caught a splendour

In one house you

not his own.

were managed;
cushions

see

how

the bed-rooms

small sofa was built up, where the

were placed

two

pictures,

one representing

Diana and Endymion, the other Venus and Mars, decorate


the chamber
of a

and a

domestic god.

niche, which contains the statue

little

The

floor

is

composed of a

rich

mosaic of the rarest marbles, agate, jasper, and porphyry


it

looks

to

marble

the

fountain

and the snow-white

columns, whose entablatures strew the floor of the portico


they supported.

The houses have only one

story,

apartments, though not large, are very lofty.

advantage
cities.

results

The

from

this,

wholly

unknown

public buildings, whose ruins are

as it were of white fluted columns,

and the

now

great

in

our

forests

and which then sup-

ported entablatures, loaded with sculptures, were seen on

[189]

WITH SHELLEY
all sides

IN

ITALY
This was the ex-

over the roofs of the houses.


the

of

celleace

comparatively moderate ;
senators of Pompeii

the dwelling of one of the chief


elegant indeed^

is

most beautiful specimens of


public buildings are

were

Their private expenses

ancients.

art,

and adorned with

But

but small.

their

everywhere marked by the bold and

In the

grand designs of an unsparing magnificence.

little

contained about twenty thousand

town of Pompeii

(it

inhabitants),

wonderful to see the number and the

it

is

grandeur of their public buildings.

Another advantage,

too, is that, in the present case, the glorious scenery


is

around

not shut out, and that, unlike the inhabitants of the

Cimmerian ravines of modern


peians

cities,

heaven; could see the

and the sun

moon

set in the sea,

rise

Pom-

ancient

We next

high behind Vesuvius,

tremulous with an atmosphere

of golden vapour, between Inarime

pius

the

could contemplate the clouds and the lamps of

saw the temples.

Of

and Misenum.
the temple of jEscula-

remains but an altar of black stone, adorned

little

His

with a cornice imitating the scales of a serpent.


statue in terra-cotta,

of Isis is

more

was found in the

perfect.

The temple

cell.

It is surrounded

by a

of fluted columns, and in the area around


altars,

and many ceppi for statues; and a

of white stucco, as hard as stone, of the

proportion;

its

relief, slightly

delicate

it

little

most

exquisite

workmanship the most

Egyptian subjects, executed by a Greek


all

two

chapel

panels are adorned with figures in bas-

indicated, but of a

and perfect that can be conceived.

harmonised

portico

are

artist,

They

are

who

has

the unnatural extravagances of the original

[190

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

conceptioa into the supernatural loveliness of his country's


genius.

They

scarcely touch the

ground with

their feet,

and their -wind-uplifted robes seem in the place of wings.

The temple

on a high platform, and

in the midst, raised

approached by steps, was decorated with exquisite paintings,

some of which we saw in the museum at

Portici.

same materials

with a

It is small, of the

as the chapel,

pavement of mosaic, and fluted Ionic columns of white


stucco, so white that

it

you

dazzles

to look at

it.

Thence through other porticos and labyrinths of walls


and columns (for I cannot hope to
you), we came to the Forum.

everything to

detail

This

is

a large square,

surrounded by lofty porticos of fluted columns, some


broken,

them.
temple,

some

entire,

their

The temple of

strewed under

entablatures

Jupiter,

the Tribunal, and the

of Venus, and another

Hall of Public Justice,

with their forests of lofty columns, surround the Forum.

Two

enormous

pedestals or altars of an

they supported equestrian

statues, or

whether

size (for,

were the

altars of

the temple of Venus, before which they stand, the guide

could not tell) occupy the lower end of the Forum.

At

the upper end, supported on an elevated platform, stands

Under the colonnade

the temple of Jupiter.

we

sat,

and pulled out our oranges, and

and medlars (sorry

fare,

Here was a magnificent

you

will say),

spectacle.

of

figs,

its

portico

and bread,

and rested

to eat.

Above and between

the multitudinous shafts of the sunshining columns was

seen the sea, reflecting the purple heaven of

and supporting, as

it

were, on

its

noon above

line the

it,

dark lofty

mountains of Sorrento, of a blue inexpressibly deep, and

[191

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY

tinged towards their summits with streaks of new-fallen

Between was one small green

snow.

To the

island.

was Capreee, Inarime, Prochyta, and Misenum.

right

Behind

was the single summit of Vesuvius, rolling forth volumes


of thick white smoke, whose foam-like column was some-

times darted into the clear dark sky, and

fell

in

little

Between Vesuvius' and the nearer

streaks along the wind.

mountains, as through a chasm, was seen the main line of

The day was

the loftiest Apennines, to the east.

and warm.

ranean thunder of Vesuvius


to shake the very air

and

its

distant deep peals seemed

light of day,

trated our frames, with the sullen

This

know, was a Greek


;

and the

were portals, as

which animates
it

inspired.

What

and tremendous sound.

They

city).

interstices of their
it

(Pompeii, you

harmony with

lived in

incomparable columns

were, to admit the spirit of beauty

this glorious universe to visit those

If such

whom

was Pompeii, what was Athens?

scene was exhibited from the Acropolis, the Par-

thenon, and the temples of


the

which interpene-

scene was what the Greeks beheld

nature

radiant

Every now and then we heard the subter-

Winds ?

The

tains of Argolis,

islands

Hercules, and Theseus, and

and the iEgean

the

moun-

and the peaks of Pindus and Olympus,

and the darkness of the Boeotian

Prom

sea, the

Porum we went

forests interspersed ?

to another public place j a

triangular portico, half inclosing the ruins of an enormous

on the edge of the

temple.

It

is

the

That black point

sea.

built

is

hill

the temple.

overlooking

In the apex

of the triangle stands an altar and a fountain, and before


the altar once stood the statue of the builder of the por[

192

1-3

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

Eeturning hence, and following the consular road,

tico.

we came

to the eastern gate of the city.

The

walls are of

enormous strength, and inclose a space of three

On

miles.

each side of the road beyond the gate are built the

tombs.

How

unlike

ours

They seem not

hiding-places for that which

chambers for immortal

them

beautiful,

especially

with exquisite bas-reliefs.

much

so

as voluptuous

They are of marble,

spirits.

and two,

white;

antly

must decay,

On

the

radi-

loaded

are

stucco-wall that in-

emblematic figures of a

relief

exceed-

ingly low, of dead and dying animals, and

little

winged

closes

genii,

little

and female forms bending in groups in some funeral

The higher

ofiice.

ject,

are

one a nautical sub-

reliefs represent,

and the other a Bacchanalian one.

Within the

cell

stand the cinerary urns, sometimes one, sometimes more.


It

is

said that paintings were found

within; which are

now, as has been everything moveable in Pompeii,

moved, and scattered about in royal museums.

tombs were the most impressive things of

woods surround them on

either side

all.

Autumn

The wild

and along the broad

stones of the paved road which divides them,


late leaves of

re-

These

you hear the

shiver and rustle in the stream of

the inconstant wind, as

it

were, like the step- of ghosts.

The radiance and magnificence

of these dwellings of the

dead, the white freshness of the scarcely finished marble,


the impassioned or imaginative

life

of the figures which

adorn them, contrast strangely with the simplicity of the


houses of those

who were

living

when Vesuvius

over-

whelmed them.
I have forgotten the amphitheatre, which
13

193

is

of great

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
much

magnitude, though

now understand why


and, above

all,

to

inferior

Coliseum.

the

I can account,

it

seems to me, for the

harmony, the unity, the perfection, the uniform


lence, of all their

the Greeks were such great poets;

works of

They

art.

excel-

lived in a perpetual

commerce with external nature, and nourished themselves

upon

Their theatres were

the spirit of its forms.

to the

mountains and the sky.

types of a sacred forest, with

admitted the light and wind

its
;

open

roof of interwoven tracery,

the odour and the freshness

of the country penetrated the cities.

Their temples were

mostly upaithric ; and the flying clouds, the

deep sky,

all

Their columns, the ideal

was seen above.

stars, or the

0, but for that

wretched wars which terminated in the

Roman

series of

conquest of

the world; but for the Christian religion, which put the
finishing

on the ancient system; but for those

stroke

changes that conducted Athens to

its ruin,

to

what an

eminence might not humanity have arrived

In a short time I hope to

museum of this
Ton see how

ill

in its literal sense

"prope

res est

tell

you something

of the

city.

I follow the

maxim

" nil admirari "

una"

of Horace, at least

which I should

say,

to prevent there ever being any-

thing admirable in the world.

Fortunately Plato

is

of

my

opinion; and I had rather err with Plato than be right

with Horace.

194

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

ODE TO NAPLES!
EPODE
I STOOD

And
Of

-witliia

the city disinterred ^

heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls

spirits

passing through the streets

The Mountain's slumberous voice


ThriU through those

roofless

and heard

at intervals

haUs

The oracular thunder penetrating shook

The
I

felt

my

listening soul in

suspended blood ;

through white columns glowed

that Earth out of her deep heart spoke

but heard not

felt,

The

A plane

isle-sustaining Ocean-flood,

of light between two

Heavens of azure

Around me gleamed many a

bright sepulchre

Of whose pure beauty. Time, as if his


Were to spare Death, had never made
But every

As

living lineament

was

in the sculptor's thought

The wreaths

pleasure
erasure i

clear

and there

of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine.

Like Winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow.

Seemed only not

to

Because the crystal

move and grow

silence of the air

Weighed on

their Hfe

Which then

lulled all things,

even as the Power divine

The Author has connected many

brooded upon mine.

recollections of his visit to

and BaisB with the enthusiasm excited by the


tion of a Constitutional

Government

Pompeii

intelligence of the proclama-

at Naples.

This has given a tinge of

picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and

some of the majestic

with the scene of this animating event.

feelings

permanently connected

Shbilet's Note.

^ Pompeii.

[195]

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
EPODE

Then

II

gentle winds arose

With many a mingled

close

Of wild iEolian sound and mountain-odour keen;

And where

the Baian ocean

Welters with airlike motion.

Within, above, around

Moving the

Even

its

bowers of starry green.

sea-flowers in those purple caves

as the ever stormless atmosphere

Floats o'er the Elysian realm,


It bore me, like an Angel, o'er the waves

Of

sunlight,

No
I

whose

swift pinnace of

dewy

air

storm can overwhelm.

sailed,

where ever flows

Under the calm Serene

spirit of

deep emotion

From the unknown graves


Of the dead kings of Melody.^
Shadowy Aornus darkened

o'er the

The horizontal ether ; heaven


Its depths over

Made
From

stript

helm
bare

Elysium, where the prow

the invisible water white as snow


that Typhsean mount, Inarime

There streamed a sunlight vapour, like the standard

Of some

ethereal host

Whilst from

all

the coast.

Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered


^

Homer and

The

Virgil.

island of IscMa.

196

<1
>-*>

re

!=i

^-1

^.

la

B re B
g p PB

THE YEARS

AND

1820

Over the oracular woods and divine

1821

sea

me
I must speak them be they

Prophesyings which grew articulate

They

seize

fate

STEOPHE a 1
Naples

thou heart of men which ever pantest

Nakedj beneath the

lidless eye of

heaven

Elysian City, which to calm enchantest

The mutinous

As

sleep

air

and sea

they round thee, even

round Love, are driven!

Metropolis of a ruined Paradise

Long

lost, late

won, and yet but half regained

Bright altar of the bloodless

sacrifice.

Which armed Victory offers up unstained


To Love, the flower-enchained
Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to

Now
If

art,

and henceforth ever

Hope, and Truth, and Justice can


Hail, hail,

avail.

all hail

STKOPHE

Thou youngest

Which from
Leap'st, clothed in

be.

shalt be, free.

/8

giant birth

the groaning earth

armour of impenetrable

scale

Last of the Litercessors

Who

'gainst the

Crowned Transgressors

Pleadest before God's love

Arrayed in Wisdom's mail.

Wave thy lightning lance in mirth


Nor let thy high heart fail,

[197]

WITH SHELLEY
Though from

their

!:

IN ITALY

hundred gates the leagued Oppressors,

With hurried
Hail, hail,

legions

move

all hail

ANTISTKOPHB a 1

What though Cimmerian Anarchs


Freedom and thee ? thy

To make

shield is as a mirror

their blind slaves see,

To turn

and with

new

devoured by

their

Gaze on oppression,

till

If

but gaze

more

shalt

earth's disk

for freemen mightier grow.

feeble,

gazing on their foe;

Hope and Truth and

Thou

be great

Justice

AU haU

iUSTTISTKOPHE

From Freedom's form


From Nature's inmost

may

avail.

divine.
shrine.

Strip every impious gawd, rend Error veil

by

veil

O'er Ruin desolate.


O'er Falsehood's fallen
Sit

hounds.

at that dread risk

Aghast she pass from the

slaves

own

like the imperial Basilisk

Killing thy foe with unapparent wounds

And

gleam

Actseon's error

Shall theirs have been

Pear not,

fierce

hungry sword upon the wearer

his

Be thou

dare blaspheme

state.

thou sublime, unawed ; be the Destroyer pale

And equal laws be thine.


And winged words let sail,

[198]

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

Freighted with truth even from the throne of

That wealth, surviving

Be

thine.

All

God

fate.

hail

ANTISTEOPHB a 7
Didst thou not

From

start to hear Spain's thrilling paean

land to land re-echoed solemnly,

Till silence

To

became music

From

the jEsean

the cold Alps, eternal Italy

Starts to hear thine

Which paves

The

sea

the desert streets of Venice laughs

In light and music ; Tiddowed Genoa wan

By

moonlight, spells ancestral epitaphs.

Murmuring, where

is

Doria ?

fair

Milan,

Within whose veins long ran

The

To

viper's ^ palsying

venom,

The

bruise his head.

lifts

signal

her heel

and the

seal

Hope and Truth and Justice can avail)


Art Thou of all these hopes.
O hail
(If

ANTISTEOPHB
Florence

Of

;8

beneath the sun.

cities fairest one.

Blushes within her bower for Freedom's expectation

From eyes of quenchless hope


Eome tears the priestly cope,
ruling
once by power, so now by admiration.
As

An

athlete stript to

From
1 iSaea,

run

a remoter station

the island of Circe.

The viper was the armorial

device of the Viscontij tyrants of Milan.

[199]

WITH SHELLEY
For the high prize

lost

oa

IN

ITALY

Philippi's shore

As then Hope, Truth, and Justice did avail.


hail
So now may Fraud and Wrong
!

EPODE

Hear ye the march

as of the

Earth-bom Forms

Arrayed against the ever-living Gods

The crash and darkness of a thousand storms


Bureting their inaccessible abodes

Of

crags and thunder-clouds ?

See ye the banners blazoned to the day.

Inwrought with emblems of barbaric pride ?


Dissonant threats

kiU. Silence far

away,

The serene Heaven which wraps our Eden wide

With
The Anarchs

iron light

is

dyed.

of the North lead forth their legions

Like chaos o'er creation, uncreating;

An

hundred

And

on strange

tribes nourished

lawless slaveries,

down

Of the white Alps,

religions

the aerial regionb

desolating,

Famished wolves that bide no waiting,


Blotting the glowing footsteps of old glory.

Trampling our columned

cities into dust,

Their dull and savage lust

On
They come

With

fire

Beauty's corse to sickness satiating


!

The

from

fields

their red feet the streams run gory

EPODE

II

Great Spirit, deepest Love

Which

they tread look black and hoary

rulest

and dost move


[

200

gg

iff
.2
ai

Si

S S

S=

!! !

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

All things which live and are, within the Italian shore;

Who

spreadest heaven around

Whose woods,

Who

sittest in

Spirit of

thy

Beauty

star, o'er ocean's

at

it.

rocks, waves, surround it

whose

soft

western

floor.

command

The sunbeams and the showers

distil its foison

Prom the Earth's bosom

chill

bid those beams be each a blinding brand

Of

lightning

bid those showers be dews of poison

Bid the Earth's plenty

kill

Bid thy bright Heaven above.


Whilst light and darkness bound

it.

Be their tomb who planned


To make it ours and thine
Or, with thine harmonising ardours

And

raise

Thy lamp

fill

thy sons, as o'er the prone horizon


feeds every twilight

Be man's high hope and


The instrument

to

wave with

fire

unextinct desire.

work thy

will divine

Then clouds from sunbeams, antelopes from leopards,

And frowns and fears from Thee,


Would not more swiftly flee
Than

Celtic wolves

Whatever,

Thou

Spirit,

from the Ausonian shepherds.

from thy starry shrine

yieldest or withholdest.

Oh,

let

be

This city of thy worship ever free


August 25, 1820.1
1

During

ttis

orderly condition

Summer, under the

rule of Terdinand I, a

had been maintained than

201

much more

for a long time before.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

AUTUMN: A DIRGE

The warm

sun

is failing,

The bare boughs

is

wailing,

are sighing, the pale flowers are dying.

And

On

the bleak wind

the year

the earth, her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead.


Is lying.

Come, months, come away.

Prom November

to

May,

In your saddest array ;


Follow the bier

Of

And

like

the dead cold year.

dim shadows watch by her

sepulchre.

II

worm

The

chill rain is falling, the nipt

The

rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling

The

blithe swallows are flown,

is

crawluig.

For the year ;

To

and the

lizards each gone

his dwelling.

Come, months, come away

Put on

white, black, and grey

Let your light

sisters

play

Ye, follow the bier

Of

And make

the dead cold year.

her grave green with tear on

202

tear.

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

THE TOWEE OF FAMINE i


Amid the desolation of a city,
Which was the cradle, and is now
Of an extinguished

Weeps

the grave

people, so that pity

o'er the shipwrecks of obUvion's wave.

There stands the Tower of Famine.

Upon some

It is built

prison homes, whose dwellers rave

For bread, and gold, and blood ;

pain, linked to guilt.

Agitates the light flame of their hours.

Until

spent or

its vital oil is

spilt.

There stands the pUe, a tower amid the towers

And

sacred domes

each marble-ribbed roof.

The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers

Of

solitary wealth

the tempest-proof

Pavilions of the dark Italian

Are by

And

its

presence

are withdrawn

dimmed

air.

they stand aloof.

so that the world is bare,

As if a spectre, wrapt in shapeless


Amid a company of ladies fair
Should glide and glow,

Of aU
The

their beauty,

life

till

their hair

still

on the Piazza

and hue,

all its error.

they to marble grew.

prison of TJgolino, whose story

terror.

became a mirror

of their sweet eyes, with

Should be absorbed,
* The
XXXIII,

till it

and

is

told

by Daute,

stood in Shelley's time, but exists no longer.

de' Cavalieri, Pisa.

203

It

Inferno,

was

built

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

EPIPSYCHIDION
VERSES ADDRESSED TO THE NOBLE AND UNFORTUNATE LADY, EMILIA V

NOW IMPRISONED
L'anima amante

Hondo

IN THE CONVENT OF
slancia faori del create, e

si

tutto per essa, diverse assai

si

ST.

ANNE, PISA

crea nell' infinito un

da questo oscuro e pauroso baratro.^

Her own

My
Who

Song, I fear that thou wilt find but few

fitly shall

conceive thy reasoning.

Of such hard matter dost thou


"Whence,

Thee

wobds.

if

entertain j

by misadventure, chance should bring

to base

company

(as chance

may

do),

Quite unaware of what thou dost contain,


I prithee, comfort thy sweet self again.

My

last delight

And

bid

tell

them own

them that they

are dull,

that thou art beautiful.

ADVEETISEMENT
The Writer of the following Lines died

at Florence, as

he was preparing for a voyage to one of the wildest of the


Sporades, which he had bought, and where he had

up the ruins of an old building, and where


to have realised a scheme of

life,

this.

His

was

is

life

now an

The

golf.

hope

his

inhabitant,

was singular

on account of the romantic vicissitudes which

infinite a

fitted

suited perhaps to that

happier and better world of which he

but hardly practicable in

it

less

diversified

loTing soul kuncles beyond creation and creates for itself in the

world

all its

own,

far different

Translation of W. M. Eossetti.
[

204

from

this obscure

and terri^g

GO
3a

H
'^

i-

is

Ci

eiB

c_

'5>

'^

i
to

a
^

I
<;

i
!

sis
a

^
O

cs,

g S

-s

a ^

5^

-*

THE YEARS

than the ideal tinge which

it,

character and feelings.

Nuova"
class

of Dante'j

1821

received from his

it

The present Poem,

like

own

the " Tita

suf&ciently intelligible to a certain

is

without a matter-of-fact history of the

of readers

circumstances to which
class it

AND

1820

it relates

and to a certain other

must ever remaia incomprehensible, from a

common organ
treats.
Not but

defect

of a

of perception for the ideas of which

it

that, ffran

vergogna sarehle a colui,

che rimasse cosa sotto veste difigura, o di colore rettorico,


e

domandato non sa^esse denudare

veste, in

le

sue parole da cotal

guisa che avissero verace intendimento}

The present poem appears

to have been intended

The stanza

Writer as the dedication to some longer one.

on the opposite page

almost a

is

by the

literal translation

from

Dante's famous Canzone


Vol, ch' miendetido,

The presumptuous

U tereo

del movete,

etc.

application of the concluding lines to

his

own composition

my

unfortunate friend

will raise a smile at the expense of

be

it

a smile not of contempt, but


S.

pity.

EPIPSYCHIDION
Sweet

Spirit

Whose empire
In

my

is

Sister of that

the

orphan one.

name thou weepest

on.

heart's temple I suspend to thee

These votive wreaths of withered memory.


1

A qaotation from

Dante, thus rendered

\>j

W. M.

Eossetti

" Great

were his shame who should rhyme anything under a garb of metaphor or
rhetorical colour,

words of

and then, being asked, should be incapable of stripping his

this garb so that they

might have a
[

205

veritable

meaning."

!!;

might assuage

The

who

rugged hearts of those


deaf to

all

my

But

And

and fragrant

soft
it

has no thorn

prisoned thee.

sweet melody

This song shall be thy rose

Are dead, indeed,

who, from thy narrow cage,

PoTirest such music, that it

Were they not

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Poor captive bird

! !

its petals

pale

adored Nightingale
is

left

the faded blossom.


to

wound thy bosom.

High, spirit-winged Heart

who

dost for ever

Beat thine unfeeling bars with vain endeavour,

TiU those bright plumes of thought, in which arrayed


It over-soared this

low and worldly shade.

Lie shattered ; and thy panting, wounded breast


Stains with dear blood

its

unmaternal nest

blood would

I weep vain tears

Yet poured forth

gladlier, could it profit thee.

Seraph of Heaven

less bitter be.

too gentle to be human.

Yelling beneath that radiant form of


All that

Of

is

light,

Woman

insupportable in thee

and

love,

and immortality

Sweet Benediction in the eternal Curse


Yeiled Glory of this lampless Universe

Thou Moon beyond the clouds

Among

the

Dead

Thou

Thou

living

Form

Star above the Storm

Thou Wonder, and thou Beauty, and thou Terror


Thou Harmony of Nature's art
Thou Mirror
In whom, as in the splendour of the sun.
!

All shapes look glorious which thou gazest on

[206]

C6

a
I

&

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

Ay, even the dim words which obscure thee now


Elash, lightning-like with unaccustomed glow.

I pray thee that thou blot from this sad song


All of

its

much

mortality and wrong,

dew

With

those clear drops, which start like sacred

From

the twin lights thy sweet soul darkens through.

Weeping,

sorrow becomes ecstasy

till

Then smile on

so that

it,

it

I never thought before

Youth's vision thus made


I love thee

my

not

die.

death to see

Emily,

perfect.

though the world by no thin name

Will hide that love, from

Would we two had been


Or, that the

Could be a

may

name my

sister's

its

unvalued shame.

twins of the same mother

heart lent to another

bond

for her

and

thee.

Blending two beams of one eternity

Yet were one lawful and the other

true.

These names, though dear, could paint not,

How
I

am

beyond refuge I
not thine

Sweet

Lamp

am

my

am

as is due.

Ah me

thine.

a part of thee.

moth-like

Muse

has

burnt

its

wings;
Or, like a dying swan

who

soars

and

sings.

own grey

Young Love should

teach Time, in his

All that thou

Art thou not void of

art.

guile,

A lovely soul formed to be blest and bless ?


A well of sealed and secret happiness,
Whose

waters like blithe light and music are.

Vanquished dissonance and gloom


[

207

?,

Star

style.

WITH SHELLEY
Which moves not

in the

ITALY

IN

moving Heavens, alone

smUe amid dark frowns? a gentle tone

Amid rude

voices? a beloved light?

A Solitude, a Eefuge, a Delight ?


A Lute, which those whom Love has

taught to play

Make music on, to soothe the roughest day


And lull fond Grief asleep ? a buried treasure ?

A cradle of young thoughts of wingless pleasure


A violet-shrouded grave of Woe ? I measure
The world of

And

find

fancies, seeking

alas

mine own

one like thee.


infirmity.

She met me, Stranger, upon

And

lured

me

life's

towards sweet Death

rough way,

as

Night by Day,

Winter by Spring, or Sorrow by swift Hope,

Led

into light,

life,

An

peace.

In the suspended impulse of

antelope,

its lightness.

Were less ethereally light the brightness


Of her divinest presence trembles through
Her limbs, as underneath a cloud of dew
:

Embodied

Amid

in the windless

Heaven of June

the splendour-winged stars, the

Moon

Burns, inextinguishably beautiful

And from

her

Of honey-dew,

lips, as

from a hyacinth

murmur

a liquid

full

drops.

Killing the sense with passion, sweet as stops

Of

planetary music heard in trance.

In her mild

lights the starry spirits dance.

The sunbeams of those

Under the lightnings

wells which ever leap

of the soul
[

208

too deep

;; ; ;

THE YEARS
For the

AND

1820

brief fathom-line of thought or sense.

The glory

of her being, issuing thence.

warm shade

Stains the dead, blank, cold air with a

Of unentangled

By

1821

intermixture,

Love, of light and motion

made
one intense

Diffusion, one serene Omnipresence,

Whose

flowing outlines mingle in their flowing

Around her cheeks and utmost

With

fingers

glowing

the unintermitted blood, which there

Quivers (as in a

snow-like air

fleece of

The crimson pulse

of living

Morn may

quiver).

Continuously prolonged, and ending never.


Till they are lost,

Which

and in that Beauty furled

penetrates and clasps and

fills

the world

Scarce visible from extreme loveliness.

Warm fragrance
And
The

seems to

her

own speed has

The sweetness seems

disentwined.

to satiate the faint wind

in the soul a wild odour is

Beyond the

sense, like fiery

See where she stands

With

love and

life

a mortal shape indued

and

light and deity.

And motion which may

felt.

dews that melt

Into the bosom of a frozen bud.

An

light dress

her loose hair ; and where some heavy tress


air of

And

from her

fall

change but cannot die

image of some bright Eternity

shadow of some golden dream; a Splendour

Leaving the third sphere


Eeflection of the eternal

Under whose motions

pilotless

Moon

life's

of

a tender

Love

dull billows

209

move

;;

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

A Metaphor of Spring and Youth and Morning;


A Vision like incarnate Aprilj warning.
With

smiles and tears, Frost the

Into his

Summer

anatomy

grave.

Ah, woe

What

am

have I dared ? where

By mine own
The

all

things equal

worm

Angel

spirit

fields of

should at

Pilot of the fate

first

Oh, too

late

have worshipped thine,

a place divine

Or should have moved

beside

on

it

shadow of that substance, from

But not

immortality

A divine presence in
A

with God.

Oh, too soon adored, by me

Eor in the

My

Sister

itself

course has been so starless

Beloved

I have heard

beneath the sod

In love and worship, blends

Spouse

heart this joyous truth averred

spirit of the

Whose

how
know

I lifted ?

Shall I descend, and perish not ?

That Love makes

me

is

as

now

love thee

That on the fountain of

my

this earth,

its

birth

yes, I feel

heart a seal

Is set, to keep its waters pure and bright

For

thee, since in those tears

We are

we not formed,

thou hast delight.

as notes of

music

are.

For one another, though dissimilar


Such

difierence without discord, as

Those sweetest sounds, in which

As

can make

all spirits

trembling leaves in a continuous air ?


[

210

shake

M ONUMENT

to

John Keats.

Seep. 228.

THE YEARS
Thy wisdom speaks

AND

1820

in me, and bids

1821

me

dare

Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are wrecked.


I never was attached to that great

Whose
Out

doctrine

of the

And aU
To

is,

crowd a mistress or a

Of modern

Who
By

friend^

the rest, though fair and wise,

cold oblivion, though

Which

sect.

that each one should select

it is

commend

in the code

morals, and the beaten road

those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,

travel to their

home among

the dead

the broad highway of the world, and so

With one chained


The

dreariest

friend, perhaps a jealous foe,

and the longest journey go.

True Love in

this differs

from gold and

That

to divide is not to take away.

Love

is like

understanding, that grows bright.

Gazing on many truths


Imagination

And from

't is

like thy light.

which from earth and sky.

the depths of

human

phantasy.

As from a thousand prisms and mirrors,


The universe with

its

The

One

many

a sun-like arrow

Narrow

reverberated lightning.

The heart that


life

fills

glorious beams, and kills

Error, the worm, with

Of

clay.

loves, the brain that contemplates.

that wears, the spirit that creates

object,

and one form, and builds thereby

sepulchre for

Mind from

its eternity

its

object differs most in this

Evil from good ; misery from happiness

[211

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
The baser from

And

you divide

If

Diminish

the nobler; the impure

from what

frail,

and dross, you may

suffering

till it is

and must endure.

is clear

consumed away

you divide pleasure and love and thought.

If

and we know not

Each

part exceeds the whole

How

much, while any yet remains unshared,

Of

pleasure

This truth

may

The unenvied

By which

be gained, of sorrow spared

that deep well,

is

whom

Is as a garden ravaged,

and whose

world of

life

strife

of this elysian earth.

There was a Being


its

this

promise of a later birth

The wilderness

Met on

whence sages draw

hope ; the eternal law

light of

those live to

Tills for the

whom my

spirit oft

visioned wanderings, far aloft,

In the clear golden prime of

my

youth's dawn.

Upon the fairy isles of sunny lawn.


Amid the enchanted mountains, and the caves
Of divine sleep, and on the air-Uke waves
Of wonder-level dream, whose tremulous floor
Paved her light steps ;

Under the grey beak

on an imagined

of

shore,

some promontory

She met me, robed in such exceeding glory.

That I beheld her

Her

voice

And from

came

to

In solitudes

not.

me

through the whispering woods.

the foimtains, and the odours deep

Of

flowers, which, like lips

Of

the sweet kisses which had lulled


[

murmuring

212

in their sleep

them

there,

THE YEARS

1820

AND

Breathed but of her to the enamoured

And
And
And
And

1821

air

from the rain of every passing cloud.

from the singing of the Summer


from aU sounds,

Which

in form,

storm

in whatever checks that

with the shattered present chokes the past

whose

in that best philosophy,

Makes

birds,

In the words

all silence.

verse and high romance,

Sound, colour

this cold

common

hell,

our

doom

of truth.

Then, from the caverns of

my dreamy

youth

I sprang, as one sandalled with plumes of

my

towards the loadstar of

fiitted, like

taste

life,

martyrdom

As glorious as a fiery
Her Spirit was the harmony

And

from the breezes whether low or loud,

Of antique

And

fire.

one desire,

a dizzy moth, whose flight

Is as a dead leafs in the owlet light.

When

would seek in Hesper's

it

setting sphere

radiant death, a fiery sepulchre.

As

if it

were a lamp of earthly fiame.

But She, whom prayers or tears then could not


Passed like a God throned on a winged planet.

Whose burning plumes

to tenfold swiftness fan

Into the dreary cone of our

And

as a

man

life's

tame.

it.

shade

with mighty loss dismayed,

I would have followed, though the grave between

Yawned

When

whose spectres are unseen


a voice said " O Thou of hearts the weakest,
like a gulf

The phantom

is

beside thee
[

whom

21S

thou seekest."

WITH SHELLEY
Then I

And

" Where

in that silence,

IN ITALY

" the world's echo answered " where


and in

my

despair,

I questioned every tongueless wind that flew

Over

my

Whither

tower of mourning,
't

was

fled, this

Over the

But

if it

knew

my

soul out of

And murmured names and

spells

sightless tyrants of

which have control

neither prayer nor verse could dissipate

That world within

this chaos,

Of which she was the

nor uncreate

mine and me.

veiled Divinity,

The

vrorld

And
And

therefore I went forth, with hope

I say of thoughts that worshipped her

and fear

every gentle passion sick to death.

Feeding

my

course with expectation's breath.

Into the wintry forest of our

And
And
And

soul ;

our fate

The night which closed on her

struggling through

stumbling in

my

half bewildered

its

life

error with vain strife.

weakness and

my

haste.

by new forms, I passed

Seeking among those untaught foresters


If I could flnd one

form resembling

hers.

In which she might have masked herself from me.


There,
One, whose voice was venomed melody

Sate

by a

well,

under blue nightshade bowers

The breath of her

false mouth was like faint


Her touch was as electric poison,
flame
Out of her looks into my vitals came.

And from

A killing

her living cheeks and


air,

which pierced

Into the core of

my

like

bosom

flew

honey-dew

green heart, and lay


[

214

"

flowers.

QHELLEY'S

Grave in the Protestant


Cemeteiy at Rome.

" The
'

soft sky smiles,

T is Adonais

No more

let

the low wind whispers near

calls/ oh, hasten thither.

Life divide what Death can join together.

"

Adonais, p. 242.

THE YEARS
Upon

its

leaves

O'er a young brow, they hid

With

1821

grown grey

until, as hair

AND

1820

unblown prime

its

ruins of unseasonable time.

In many mortal forms I rashly sought

The shadow

And some

of that idol of

were

Others were wise

And One was

my

thought.

but beauty away


but honeyed words
oh why not
me
dies

fair

betray

true

true to

Then, as a hunted deer that could not


I turned upon

my

thoughts, and stood at bay,

Wounded and weak and


Trembled, for pity of

When,

like a

panting

my

strife

the cold day

and

pain.

noonday dawn, there shone again

One

Deliverance.

stood on

As

like the glorious shape

As

is

the

flee,

my

path

who seemed

which I had dreamed.

Moon, whose changes ever run

Into themselves, to the eternal Sun

The cold chaste Moon, the Queen of Heaven's bright

Who

makes

all

beautiful on which she smiles.

That wandering shrine of

Which

ever

And warms
As

is

soft yet icy flame

transformed, yet

still

the same.

Young and

not but illumines.

fair

the descended Spirit of that sphere,

She hid me, as the

From

its

own

Moon may

darkness, until

hide the night

all

Between the heaven and earth of

was bright

my

calm mind

And, as a cloud charioted by the wind.


She led

And

me

to a cave in that wild place.

sate beside

me, with her downward face

[215

isles,

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

my

Moon

lUamining

slumbers, like the

Waxing and waning

And
And
As

o'er

Endymion.

I was laid asleep, spirit and limb.


all

my

being became bright or dim

the Moon's image in a

Summer

sea.

According as she smiled or frowned on

And

For at her

silver voice

Unmindful each of

Masked

came Death and

their

accustomed

like twin babes, a sister

The wandering hopes

And
And

bed

there I lay, within a chaste cold

Alas, I then was nor alive nor dead

me

Life,

strife.

and a brother.

of one abandoned mother.

through the cavern without wings they flew.


cried

" Away, he

I wept, and though

What

is

not of our crew."

be a dream, I weep.

it

storms then shook the ocean of

Blotting that

Then shrank

Moon, whose

my

sleep.

pale and waning lips

as in the sickness of eclipse

And how my soul was as a lampless sea.


And who was then its tempest and when
;

She,

The planet of that hour, was quenched, what

frost

Crept o'er those waters, tiU from coast to coast

my

The moving billows

of

Into a death of

immovable ;

And

then

ice,

fell

what earthquakes made

The white Moon smiling


These words conceal

The key

being

all

it

If not, each

of staunchless tears.

gape and

the while on

216

Weep

split.

it,

word would be
not for

me

;:

THE YEARS
At

1820

AND

length, into the obscure forest

The Vision I had sought through

1821

came

grief

and shame.

Athwart that wintry wilderness of thorns


Flashed from her motion splendour like the morn's.

And from

her presence

life

was radiated

Through the grey earth and branches bare and dead;


So that her way was paved, and roofed above

With

flowers as soft as thoughts of budding love

And

music from her respiration spread

Like

light,

By

the small,

other sounds were penetrated

all

still,

sweet spirit of that sound.

So that the savage winds hung mute around ;

And

warm and

odours

from her hair

fresh fell

Dissolving the dull cold in the frore air

Soft as an Incarnation of the Sun,

When

light is

changed to

love, this glorious

One

Floated into the cavern where I lay.

And
Was

called

my spirit,

lifted

by the thing that dreamed below

As smoke by

and in her beauty's glow

the

dawn

penetrating

me

with living Hght

I knew

it

that

long night

Twin Spheres

who

of light

all its fruits

Magnetic might into


lift its

was Emily.

it

This world of love, this

Awaken

of

was the Vision veiled from me

So many years

And

my

felt

I stood, and

Was

fire,

and the dreaming clay

and
its

billows and

rule this passive Earth,

me ; and

into birth

flowers,

and dart

central heart
its

mists,

217

and guide

WITH SHELLEY

;;

IN ITALY

By everlasting laws, each wind and tide


To its fit cloud and its appointed cave;
And lull its storms, each in the craggy grave
Which was its cradle, luring to faint bowers
The armies of the rainbow- winged showers
And, as those married

Of Heaven look

lights,

which from the towers

forth and fold the wandering globe

In liquid sleep and splendour, as a robe,

And

all their

many-mingled influence blend,

If equal, yet unlike, to one sweet end;

80

ye, bright regents,

Govern

my

with alternate sway

sphere of being, night and day

Thou, not disdaining even a borrowed might


Thou, not eclipsing a remoter light

And, through the shadow of the seasons

From Spring
Light

it

Autumn's

to

into the

sere maturity,

Winter of the tomb,

Where it may ripen


Thou too,
Comet

Who

three.

to a brighter bloom!

beautiful

drew the heart of

Towards thine own

and

fierce.

this frail Universe

till,

wrecked in that convulsion.

Alternating attraction and repulsion,

Thine went astray and that was rent in twain

Oh,

Be

fioat into

our azure heaven again

there love's folding-star at thy return

The

living

Of golden
In thy

Sun
fire

will feed thee

the

last smiles

Moon

from

will veil her

adoring Even and

urn

its

horn

Morn

Will worship thee with incense of calm breath

And

lights

and shadows

as the star of

218

Death

^lOBE.

'^

InUffizi Galleiy.

All worldly thoughts and cares seem

to vartish from

before the sublime emotions such spectacles

create.''*

See Letter from Florence,

p. 243.

THE YEARS
And

Birth

Called

is

worshipped by those

Their offerings,

upon

Hope and Fear

World

AND

1820

sisters

1821
wild

the heart are piled

of this sacrifice divine

shall be the altar.

Lady mine.
Scorn not these flowers of thought, the fading birth

Which from its heart of hearts that plant puts


Whose fruit, made perfect by thy sunny eyes.
Will be as of the

The day

is

Is mine,

To

trees of Paradise.

come, and thou wilt

To whatsoe'er

forth

fly

me

with

of dull mortality

remain a vestal

sister still

the intense, the deep, the imperishable.

Not mine but me, henceforth be thou united


Even as a bride, delighting and delighted.
The hour

Which

is

come

the destined star has risen

descend upon a vacant prison.

shall

The

walls are high, the gates are strong, thick set

The

sentinels

Was

but

true love never yet

thus constrained

it

overleaps

all

fence

Like lightning, with invisible violence


Piercing

its

continents

Which he who

Who

rides

More

For he can burst

The limbs
The

liker Death,

upon a thought, and makes

Through temple, tower, and

Of arms.

Heaven's free breath.

like

grasps can hold not

palace,

strength has
his charnel,

his

Love than he or they


and make

in chains, the heart in agony.

soul in dust and chaos.


[

way

and the array

219

free

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

Emily,

A ship is floating in the harbour now,


A wind is hovering o'er the mountain's
There

No

is

brow;

a path on the sea's azure floor,

keel has ever ploughed that path before j

The halcyons brood around the foamless


The treacherous Ocean has forsworn
The merry mariners are bold and

my

Say,

heart's sister, wilt

Our bark
Is a far

is as

Eden

thou

its

free

sail

isles

wiles;

with

me

an albatross, whose nest

of the purple east

And we between her wings will sit, while Night


And Day, and Storm, and Calm, pursue their flight.
Our

ministers, along the boundless sea.

Treading each other's heels, unheededly.


It is an isle under Ionian skies.

Beautiful as a wreck of Paradise,

And,

for the harbours are not safe

and good.

This land would have remained a solitude

But

for

some pastoral people native

there.

Who

from the

Draw

the last spirit of the age of gold.

elysian, clear,

and golden

air

Simple and spirited, innocent and bold.

The blue jEgean

girds this chosen home.

With ever-changing sound and

light

and foam.

Kissing the sifted sands, and caverns hoar

And aU

the winds wandering along the shore

Undulate with the undulating

tide.

There are thick woods where sylvan forms abide

And many

a fountain, rivulet, and pond,


[

220

; ;

THE YEARS
As
Or

clear as elemental

1820

AND

1821

diamond.

serene morning air ; and far beyond,

The mossy tracks made by the goats and deer

(Which the rough shepherd

treads but once a year).

Pierce into glades, caverns, and bowers, and halls

Built round with ivy, which the waterfalls


Illumining, with sound that never

Accompany

And
The

all

fails

the noonday nightingales

the place

is

peopled with sweet

airs.

light clear element which the isle wears

Is heavy with the scent of lemon-flowers.

Which floats like mist laden with unseen showers


And falls upon the eyelids like faint sleep
And from the moss violets and jonquils peep.
And dart their arrowy odour through the brain
Till

And

you might

faint with that delicious pain.

every motion, odour, beam, and tone.

With that deep music is in unison


Which is a soul within the soul

they seem

Like echoes of an antenatal dream.


It is an isle 'twixt

Heaven, Air, Earth, and Sea,

Cradled, and hung

in clear tranquillity

Bright as that wandering Eden, Lucifer,

Washed by

the soft blue Oceans of young

It is a favoured place.
Pestilence,

Upon
Sail

its

Eamine or

war and earthquake, never

light

mountain-peaks ; blind vultures, they

onward

far

upon

their fatal

The winged storms, chanting

To

air.

blight,

way

their thunder-psalm

other lands, leave azure chasms of calm


[

221


: :

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Over

this isle, or

From which

weep themselves in dew,


and woods ever renew

its fields

Their green and golden immortality.

And from
There

the sea there rise, and from the sky


clear exhalations, soft

fall,

and

bright,

Yeil after veil, each hiding some delight.

Which sun

or

moon

or zephyr draws aside.

Till the isle's beauty, like a

naked bride

Glowing at once with love and


Blushes and trembles at

its

loveliness.

own

excess

Yet, like a buried lamp, a Soul no less

Burns in the heart of

An

atom of

Unfolds

this delicious isle.

th' Eternal,

itself,

whose own smile

and may be

felt,

not seen

O'er the grey rocks, blue waves, and forests green.


Filling their bare

But the

and void

chief marvel of the wilderness

Is a lone dwelling, built

None

interstices.

by whom or how

of the rustic island-people

know

'T is not a tower of strength, though with

its

It overtops the

woods

Some wise and

tender Ocean- King, ere crime

Had

been invented, in the world's young prime,

Reared

An

height

but, for delight.

it,

a wonder of that simple time.

envy of the

Made

isles,

a pleasure-house

sacred to his sister and his spouse.

It scarce seems

But, as

it

now a wreck

were. Titanic

Of Earth having assumed

of

human

art.

in the heart
its

form, then grown

222

T> ASILICA
JJ Ravenna.

of San Vitale,

See Letter from Ravenna, p. 244.

THE YEARS
Out

of the mountains,

AND

1820

from

living stone.

tlie

Lifting itseK in caverns light and high

For

all

ivy

the antique and learned imagery

Has been
The

1821

and in the place of

erased,

it

and the wild-vine interknit

The volumes

many twining stems j

of their

dewy gems

Parasite flowers illume with

The lampless

and when they

halls,

fade, the

sky

Peeps through their winter-woof of tracery

With moonlight
Or fragments of

patches, or star atoms keen,

the day's intense serene

Working mosaic on
And, day and

And
To

terraces, the

Eead

their Parian floors.

Earth and Ocean seem

isle

and

solitude.

I have fitted up some chambers there

level

eastern air.

with the living winds, which flow

Like waves above the living waves below.


I have sent books and music there, and

Those instruments with which high

The future from


Out

all that

call reality.

Looking towards the golden

And

and

and house are mine, and I have vowed

Thee to be lady of the

And

and dream

flowers, clouds, woods, rocks,

in their smiles,

This

night, aloof, from the high towers

sleep in one another's arms,

Of waves,

of

its

its cradle,

grave, and

In thoughts and joys which

the present last


sleep,

eternity.
[

all

spirits call

and the past

make

Folded within their own

223

but cannot

die.

we

WITH SHELLEY
Our simple

life

wants

little,

ITALY

IN

and true

taste

Hires not the pale drudge Luxury, to waste

The scene

it

Nature with

would adorn, and therefore


all

The ring-dove,

her children, haunts the


in the

embowering

the evening tower, and the

Between the quick bats in

hill.

ivy, yet

Keeps up her love-lament, and the owls

Eound

still.

flit

young

stars glance

their twilight dance

The spotted deer bask in the fresh moonlight


Before our gate, and the slow, silent night
Is

measured by the pants of their calm

Be

our home in

this

sleep.

and when years heap

life,

Their withered hours, like leaves, on our decay.

Let us become the overhanging day.

The

living soul of this Elysian isle.

Meanwhile

Conscious, inseparable, one.

We

two will

rise,

and

sit,

and walk together.

Under the roof of blue Ionian weather.

And wander

in the meadows, or ascend

The mossy mountains, where the blue heavens bend

With

Or

lightest

linger,

winds to touch their paramour j

where the pebble-paven shore.

Under the quick,

faint kisses of the sea

Trembles and sparkles as with ecstasy,


Possessing and possest by

all

that

is

Within that calm circumference of

bliss.

And by

each other,

live

Be one

till

or, at the

Where some

td love

and

noontide hour, arrive

old cavern hoar seems yet to keep

The moonlight of the expired night


[

224

asleep,

THE YEARS

1820

AND

1821

Through which the awatened day can never peep

veil for

our seclusion, close as Night's,

"Where secure sleep


Sleep, the fresh

may

dew

kill thine

innocent lights

Whose drops quench

kisses

they burn again.

till

And we

will talk, until thought's

Become

too sweet for utterance, and

In words, to

live

of languid love, the rain

melody
it

die

again in looks, which dart

"With thrilling tone into the voiceless heart.

Harmonising

Our breath

And

silence without a sound.

our bosoms bound.

shall intermix,

our veins beat together

With

and our Hps,

other eloquence than words, eclipse

The soul that bums between them, and the

Which

wells

boil under" our being's inmost ceUs,

The fountains

of our deepest

life,

shall

be

Confused in passion's golden purity.

As mountain-springs under

We

shall

Spirit within

One

the morning sun.

become the same, we


two frames, oh

shall

be one

wherefore two ?

passion in twin-hearts, which grows and grew.

Till like

two meteors of expanding flame.

Those spheres

instinct with it

become the same,

Touch, mingle, are transfigured ; ever


Burning, yet ever inconsumable

still

In one another's substance finding food.


Like flames too pure and light and unimbued

To nourish

Which

their bright lives with baser prey.

point to

Heaven and cannot pass away

One hope within two


IS

wills,
[

one will beneath

225

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Two overshadowing
One heaven, one

And

minds, one

hell,

one death.

life,

one immortality.

Woe

one annihilation.

me

is

The -winged words on which my

soul would pierce

Into the height of love's rare Universe,

Are chains of lead around

its flight

of fire

I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire

TO
I

One word is
For me
One

too often profaned


to profane

it.

feeling too falsely disdained

For thee to disdain

One hope

is

too like despair

For prudence

And

pity

it.

to smother.

from thee more dear

Than

that from another.


II

I can give not what men

But

wilt

thou accept not

The worship the

And
The

heart, lifts

above

the Heavens reject not.

desire of the

Of

call love.

moth

for the star.

the night for the morrow.

The devotion

From

to something afar

the sphere of our sorrow ?

may be taten to epitomize the whole motive of


" Epipsychidion " and similar poems,
"the desire of the moth for the
1

Perhaps these verses

star," etc.,

not

the desire of possession, but of worship.

226

Ed.

S-

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

TO
Music, when

soft voices die.

Vibrates in the

memory

Odours, when sweet violets sicken.

Live within the sense they quicken.

Eose

leaves,

Are heaped

And

when the

when thou

so thy thoughts,

Love

itself

rose is dead.

for the beloved's bed


art gone,

haU slumber on.

ADONAIS

AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OE JOHN KEATS,


AUTHOR OE "ENDYMION," "HYPERION," Etc.
'AoT'qp irpiv fiev e\a/A7res

hn

([(ooio'ti'

Nw Be Oaviiv Xd/iTrfK "Ecnrepoi iv

'Euos

'

(ji^t/tei/ots.

Plato.2

PEEFACE
9dp[iaKov

nSs

ijX^e, Btui', ttoti crbv oro/io, <f>dp/x.aKOv cISes.

rev Tot?

j^etXeo-cri iroTtSpafji.e,

kovk ey\vKa.v6rj

" I would rather have written Shelley's Music, when soft voices die '
than all that Beanmont and Fletcher ever wrote, together with all of their
1

'

"Walteb Savage Xandoe.

contemporaries, excepting Shakespeare."


* Translated

hy Shelley in a poem

"To

called

Steila."

" Thou wert the Morning Star among the


Ere thy

fair light

Now, having

New

died,

had

fled

living

thou art as Hesperus, giving

splendour to the dead."

227

WITH SHELLEY

IN

Tts 8e /SpoTos too-o-oBtojv dva/iepos,

*H

SoSvai

XaXiOvn to

<f>a.pfiaKov

ij

ITALY
Kepdxrai rot,

eK^vyev wSdv.

MoscHTJS, Epitaph. Bion.i


It

my

is

poem

London

intention to subjoin to the

a criticism'

upon the claims

among

be classed

edition of this

of its lamented object to

the writers of the highest

My

have adorned our age.

narrow principles of

genius

known repugnance

on which several of

taste

the

his earlier

compositions were modelled prove at least that I


impartial judge.

who

to

am

an

I consider the fragment of Hyperion, as

second to nothing that was ever produced by a writer of


the same years.

John Keats died

Eome

at

of a consumption, in his

twenty-fourth year, on the

1831; and was

of

buried in the romantic and lonely cemetery of the Protestants in that city, under the
Cestius,

and

pyramid which

is

the tomb of

and the massy walls and towers, now mouldering

desolate,

which formed the

The cemetery

is

Winter with

violets

circuit of ancient

Eome.

an open space among the ruins covered

and

daisies.

It

might mate one

in
in

love with death, to think that one should be buried in so

sweet a place.

'

Bion, a potion came to thy moutli which soothed like a potion.

How
Who

so savage of

Even

as

did

it

teach thy

lips

men

and not change

as to

thou didst speak

its bitter to

sweetness ?

mix or give thee the poison

Med

he not from the voice of thy singing ?

TbansiiAtzon 07 Fboiessob Maeafft.

228

"

"

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

ADONAIS
I

WEEP

for Adonais

Oh weep
Thaw

And

he

Adonais

for

dead

is

though our tears

not the frost which hinds so dear a head

thou, sad Hour, selected from

To mourn our

And

teach

loss,

them

Died Adonais ;

rouse thy obscure compeers,

own sorrow

thine

till

years

all

Say

" With me

the Future dares

Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be

An

echo and a light unto eternity


II

Where wert

When

thy Son

In darkness

When
'

Mid

She

thou, mighty Mother,


lay, pierced

shaft

lay,

which

flies

where was lorn Urania

Adonais died

With

veiled eyes,

listening Echoes, in her Paradise

sate, while one,

Eekindled

all

With which,

He had

by the

when he

with soft enamoured breath,

the fading melodies.

like flowers that

mock

the corse beneath.

adorned and hid the coming bulk of death.


Ill

Oh weep

for

Adonais

he

is

dead

Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep


Yet wherefore ?

Thy
Like

fiery tears,

his, a

Quench within
and

let

their

burning bed

thy loud heart keep

mute and uncomplaining


[

229

sleep

WITH SHELLEY
For he

is

Descend ;

gone, where

oh,

all

his

; ;

ITALY

things wise and fair

dream not that the amorous Deep

Will yet restore him to the

Death feeds on

IN

!!

mute

vital air

voice,

and laughs at our

despair.

IV
Most musical

of mourners, weep again

Lament anew, Urania

Who

He

was the Sire of an immortal

when

Blind, old, and lonely,

The

died.

priest,

strain.

his country^s pride,

the slave, and the liberticide.

Trampled and mocked with many a loathed

Of lust and blood ; he

rite

went, unterrified.

Into the gulf of death ; but his clear Sprite

Yet reigns

o'er earth

Most musical

Not

all

the third

among

of mourners, weep

anew

to that bright station dared to climb

And happier they their


Whose tapers yet burn
In which suns perished

happiness

who knew.

through that night of time


;

others

Struck by the envious wrath of

Have

the sons of light.

more sublime.

man

or God,

sunk, extinct in their refulgent prime

And some yet live, treading the thorny road.


Which leads, through toil and hate, to Fame's serene abode.

230

& s

"

D
P o

!;

THE YEARS

!!

AND

1820

1821

XXIII

Sorrow and fear

So struck, so roused, so rapt Urania

So saddened round her

Of stormy mist ;
Even

like

an atmospliere

so swept her on her way.

to the mournful place where Adonais lay.

XXV

In the death chamber for a moment Death

Shamed by

the presence of that living

Might

Blushed to annihilation, and the breath


Revisited those lips, and

pale light

life's

Flashed through those limbs, so late her dear delight.

" Leave me not wild and drear and

As

comfortless.

silent lightning leaves the starless night

Leave

me

"

not

Eoused Death

cried

Urania

her distress

Death rose and smiled, and met her vain

caress.

XXVI
" Stay yet awhile

speak to

me once again
may live ;

Kiss me, so long but as a kiss

And

in

my

heartless breast

That word, that kiss

With food

Now
Of

of saddest

my

All that I

Adonais

am

to

But I am chained

thoughts else survive.

memory kept

thou art dead, as

thee,

and burning brain

shall all

if it

alive.

were a part

I would give

be as thou

to Time,
[

now

art

and cannot thence depart

231

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

XXVII
"

gentle child, beautiful as thou wertj

Why
Too

didst thou leave the trodden paths of

soouj

men

and with weak hands though mighty heart

Dare the unpastured dragon in

his den ?

Defenceless as thou wert, oh where was then

"Wisdom the mirrored

shield, or scorn the spear ?

Or hadst thou waited the fall cycle, when


Thy spirit should have filled its crescent sphere
The monsters

of

life's

waste had fled from thee like deer.

XXVIII
" The herded wolves, bold only to pursue

The obscene

ravens, clamorous o'er the dead

The vultures

to the conqueror's banner true

Who

feed where Desolation

And whose wings

When

like

Apollo, from

The Pythian

And

smiled

first

rain contagion

has fed.
;

how they

fled

bow,

his golden

of the age one arrow sped

The

spoilers

They fawn on the proud

tempt no second blow.

feet that

spurn them lying low.

XXIX
" The sun comes

He

sets,

forth,

and many

reptiles

and each ephemeral insect then

Is gathered into death without a dawn.

And
So

the immortal stars awake again

is it

in the world of living


[

232

men
]

spawn

THE YEARS
A

godlike mind soars forth, in

Mating

1821

delight

its

earth bare and veiling heaven, and

It sinks, the

Leave

AND

1820

when

swarms that dimmed or shared

to its kindred

lamps the

its light

awful night."

spirit's

XXX
Thus ceased she

and the mountain shepherds came.

Their garlands sere, their magic mantles rent;

The Pilgrim
Over

An

of Eternity,^ whose

early but enduring

Came, veiling
In sorrow

bent.

is

monument.

the lightnings of his song

from her wilds leme sent

The sweetest

And

all

fame

Heaven

his living head like

lyrist of her saddest wrong,'-'

love taught grief to fall like music from his tongue.

XXXI
Midst others of

A phantom

less note,

came one

frail

Form,^

among men ; companionless

As the last cloud of an expiring storm


Whose thunder is its knell ; he, as I guess.

Had

gazed on Nature's naked loveliness,

Actseon-like, and

With

And

now he

fled astray

feeble steps o'er the world's wilderness.

his

own thoughts, along

Pursued, like

raging

that rugged way.

hounds, their

father

and

prey.
1

Byron.

Moore.

233

' Shelley.

their

; ;

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

xxxn

A
A Love in

a Power

pardlike Spirit beautiful and swift


desolation

masked

Girt round with weakness

The weight

it

can scarce uplift

of the superincumbent hour

It is a dying lamp, a falling shower,

breaking billow

Is

it

The
The

not broken
killing

life

can

the withering flower

sun smiles brightly

bum in

we speak

even whilst

On

on a cheek

may break.

blood, even while the heart

xxxni
His head was bound with pansies overblown,

And
And

faded violets, white, and pied, and blue

a light spear topped with a cypress cone,

Eound whose rude

shaft dark ivy tresses

Yet dripping with the

forest's

grew

noonday dew,

Yibrated, as the ever-beating heart

Shook the weak hand that grasped

He came

the

last,

it

of that crew

neglected and apart

herd-abandoned deer struck by the hunter's

dart.

XXXIV
All stood aloof, and at his partial

moan

Smiled through their tears

knew

Who
As

in another's fate

well

that gentle band

own

now wept his


unknown land.

in the accents of an

He sung new

sorrow, sad Urania scanned


[

234

BEHIND

SheHey's

house in Pisa.

THE YEARS

AND

1820

The Stranger's mien, and murmured

He

1821

" Who art thou ? "

answered not^ but with a sudden hand

Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow,


Which was like Cain's or Christ's
oh, that it should

be so

XXXV
What

hushed over the dead

softer voice is

Athwart what brow

What form

is

?^

that dark mantle thrown ?

leans sadly o'er the white deathbed.

In mockery of monumental stone.

The heavy heart heaving without


If

it

moan ?

be He, who, gentlest of the wise,

Taught, soothed, loved, honoured the departed one

Let me not vex,

The

\rith

inharmonious sighs.

silence of that heart's accepted sacrifice.

XXXVI
Our Adonais has drunk poison

What

oh

deaf and viperous murderer could crown

cup with such a draught of woe

Life's early

The nameless worm would now


It felt, yet coilld escape the

Whose

prelude held

all

But what was howling

itself

disown

magic tone

envy, hate, and wrong,

in one breast alone.

Silent with expectation of the song.

Whose
^

master's hand

The donbt formerly

positively by a letter

Leigh Hunt
so

is

is

cold,

whose

silver lyre

existing about this allusion seems to be settled

from Browning to Forman, July

alluded to iu the thirty -fifth stanza of

from John Forster, an

athwart the brow

'

is

unstrung.

earlier friend of his.

a characteristic touch.''
[

235

The

2,
'

'

1877

" Certainly

Adonais.'

I heard

dark mantle thrown

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

xxxvn
Live thou, whose infamy
Live

fear

Thou

is

noteless blot

To

on a remembered name

But be thyseK, and know

And

not thy fame

no heavier chastisement from me.


1

thyself to be

ever at thy season be thou free

spill

venom when thy fangs

the

Eemorse and Self-contempt

Hot Shame

And like

bum

shall

o'erflow

shall cling to thee

upon thy

secret brow.

a beaten hound tremble thou shalt

as now.

XXXVIII

Nor

let

us weep that our delight

Par from these carrion

He

kites that scream below

wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead

Thou

canst not soar where he

Dust to the dust

Back

is fled

is sitting

but the pure

to the burning fountain

now.

spirit shall flow

whence

it

came,

portion of the Eternal, which must glow

Through time and change, unquenchably

the same.

Whilst thy cold embers choke the sordid hearth of shame.

XXXIX
Peace, peace

He

he

is

not dead, he doth not sleep

hath awakened from the dream of

life

'T is we who, lost in stormy visions, keep

With phantoms an

unprofltable strife,
[

236

;! ;

THE YEARS
And

in

mad

1820

AND

; ;

1821

trance, strike with our spirit's knife

Invulnerable nothings.

We decay

Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief


Convulse us and consume us day by day.

And

cold hopes

swarm

worms f ithin our

like

living clay.

XL

He

has outsoared the shadow of our night

Envy and calumny and

And

hate and pain.

men

that unrest which

Can touch him not and

miscall delight.

torture not again

From

the contagion of the world''s slow stain

He

secure,

is

and now can never mourn

grown

heart

Nor, when the

With

cold, a

head grown grey in vain


has ceased to

spirit's self

bum.

sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.

XLI

He

lives,

Mourn
Turn

The

Ye

he wakes

't is

not for Adonais.

all

Death

is

dead, not he

Thou young Dawn

thy dew to splendour, for from thee

spirit

thou lamentest

is

not gone

caverns and ye forests, cease to

moan

Cease, ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air

Which

like a

mourning

veil

O'er the abandoned Earth,

Even

thy scarf hadst thrown

now

leave

it

bare

to the joyous stars which smile on its despair


[

237

;;;;

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
XLII

He

is

made one with Nature

His voice in

Of thunder

He

is

all

Which
Which

itself

heard

moan

song of night's sweet bird

a presence to be felt and

Spreading

is

her music, from the

to the

In darkness and in

Sustains

there

light,

known

from herb and

where'er that

stone.

Power may move

has withdrawn his being to

its

own

wields the world with never wearied love.

it

from beneath, and kindles

it

above.

XLin
He

is

a portion of the loveliness

Which once he made more


His

part, while the

lovely

he doth bear

one Spirit's plastic stress

Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there


All new successions to the forms they wear

Torturing th' unwilling dross that checks

To

its

own

likeness, as each

its flight

mass may bear

And bursting in its beauty and its might


From trees and beasts and men into the Heaven's

light.

XLIV
The splendours of the firmament

May

of time

be eclipsed, but are extinguished not

Like

stars to their appointed height they

And

death

The

is

climb

a low mist which cannot blot

brightness

it

may

veil.

238

When
]

lofty thought

-3

"=

m
2 o

cn

ss
"?"

Et

THE YEARS
Lifts a

And

1820

young heart above

love and

Shall be

And move

life

earthly

its

like

its

contend in

AND

mortal
it,

1821

lair,

what

for

doom, the dead

'

live there

winds of light on dark and stormy

air.

XLV
The

inheritors of unfulfilled

Eose from

Far in the Unapparent.

Rose

renown

their thrones, built

pale, his

solemn agony had not

Yet faded from him; Sidney,

And

as

he

fell

beyond mortal thought.

Chatterton

as he fought

and as he lived and loved

Sublimely mild, a Spirit without spot,

Arose ; and Lucan, by his death approved


Oblivion as they rose shrank like a thing reproved.

XLYI
And many

more, whose names on earth are dark

But whose transmitted


So long as

fire

effluence cannot die

outlives the parent spark,

Eose, robed in dazzling immortality.

" Thou art become as one of us,'^ they cry,


" It was for thee yon kingless sphere has long

Swung

blind in unascended majesty,

Silent alone

amid an Heaven of Song.

Assume thy winged

throne, thou Yesper of our throng

239

WITH SHELLEY

IN

;;

ITALY

XLVII

Who

for Adonais ?

mourns

Fond wretch

Oh come

forth

and know thyseK and him aright.

Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous earth


a centre, dart thy spirit's light

As from
Beyond

worlds, until

all

its

spacious might

Satiate the void circumference

Even

And keep

When

thy heart light lest

then shrink

to a point within our day

and night

make

it

thee sink

hope has kindled hope, and lured thee to the brink.

XLVIII

Or go

Oh

to

Eome, which

is

the sepulchre

not of him, but of our joy

't is

nought

That ages, empires, and religions there


Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought

For such

as he can lend,

they borrow not

Glory from those who made the world their prey

And he

Who
And

is

gathered to the kings of thought

waged contention with

their time's decay,

of the past are all that cannot pass away.

XLIX
Go thou
The

to

Eome,

at once the Paradise,

grave, the city, and the wilderness

And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,


And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones

of Desolation's nakedness
[

240

THE YEARS
Pass,

Thy

the Spirit of the spot shall lead

till

like an infant's smile, over the dead

of laughing flowers along the grass

A. light

is

spread.

grey walls moulder round, on which dull Time

Feeds, like slow

And

1821

footsteps to a slope of green access

Where,

And

AND

1820

fire

upon a hoary brand

one keen pyramid with wedge sublime.

Pavilioning the dust of

him who planned

This refuge for his memory, doth stand

Like flame transformed to marble ; and beneath,

A field is
Have

spread, on which a newer

band

pitched in Heaven's smile their

Welcoming him we

camp

of death

lose with scarce extinguished breath.

LI
Here pause

these graves are

To have outgrown
Its charge to each

all

too

young ^

as yet

the sorrow which consigned


;

and

if

the seal

is set

Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind.

Break

it

not thou

Thine own well

Of

tears

and

too surely shalt thou find

full, if

gall.

thou returnest home,

Prom

the world's bitter wind

Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.

What Adonais

is,

why

1 Shelley's infant son

two years
16

fear

we

to

become ?

William had been buried in

before.

241

this

ground

less

than

WITH SHELLEY

IN

ITALY

LH
The One remains, the many change and pass
Heaven's light for ever shines, Earth's shadows
Life, like a

dome

fly ;

of many-coloured glass.

Stains the white radiance of Eternity,

Until Death tramples

to fragments.

it

Follow where

all is fled

Eome's
music, words

azure sky,

Flowers, ruins, statues,

The glory they

Die

which thou dost seek

If thou wouldst be with that

are

weak

transfuse with fitting truth to speak.

Lin

Why

linger,

Thy hopes

why

are

turn back,

gone before

why

shrink,

from

all

my

heart ?

things here

They have departed ; thou shouldst now depart

A light is

past from the revolving year.

And man, and woman ; and what


Attracts to crush, repels to

The

soft

sky smiles,

'T is Adonais

No more

calls

make

still is

dear

thee wither.

the low wind whispers near;

oh, hasten thither.

let Life divide

what Death can join together;

LIV
That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
That Beauty in which

all

things

work and move.

That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse

Of

birth can

quench not, that sustaining Love

Which through

the

web

of being blindly

[ 24.2

wove

JKOTESTANT CEMETERY
Pyramid of Cestius

at

'
'

and

Rome.

One keen pyramid loUh wedge sublime.

Pavilioning the dust of him who planned


This refuge for his memory, doth stand

JAke flame transformed

to m,arble.

''

Adonais, p. 241.
Compare with

Shelley's prose description, Letter

from Naples,

p. 73.

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

By man and

beast and earth and air and sea.


Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst j now beams on mej

Consuming the

last clouds of cold mortality.

LV
The breath whose might I have invoked
Descends on

me

my

Far from the shore,

Whose

sails

spirit's

am

is

were never to the tempest given ;


skies are riven

borne darkly, fearfully, afar

Whilst burning through the inmost

The

driven,

from the trembling throng

far

The massy earth and sphered


I

bark

in song

veil of

Heaven,

soul of Adonais, like a star,

Beacons from the abode where the Eternal

are.

TO MES. SHELLEY
(Bagni di Pisa)
Florence, Aug.

...

1,

1831.

I spent three hours this morning principally in

the contemplation of the Niobe and of a favourite Apollo


all

worldly thoughts and cares seem to vanish from before

the sublime emotions such

spectacles create;

and I

am

deeply impressed with the great difference of happiness

enjoyed by those

who

live at

nations of all that the

beauty, and those


pleasure.

What

a distance from these incar-

finest

who can

minds have conceived of

company

at

we were forbidden

to

resort to

should we think

243

if

their

WITH SHELLEY
who have

read the great writers

ITALY

IN

left

us their works

yet to be forbidden to live at Florence or

Eome

And

an

is

evil

magnitude.

of the same kind, of scarcely less

TO MRS. SHELLEY
(Pisa)

8,

to the post yesterday, I

letter

went to see some of the antiquities of

and the traces of

its

which once came close to

distance

marshes,

towards

it,

modem

interspersed with
sea

shore

patches

with

now

has

The

town.

retired to the

a melancholy extent of

of four miles, leaving

the

which

remains are to be found more

than four miles from the gate of the


sea,

this place;

This city was once of vast

appear to be remarkable.
extent,

1831.

my

After having seat

Ravenna, August

pine

of

and

cultivation,

forests,

which have

followed the retrocession of the Adriatic, and the roots

The

of which are actually washed by its waves.

level of

the sea and of this tract of country correspond so nearly,


that a ditch
filled

dug

up with

to a few feet in depth is immediately

All the ancient buildings have

sea water.

been choked up to the height of from

by the deposit of the


are

frequent

in the

five to

twenty

feet

and of the inundations, which

sea,

I went in Lord Byron's

"Winter.

San

carriage, first to the Chiesa

Vitale,

one of the most ancient churches in

which

Italy.

is

certainly

It

is

a ro-

tunda supported upon buttresses and pilasters of white


marble; the

ill effect

of which
[

244

is
]

somewhat

relieved by an

THE YEARS
interior

narrow.
the

soil,

peculiar

1820

The dome

row of columns.

The whole churchj


very high for

is

AND

1821
very

is

high and

in spite of the elevation of

hreadth, and

its

and striking construction.

is

of a very

In the section of one

of the large tables of marble with which the church


lined, they

^q perfect figure,

showed me

had been painted,

Capuchin

of

as perfect as if

friar,

is

it

which resulted

merely from the shadings and the position of the stains

This

in the marble.

what may be called a pure

is

antici-

pated cognition of a Capuchin.

I then went to the tomb of Theodosius,' which has now


been dedicated to the Virgin, without however any change
in its original appearance.

present city.

It

This building

by the elevated

soil,

is

is

about a mile from the

more than half overwhelmed

although a portion of the lower story

has been excavated, and

with brackish and stink-

is filled

ing waters, and a sort of vaporous darkness, and troops of


It is a remarkable piece of architecture,

prodigious frogs.

and without belonging

to a period

when the

ancient taste

yet survived, bears nevertheless a certain impression of


that

taste.

It consists of two stories;

the lower sup-

ported on Doric arches, and pilasters, and a simple entablature.

The other

circular within,

and roofed with one


is

it

single

evidently one, and

contrived to

lift it

and polygonal outside,

mass of ponderous stone, for

Heaven alone knows how they

to that height.

It

dome, rough- wrought within by the

is

a sort of

chisel,

flattish

from which

the Northern conquerors tore the plates of silver that

An

THs

error on SheUey's part.

not Iheodosita.

Ed.

is

245

the tomb of Theodoric the Great,

WITH SHELLEY
adorned

stone,

by a

and
it

it,

to

up.

which were also wrought out of the

ascend externally into the second story

flight of stone steps,

Sanf

which are modern.


to

was a church called

Apollinare, which

one, I forget

solid

which I suppose the ropes were applied to

You

The next place I went


di

ITALY

and polished without, with things like handles

it^

appended to

draw

IN

whom,

a basilica, and

is

la Chiesa

built

Emperors;

of the Christian

by

it is

long church, with a roof like a barn, and supported by


twenty-four columns of the finest marble, with an altar
of jasper,

and four columns of jasper and giallo

antieo,

supporting the roof of the tabernacle, which are said to

be of immense value.
forget the

name

of

It is something like that church (I

it)

we saw

at

Eome, ykore

delle mure?-

I suppose the emperor stole these columns, which seem


not at aU to belong to the place they occupy.
city,

tomb

near the church of San Vitale, there


of the

Empress Galla

is

Within the

to be seen the

Placidia, daughter of Theo-

dosius the Great, together with those of her husband Constantius, her brother Honorius,
all

emperors.

The tombs

and her son

"Valentinian

massy cases of marble,

are

adorned with rude and tasteless sculpture of lambs, and


other Christian emblems, with
antique.

scarcely a

trace

of the

It seems to have been one of the first effects

of the Christian religion, to destroy the

ing beauty in

art.

power of produc-

These tombs are placed in a sort of

vaulted chamber, wrought over with rude mosaic, which


is

said to have been built in 1300.

I have yet seen no

more of Eavenna.
1 St.

Paul Witlout the WaUs.


[

246

2.
11

IT.
'^

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

TO MARY SHELLEY AT PISA

Ravenna, August

What

think you of remaining at Pisa

would probably be induced


would

16, 1821.

The Williamses

to stay there if

we did ; Hunt

certainly stay, at least this Winter, near us, should

he emigrate at

all;

Lord Byron and

his Italian friends

would remain quietly there; and Lord Byron has


tainly a great regard for us
is

worth

some

the regard

of such a

we must pay

of the tribute

cer-

man

to the base

passions of humanity in any intercourse with those within


their circle

bestow

it

he

My greatest
society.

is

better

worth

it

whom we

than those on

from mere custom.

content would be utterly to desert

I would

retire with

all

human

you and our child to a

tary island in the sea, would build a boat, and shut

my

retreat the flood-gates of the world.

reviews, and talk with no authors.


agination, it

would

tell

me

this I

would not

listen

together, the devil

is

If I dared trust

whom

among them.

my

im-

two chosen

I should desire.

where two

upon

I would read no

that there are one or

companions beside yourself

soli-

But to

or three are gathered

And

good, far more

than evil impulses, love, far more than hatred, has been to

me, except as you have been


sorts of mischief.

would devote

So on

its

object, the source of all

this plan,

I would be alone, and

either to oblivion or to future generations,

the overflowings of a

mind which, timely withdrawn from


[

247

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
the contagion, should be kept
this it does

no baser

class, as

form for ourselves a society of

to

is

much

as possible in intellect, or in feel-

and to connect ourselves with the

Our

society.

of

which we led until

Wahabee Arabs,

London.

interests of that

roots never struck so deeply as at Pisa, and

People who lead the

the transplanted tree flourishes not.


lives

But

object.

medium ought

side of the alternative (for a

not to be adopted)

ings

for

not appear that we shall do.

The other
our own

fit

We

Winter, are like a family

last

pitching their tent in the midst of

must do one thing or the other

for

yourseK, for our child, for our existence.

TO MR. JOHN GISBORNE


(London)
'

We have
it

Pisa, October 33, 1821.

I shall get

all

my

entrench myself like a spider in a web.


P.^ in

mean

furnished a house at Pisa, and

our headquarters.

to

If

you can

sending them to Leghorn, you would do

especial favour

but do not buy

me

make

books out, and


assist

me

an

Calderon, Eaust, or

Kant, as H. S.^ promises to send them

me from

Paris,

where I suppose you had not time to procure them.

Any

you or Henry think would accord with


Oilier wiU furnish you with.

other books
design,

I should like very

much

Adonais, and you would


1

to hear

oblige

Peacock.

248

what

me by

is

said of

my
my

cutting out, or

Horace SmitL

td
<!

wM

CC Lh

O g

S'

^ ^

fe*

a 3 I

a
S a
S

o
S

^
~

'

a-

THE YEARS
making

Oilier cut out,

sending

two

it

AND

1820

1821

any respectable criticism on

mej you know I do not mind


The Epipsychidion

in postage.

it,

and

crown or

a mystery; as to

is

real flesh

and blood, you know that I do not deal in those

articles

you might

go to a gin-shop for a leg of

as well

mutton, as expect anything

human

or earthly from me.

I desired Oilier not to circulate this piece except to the


crvveroi,

and even they,

mate me to the

But I intend

it

seems, are inclined to approxi-

circle of a servant-girl

to write a

Symposium

of

and her sweetheart.

my own

to set all

this right.

You

I read the Greek dramatists and Plato for ever.


are right about Antigone;

woman

how

sublime a picture of a

and what think you of the choruses, and espe-

cially the lyrical

complaints of the godlike victim? and

the menaces of Tiresias, and their rapid fulfilment ?

Some

of us have, in a prior existence, been in love with Antigone,

and that makes us

find

no

full

content in any mortal

tie.

THE BOAT ON THE SEECHIO


Our

boat

is

Its sails are

asleep on Serchio^s stream.

folded like thoughts in a dream,

The helm sways

idly, hither

and thither

Dominic, the boatman, has brought the mast.

And

the oars and the sails

Like a beast, unconscious of

The

And

stars

but

't is

its tether.

burnt out in the pale blue

the thin white

moon

sleeping fast.

air.

lay withering there,

[249]

WITH SHELLEY
To

tower, and cavern, and

The owl and the bat

IN ITALY

rift,

and

tree,

fled drowsily.

Day had kindled the dewy woods.


And the rocks above and the stream below.

And the vapours in their multitudes.


And the Apennine's shroud of Summer
And clothed with light of aery gold
The mists

snow.

in their eastern caves uproUed.

Day had awakened

all

things that be.

The lark and the thrush and the swallow

free,

And the milkmaid's song and the mower's


And the matin-bell and the mountain bee

scythe.

Fire-flies

were quenched on the dewy corn.

Glow-worms went out on the

river's brim.

Like lamps which a student forgets to trim

The

beetle forgot to

The

crickets were

wind
still

his horn.
in the

meadow and

hill

Like a flock of rooks at a farmer's gun


Night's dreams and terrors, every one,

Fled from the brains which are their prey

From

the lamp's death to the morning ray.

He

All rose to do the task

Who
The

set to each.

shaped us to his ends and not our own

million rose to learn, and one to teach

What none yet ever knew or can be known.


And many rose
Whose woe was such that fear became desire ;
.

Melchior and Lionel were not


1

among

those

These names doubtless stand to signify WiUiams

Shelley (Tjionel).

250

(Melchior)

and

-J.

C3

2 3

ST-

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

They from the throng of men had stepped

And made
It

their

was that

hill,

home under

aside,

the green hillside.

whose intervening brow

Screens Lucca from the Pisan's envious eye,^

Which

the circumfluous plain waving below.

Like a wide lake of green

With streams and

fields

fertility,

and marshes bare,

Divides from the far Apennines


Islanded in the immeasurable

" What think you,

Our

little

as she lies in her green cove.


""
is dreaming of ?

why I should

true,

That she was dreaming of our

We

lie

sleeping boat

" If morning dreams are

And

which

air.

of the miles of watery

guess

idleness.

way

should have led her by this time of day."

" Never mind," said Lionel,


" Give care

to the winds, they can bear it well

About yon poplar tops


The white clouds

And

the stars

More

How
List

and

see

are driving merrily.

we miss

this

mom will light

willingly our return to-night.


it

my

whistles, Dominic's long black hair

dear fellow

the breeze blows fair

Hear how it sings into the air."


" Of us and of our lazy motions,"
Impatiently said Melcbior,

" If I can guess a boat's emotions;

And how we
The mountain San

ought, two hours before.


Giuliano as described by Dante, Inferno, canto 33.

[251]

WITH SHELLEY
To have been

And

the devil

IN ITALY

knows where."
Tuscan

"

then, in such transalpine

As would have

killed a Della-Crnscan,

So, Lionel according to his art

Weaving his idle words, Melchior said


" She dreams that we are not yet out of bed
:

We

put a soul into her, and a heart

'11

Which

like a

dove chased by a dove shall beat."

" Ay, heave the

ballast overboard,

And stow the eatables in the aft locker."


" Would not this keg be best a little lowered ? "
" No, now all's right." " Those bottles of warm
must be stowed tenderly
(Give me some straw)
Such as we used, in Summer after six.

tea

To cram in greatcoat pockets, and to mix


Hard eggs and radishes and rolls at Eton,
And, couched on stolen hay in those green harbours
Farmers called gaps, and we schoolboys called arbours,

Would

feast till eight."

With

As

if

a bottle in one hand.

his very soul

were

at

a stand,

when Melchior brought him


"
helm
ready

Lionel stood

"

Sit at the

The chain

The

steady

fasten this sheet

is loosed,

the

sails are

all

spread.

living breath is fresh behind.

As with dews and sunrise fed.


Comes the laughing morning wind j
[ 252 ]

THE YEARS
The

sails are full,

AND

1820

the boat makes head

Against the Serchio's torrent

Then

flags

1821

fierce.

with intermitting course,

And hangs upon


The tempest

the wave, and stems

of the

"Which fervid from

its

mountain source

Shallow, smooth, and strong doth come,


Swift as

fire,

tempestuously

It sweeps into the affrighted sea

In morning's smile

its

eddies coil.

Its billows sparkle, toss,

Torturing

and

boil.

all its quiet light

Into columns fierce and bright.

The

Serchio, twisting forth

Between the marble barriers which

At

The wave

clove

chasm

that died the death which lovers love.

Living in what

Had

it

Eipafratta, leads through the dread

it

As

sought.

if this

spasm

not yet passed, the toppling mountains cling,

But the
Pours

itself

Down
Sends

clear stream in full enthusiasm

its

on the

plain, then

wandering

one clear path of effluence crystalline.


superfluous waves, that they

At Arno's

feet tribute of

Then, through the

com and

may

fling

wine,

pestilential deserts wild

Of tangled marsh and woods


It rushes to the Ocean.

253

of stunted pine,

;;

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

FEAGMENT
EVENING

PONTE AL MARE,

PISA.
I

The sun

is set

The bats
The slow

And

the swallows are asleep

are flitting fast in the grey air j

soft toads

damp

out of

corners creep.

evening's breath, wandering here and there

Over the quivering surface of the

Wakes not one

ripple

from

its

streanij

Summer

dream.

II

There

is

no dew on the dry grass to-night.

Nor damp
The wind

And

is

within the shadow of the trees;

intermitting, dry,

in the inconstant

The dust and straws

And

and

light

motion of the breeze

are driven

up and down,

whirled about the pavement of the town.

in
Within the surface of the

fleeting river

The wrinkled image of the

Immovably unquiet, and


It trembles, but

Go

to the

it

city lay.

for ever

never fades away ;

You, being changed,


[

will find it then as

254

now.

^
1

;:

THE YEARS

AND

1820

1821

IV

The chasm

By

in

which the sun has sunk

is

shut

darkest barriers of cinereous cloudy

Like mountain over mountain huddled, but

Growing and moving upwards

And

over

Which

it

in a

crowd

a space of watery blue,

the keen evening star

is

shining through.

CHOEUS TO HELLAS
The

world's great age begins anew.

The golden years


The

return.

earth doth like a snake renew

Her Winter weeds outworn


Heaven

smiles,

and

faiths

and empires gleam.

Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter
A

Hellas rears

its

mountains

From waves

serener far

new Peneus

rolls his fountains

Against the morning

Where

fairer

star.

Tempes bloom,

Young Cyclads on a

A loftier Argo

there sleep

sunnier deep.

cleaves the main,

Fraught with a

later prize

Another Orpheus sings again.

And

A new

loves,

and weeps, and

dies.

Ulysses leaves once more

Calypso for his native shore.


[

255

WITH SHELLEY
Oh, write no more the

:!

ITALY

IN

tale of Troy,

must be

If earth Death's scroll

Nor mix with Laian rage the joy


Which dawns upon the free
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens

And

shall arise.

to remoter time

Bequeath, like sunset to the skies.

The splendour

And

AU

leave, if

of

its

prime

nought so bright may

eaith can take or

Heaven can

live,

give.

Saturn and Love their long repose


Shall burst,

Than

who

all

more bright and good

fell,

than

One who

rose.

Than many unsubdued

Not

gold, not blood, their altar dowers.

But

votive tears and symbol flowers.

Oh, cease
Cease
Cease

Of

must bate and death return

must men

drain not to

kill
its

and die ?

dregs the urn

bitter prophecy.

The world

is

weary of the past.

Oh, might

it

die or rest at last

256

THE YEAR

1822

Oe

THE YEAR
PISA:

BAT OF

1822
LEBICI

INTRODUCTORY

^LL

^1

iner

Winter long, a seaside residence for the

had been

at Pisa.

proved

Surni-

the talk

of the little colony offriends


House-hunting began in February, but

to be so difficult that in the

end only one house

could be secured for the two fa/milies of Shelley


Williams,

and

the remainder

of

the

The place

together the idea of removal.

selected

Casa Magni, now known as Casa Maccarini, on


Lerici near the

of

To

this house,

little

and

group gave up
the

al-

was

Bay

fshing-village of San Terenzo.

whose foundations were

built in the

very

midst of the waves, and which, when storms raged and


the waters dashed against

it,

seemed quite as much boat

as house, they removed in the last days of April, 1822.

third story has been added since the time

and a modem road now passes

of the Shelleys

in front, but the arrange-

ment of the interior is quite unaltered.


The wide terrace
running entirely cbcross the front of the house is its principal charm,

and

may truly feel Shelley as a


place^'' may fancy him walking

here one

'^presence plain in the

up and down, adding new stanzas


[

259

to

" The Triumph of

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

Life^ or composing some of the hvely


the local color of this charming bay.

sofuUof

lyrics

Where music and moonlight and feeling


Are one.

and

TTie taste for boating

athletics

shared in common

by Shelley and Williams, although in the end

was from

their undoing,

pleasure

and

and had a

health to both.

certain

to

prove

a great source of
Mrs. Williams was musical

the

start

charm of manner which seems to have


Plainly it was felt by

been acJcnowledged by everyone.

and Shelley wrote of her: "All

both of the Shelleys,

agree that Jane


in

'

The

is the

exact antitype

'pure anticipated cognition^ as


before

and

I knew

the

described

her.''''

The

it

was written a year

lyrics addressed

"

To Jane "

"Lines Written in the Bay of Lerid,'" refect

characteristic

by the

of the lady

Sensitive Plant^ though this must have been a

mood and

the occupations

of

this

the

Summer

sea.

little

sail-boat, the

"Ariel^

built

according to the

plans of these amateur searnen and not entirely approved

by the builder of it, now became

and

Shelley'' s favorite

haunt,

drifting on the waves or resting in some sea-cave, he

up once more the story of Charles I as the suhject


a
tragedy
he had long been contemplating, and began
of
" The Triumph of Life^'' a long poem in terza rima, the
took

favorite Italian metre.

These remain as fragments only,

but "

The Triumph of Life " shows that Shelley''s powers


as a poet were never more awake nor more sweetly tuned
to lofby themes

than now.
[

260

THE YEAR
It is characteristic

1822

Shelley's whole self-forgetting

of

career that the voyage which cost

him

was under-

his life

offriendship and generosity.


had been working up a scheme

taTcen solely in the interests

For more than a year


for

of a literary magazine at Pisa,


" The LiberaV Byron and Shelley were to

the establishment

to he called

furnish thefu/nds and

was

he

to

to he its contributors

come from England

was conceived largely for

to edit

it.

Leigh Hunt

The whole project

of helping the wellbeloved but always unfortunate Hunt, by giving him an


the sake

and

occupation worthy of his powers,


possibly

benefiting his

With much

health by

at the same time

a change of

Byron was induced by

tact,

to surrender the lower foor

climate.

Shelley to agree

of his paUice on

the

Amo

at

Pisa for the occupation of Hunt, his invalid wife, and

Twice Shelley furnished the money

his seven children.

for

the trip from

a failure owing

But in
the

England

sea,

proving

which drove them bach.

days of June, 1822, word came that

these last

Hunts had

to Italy, the first start

a storm at

to

at

last

reached Genoa

and would

tinue their journey by water to Leghorn.

con-

Shelley

and

Williams made no delay in sailing for the sa/me port,


in their

own

little

boat, to meet them.

scarcely longer than

those

The journey was

they were in

the habit

making, although more out in the open sea

there

of
was

no thought of danger, and the run was accomplished


swiftly

and without

After seeing

adventure.

Hunt

comfortably settled in Pisa, on the

eighth day of July, Shelley started on the return voyage

with only Williams and a


[

young sailor boy as compan261

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Eager
gestion of an
ions.

mischief out

sugof, they paid no heed to the

to be

old sailor that " the Devil

there,""

and

at mid-day, the

was a-brewing
''

Ariel"" sailed

was watched
of Leghorn harbor. With a glass, she
by a friend from the light-home tower; he could see her
out

far as Viareggho} about ten miles out at sea, could


see the " temporale'"'' coming in from the gulf, could see
Then the storm burst, hidthem taking in the topsail.

as

ing them from view and raging with great fury ; it


passed as quickly as it came ; in twenty minutes ike hori-

among

zon was clear again, but

many

the

small craft

which had weathered the gale, there was no sign of the

had never learned to swim, and the


which he had loved " not wisely but too well^ had

" Ariel."
sea,

Shelley

engulfed him in

Ten days

waves.

its

later, the three bodies

Shelley's being easily identified

copy of Keat^s poems, given


parting.^
1 Shelley's

The

this

word

careful of the loan

I will return

six-

it

Ed.

by Robert Browning in a letter dated


me that the 'Lamia' was the only copy

told

That he lent

it

to Shelley

with due injunctions to be

on that account, and that SheUey replied emphatically

to you with

my own

hands.'

He told me

also of the con-

was to him in the circumstance that the hook had been found

hand

evidently thrust there,

custom was, when having been struck by any passage in whatever

book he might be reading with a

upon

at their

August

related

in Shelley's bosom, together with the right


as his

him by Hunt

" Via Reggie."

as

"Leigh Hunt

March, 1877.

solation there

to

story of the cremation on

The circumstances are

procurable in Italy.

'

by his garments and the

English and American editors have perpetuated Mrs. Shelley's

wrong writing of
^

were washed ashore,

it.

friend,

This circumstance Leigh

he paused to enjoy and pronounce

Hunt

considered decisive as to the sad-

denness and comparative painlessness of the death.

Leigh Hunt

if

the book

still

existed,

he replied,

262

'

... On my

No, I threw

asking

it into

the

CZ2
ITS

O O
s s

'

'

I.

'

cj,

s a. s
^ o S

1.

tS

THE YEAR

1822

teenth^ has been told vividly by the eye-witnesses, Tre-

lawney. Hunt, and Byron.

Tradition at Viareggio

still

points to the spot on the

sands near the edge of the pine forest, where the funeral

pyre was made

but

and

picturesqueness

its

desolation

have been banished by the encroachments of a popular


bathing-place,

and

the spade

now (190^) about

is

destroy all vestiges of the spot by the erection of a

The

building.
to

oldest inhabitant,

aged

to

new

ninety-Jive, claims

remember the event, but her reminiscences are too

confused to be trustworthy.

The

and

ashes were preserved

Rome

in the Protestant Cemetery at

Shelley

had

written,

buried, as

was

the spot

"It might mahe one in

fitting,

of which
love with

death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet


place.""

Fitting requiem of the poet are his


seemingly prophetic

which

My song, its pinions


Drooped;

close the

own words

" Ode

to Liberty

""

disarrayed of might.

o'er it closed the echoes far

away

Of the great voice which did its flight sustain.


As waves which lately paved his watery way
Hiss round a drowner's head in their tempestuous play.

Of the man, mcmy and


both at the time

since, but

none more touching than

of the friend who knew him

that

burning

pile

Shelley said he would return

and so he shall return


1

amd

tender were the tributes written

it

best,

it

Leigh Hunt:

with his

own

hands into mine,

'"

Scarcely any two of Shelley's biographers have agreed on the date of this

event.

In the archives

report saying

it

at Viareggio

may

be read the Health Officer's

took place August 16th at four in the afternoon.


[

.263

Ed.

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
"

Had

he would have made everybody know

he

lived,

of

the gentlest life

him for what he was a man


temperate,

idolized by his friends, studious,

and

conversation,

and mlling

to

have died to do the world a service."

"

of

Had he

has come

this

raries,

lived "

do we of

But even though dead, somethmg


Better than his contempo-

to pass.

the

motives; mare plainly

twentieth centwry understand his

than they, do we see that his

when seemingly

deeds, even

erratic

and blameworthy,

were never inspired by other than lofty ideals ; and in


spite

of

all

our materialism, our hearts respond as never

before to the message

of the most

spiritual

of

the English

poets.

TO

JAJfE:

Best and

THE INVITATION

brightest,

come away

Fairer far than this fair Day,

Which,

Comes

like thee to those in sorrow.

to bid a sweet

good-morrow

To

the rough Year just awake

In

its

cradle on the brake.

The brightest hour of unborn Spring,

Through the Winter wandering.


Found,

it

seems, the halcyon

Morn

To hoar February born

Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth.


It kissed the forehead of the Earth,

And smiled upon the silent sea.


And bade the frozen streams be
[

264

free,

THE YEAR

1822

And waked to music all their fountains,


And breathed upon the frozen mountains.
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,

Making

the wintry world appear

Like one on

whom

thou smilest, dear.

Away, away, from men and towns,


To the wild wood and the downs

To the
Where

silent wilderness

the soul need not repress

Its

music

An

echo in another's mind.

lest it

While the touch

should not find

of Nature's art

Harmonises heart

to heart.

I leave this notice on

my

For each accustomed


" I am gone into the

visitor

To take what
Eeflection,
Sit

by the

You
You

door
:

fields

this sweet

hour yields

fireside

with Sorrow.

with the unpaid

bill.

your

will listen to

Expectation too, be
is

for itself

Despair,

I will pay you in the grave,

To-day

tiresome verse-reciter, Care,

Death

you may come to-morrow,

stave.

off

enough;

mock not Woe

Hope

in pity

With

smiles, nor follow

Long

having lived
[

where I go

on thy sweet food,

265

WITH SHELLEY
At

IN ITALY

length I find one moment's good

with

After long pain

This you never told

me

all

your love.

of."

Eadiant Sister of the Day,

Awate
To

arise

and come away

the wild woods and the plains.

And

the pools where

Image

all their

Where
Of

the pine

sapless green

Eound stems
Where

And

its

rains

garland weaves

and ivy dun

that never kiss the sun

the lawns and pastures be.

the sandhills of the sea

Where
The

Winter

roof of leaves,

the melting hoar-frost wets

daisy-star that never sets.

And wind-flowers, and violets.


Which yet join not scent to hue.
Crown the pale year weak and new

When

the night

In the deep

And
And

east,

is left

behind

dun and

the blue noon

is

blind.

over us,

the multitudinous

murmur at our feet.


Where the earth and ocean meet.
And all things seem only one
Billows

In the universal sun.

266

.* 8
a.

&

Si

1^
a-

S a

^
:i

gas,
s.

THE YEAR

1822

TO JANE: THE EECOLLECTION

Now

many

the last day of

days,

All beautiful and bright as thou.

The
Eise,

Up

loveKest and the

Memory, and

to thy

write

wonted work

The epitaph

last, is

its

praise

frown

is

come, trace

of glory fled,

For now the Earth has changed

dead,

its face,

on the Heaven's brow.

11

We

wandered to the Pine Forest

The

lightest

That

skirts the Ocean's

wind was in

The tempest

in its

home.

The whispering waves were


The clouds were gone

And on

the

half asleep.
to play.

bosom of the deep.

The smile of Heaven


It

foam.

its nest.

seemed as

if

lay

the hour were one

Sent from beyond the skies.

Which

A
^

scattered from above the sun


light of Paradise.

TMs poem was

called originally

" In the Pine Forest of the Cascine,

near Pisa."
[

267

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
III

We paused
The

amid the pines that stood

giants of the waste.

Tortured by storms to shapes as rude

As

And

serpents interlaced.

soothed by every azure breath.

That under heaven

is

blown.

To harmonies and hues beneath.


As tender

Now

as its

own

the tree-tops lay asleep,

all

Like green waves on the

As

sea.

as in the silent deep

still

The ocean woods may

be.

IV

How

calm

By

it

was

the

silence there

such a chain was bound

That even the busy woodpecker

Made
The

stiller

by her sound

inviolable quietness

The breath

With

its soft

of peace

we drew

motion made not

The calm

that

less

round us grew.

There seemed from the remotest seat

Of the white mountain waste.

To

the soft flower beneath our feet,

magic

circle traced,

268

THE YEAR
A

spirit interfused

around,

thrilling silent life.

To momentary peace

Our mortal

And

still

felt

it

bound

nature's strife

the centre of

The magic

Was

1822

circle there.

form that

one

fair

The

lifeless

with love

filled

atmosphere.

We paused

heside the pools that

Under the
Each seemed

lie

forest bough.

as 't were a little sky

Gulfed in a world below

firmament of purple

Which

More boundless than

And

light,

in the dark earth lay.

the depth of night,

purer than the day

In which the lovely forests grew

As in the upper air.


More perfect both in shape and hue
Than any spreading there.
There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn.

And through

the dark green

The white sun twinkling

Out

like the

wood
dawn

of a speckled cloud.

Sweet views which in our world above

Can never well be seen.


Were imaged by the water's love

Of

that fair forest green.


[

269

WITH SHELLEY
And

all

was interfused beneath

With an

An

ITALY

IN

elysian glow.

atmosphere without a breath,

day below.

softer

Like one beloved the scene had lent

To

the dark water's breast.

and lineament

Its every leaf

With more than truth

exprest

Until an envious wind crept by,

Like an unwelcome thought.

Which from

the mind's too faithful eye

Blots one dear image out.

Though thou
The
Less oft

art ever fair

and kind.

forests ever green,

is

peace in Shelley's mind.

Than calm

in waters seen.

WITH A GUITAE: TO JANE^


Aeiel

to Miranda.

Take

This slave of Music, for the sake

Of him who

And

teach

is

the slave of thee.

it all

the

harmony

In which thou canst, and only thou.

Make
^

the delighted spirit glow,

This instrnment,

still

in perfect condition,

Library at Oxford, having been given by E.

who bonght
'

There

is

it

of the grandson of the lady to

probably no other

relic

is

W.

preserved in the Bodleian


Silsbee, of Salem, Mass.,

whom

the

poem

is

addressed.

of a great poet so intimately associated

with the

arts of poetry and mnsic, or ever will be, nnless Milton's organ
should turn np at a broker's, or some excavating explorer should bring

to light the lyre of

Sappho."

K. Gaenett.
[

270

jyjONUMENT
In

Piazza

to Shelley at Viareggio.

Shelley, formerly Piazza

Piiolina.

^j^s^.v^-?r5i^^-'5--?

THE YEAR

1822

Till joy denies itself again,

And, too

intense, is turned to pain

command

For, by permission and

Of

thine

own

Prince Ferdinand,

Poor Ariel sends

this silent

token

Of more than ever can be spoken


Your guardian

From

life

to

life,

Your happiness
Can

who.

spirit, Ariel,

must

still

pursue

for thus alone

Ariel ever find his own.

From

Prospero's enchanted

As

the mighty verses

To

the throne of Naples, he

cell.

tell.

Lit you o^er the trackless sea.


Flitting on, your

prow

before.

Like a living meteor.

When you

die, the silent

Moon,

In her interlunar swoon.


Is not sadder in her cell

Than

deserted Ariel.

When you

live again

on earth

Like an unseen star of birth,


Ariel guides

Of

life

Many

you

from your

o'er the sea


nativity.

changes have been run,

Since Ferdinand and you begun

Your

course of love, and Ariel

Has tracked your

Now,
This

steps,

in humbler, happier lot


is all

remembered not;
[

271

still

and served your will;

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
And now,

alas

the poor sprite

Imprisoned^ for some fault of

In a body

like a grave;

From you he
For

is

his.

only dares to crave.

his service

and

his sorrow,

smile to-day, a song to-morrow.

The

artist

who

this idol

wrought.

To echo aU harmonious thought,


Felled a tree, while on the steep

The woods were


Eocked

in their

Winter

sleep,

in that repose divine

On the wind-swept Apennine;


And dreaming, some of Autumn past.
And some of Spring approaching fast.
And some of April buds and showers.
And some of songs in July bowers.
And all of love ; and so this tree,
that such our death

Died in

To

sleep,

live in happier

From

artist

And

taught

all

felt

may be

no pain.

form again

which, beneath Heaven's fairest star.

The

To

and

who

wrought
it

this loved Guitar,

justly to reply.

question skilfully.

In language gentle

as thine

own ;

Whispering in enamoured tone


Sweet oracles of woods and

And Summer

dells.

winds in sylvan
[

272

cells

THE YEAR
For

Of
Of

it

had learnt

1822

harmonies

all

the plains and of the skies.


the forests and the mountainsj

And

the many-voiced foimtains

The

clearest echoes of the hills.

The

softest notes of falling rills.

The melodies

of birds and bees.

of Summer seas.
And pattering rain, and breathing dew.
And airs of evening and it knew

The murmuring

That seldom-heard mysterious sound,

Which, driven on

diurnal round.

its

As it floats through boundless day,


Our world enkindles on its way

All this

it

knows, but will not

To those who cannot question


The spirit that inhabits it

tell

well

It talks according to the wit

Of

its

companions

and no more

Is heard than has been felt before.

By

those

who tempt

to betray

it

These secrets of an elder day

But

sweetly as

its

answers will

Flatter hands of perfect skiU,


It keeps its highest, holiest tone

For our beloved Jane

18

273

alone.

WITH SHELLEY

ITALY

IN

TO JANE
"the keen

stabs

were twinkling"

The keen stars were twinkling,


And the fair moon was rising among

them,

Dear Jane

The guitar was

tinkling,

But the notes were not sweet

tiU

you sung them

Again.

II

As

the moon's soft splendour

O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven


Is thrown.

So your voice most tender

To

the strings without soul had then given


Its

own.

m
The

Though

stars will

the

moon

awaken.

sleep a full

hour

later.

To-night;

No

leaf will

be shaken

Whilst the dews of your melody scatter


Delight.
[

274

"lyriNERVA.

In

^'--Uffizi Gallery.

See p. 282.

THE YEAR

1822

IV
Though

the sound overpowers,

Sing agaiuj with your dear voice revealing

A tone
Of some world far from ours.
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Are one.

A DIEGE
EoiTGH wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song

Wild wind, when


Knells

sullen cloud

the night long

all

Sad storm, whose

tears are vain.

Bare woods, whose branches

Deep

stain.

caves and dreary main.

Wail, for the world^s wrong

LINES WEITTEN IN THE BAY OE LEEICI


She

left

When

me at the silent time


moon had ceased to cHmb

the

The azure path

And

like

of Heaven's steep,

an albatross

asleep.

Balanced on her wings of light.

Hovered in the purple

night,

Ere she sought her ocean nest


In the chambers of the West.
[

275

;;;

WITH SHELLEY
She

left

ITALY

IN

me, and I stayed alone

Thinking over every tone

Which, though

silent to the ear.

The enchanted heart could hear.


Like notes which die when born, but

Haunt

And
The

As

the echoes of the hill

feehng ever

oh, too

much

if

her gentle hand, even now.

my brow

And thus, although she absent


Memory gave me all of her
That even Fancy dares to claim

Her

presence had

AU passions,

As they had

is

our own
forgot.

been, and would be, not.

soon, the guardian angel gone.

The daemon reassumed

and I lived alone

The past and future were

But

were.

made weak and tame

In the time which

my

My

soft vibration of her touch.

Lightly trembled on

In

his throne

I dare not speak

faint heart.

thoughts, but thus disturbed and weak

sat

and saw the vessels glide

Over the ocean bright and wide.


Like spirit-winged chariots sent
O'er some serenest element

For ministrations strange and

As

still

if to

some Elysian

far;

star

Sailed for drink to medicine

Such sweet and

bitter pain as mine.


[

276

THE YEAR

1822

And the wind that winged their flight


From the land came fresh and light.
And the scent of winged flowers.
And the coolness of the hours
Of dew, and sweet warmth left by day.
Were scattered o'er the twinkling bay.

And
And

the fisher with his

lamp

spear about the low rocks

damp

Crept, and struck the fish which came

To worship
Too happy

the delusive flame.


they,

Extinguishes

Of

all

whose pleasure sought


sense and thought

the regret that pleasure leaves.

Destroying

life

alone, not peace

THE ISLE
There was a little lawny
By anemone and violet.

islet

Like mosaic, paven

And

its

Which

roof was flowers and leaves

the Summer's breath enweaves.

Where nor sun nor showers nor

breeze

Pierce the pines and tallest trees.

Each a gem engraven.


Girt by

many an

With which

azure wave

the clouds and mountains pave

A lake's

blue chasm.

277

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

TO LEIGH HUNT
(At Genoa)
Lbeici, June 19, 1822.

My
that

Feiend, I

dearest

you may not have

Your

reach you.

letter

write to

you on the chance

my

Genoa before

letter

can

was sent to Pisa, and thence

for-

left

warded here, or I should probably have ventured

you

at

Genoa

but the chances are now so

to meet

much

dimin-

ished of finding you that I will not run the risk of the
delay of seeing you that would be caused by our missing

each other on the way.

I shall therefore set off for Leg-

horn the moment that I hear you have

sailed.

inhabit a white house, with arches, near the

Williams
Jane, his

agree

The Williamses

Gulf of Spezia.

in the

is

We

town of
are

now

Lerioi,

with us.

one of the best fellows in the world j and

is

wife, a

most delightful person,

whom we

the exact antitype of the lady I described in

Sensitive Plant,"

though

pated cognition, as

it

this

all

" The

must have heenapure antiei^

was written a year before I knew

her.

I wish you need not pass Lerici, which I fear you will do;
cast your eye

on the white house and think of

thousand welcomes,

country

whose

my

us.

best friend, to this divine

high mountains and seas no longer divide those

affections are united.

telligence of

your motions.

278

Give

me

the earliest in-

Y'ENUS ANADYOMENK.
^

111

Cifizi Gallery.

See p. 2S5.

THE YEAR

1822

TO HOEACE SMITH

(London)

Lbrici, June 29, 1823.

Lord Byron continues

at

Leghorn, and has just received

from Genoa a most beautiful

He

to be built there.

yacht, which he caused

little

has written two

Juan," but I have not seen them.

cantos of "

at

As soon

Genoa.

I hear that he has sailed, I shall weigh anchor in


schooner, and give

him chase

Don

I have just received a

from Hunt, who has arrived

letter

new

my

as

little

Leghorn, when I must

to

occupy myself in some arrangements for him with Lord

Between ourselves, I greatly

Byron.
ance

will not succeed

for I,

fear that this alli-

who could never have been

regarded as more than the link of the two thunderbolts,

cannot

now

alliance

hint

my

may

still

and they may be groundless.

inhabit this divine bay, reading Spanish dramas,

and

sailing,

We

have some friends on a

that the

listening to the

Summer must

would induce me never

most enchanting music.

visit to us,

my

and

ever pass, or that

the same predilection for this

Pray do not

continue, I will not prophesy.

and

is

the

doubts on the subject to any one, or they might

do harm to Hunt
I

how long

consent to be even that; and

to shift

only regret

Mary

has not

place that I have, which

my

quarters.

Alliance of Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, and Shelley, for the publication

at Pisa of a periodical to

be called " The Liberal."

The

first

number

of

this magazine, not issued until after Shelley's death, contained contributions

from

all three.

It

was a

failure financially,

publication of four numbers.

2T9

and was discontinued

after the

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY

CEITICAL NOTICES OF THE SCULPTUEE IN

THE FLORENCE GALLERY


On the Niobe
Op
is

all

that remains to us of Greet antiquity, this figure

perhaps the most consummate personification of

ness,

with regard to

of the Tribune
It is colossal

is

with regard to

the size adds to

its entire

its

catch a greater

him a more

number of the

form of woman.

value ; because

to the spectator the choice of a greater

of view, and affords

number

sheltering,

we may
The

It

figure of a

the

is

is

allows

which

to

modes of expression
is

necessarily

mother in the

from some divine and inevitable

act of

peril, the last,

imagine, of her surviving children.

little

creature, terrified, as

strange destruction of all

and

it

of points

analytical one, in

infinite

of which any form approaching ideal beauty

composed.

loveli-

countenance, as that of the Venus

its

hiding

its

its

we may

conceive, at the

kindred, has fled to

its

mother

head in the folds of her robe, and casting

back one arm, as in a passionate appeal for defence,


where

it

She

is

clothed in a thin tunic of delicate woof; and her

hair

is

fastened

never before could have been sought in vain.

on her head into a knot, probably by

mother whose care

will never fasten it again.

Niobe

veloped in profuse drapery, a portion of which the


has gathered up, and

is

child in the instinct of

knows

in the act of extending

shielding

The

to be inevitable.

properly imagined)

is

it

left

that

is

en-

hand

over the

her from what reason

right (as the restorer has

drawing up her daughter to her:


[

280

THE YEAR
and with that

1822
and by

instinctive gesture,

gentle pres-

its

sure, is encouraging the child to believe that it can give

The countenance

security.

of Niobe

is

the consummation

of feminine majesty and loveliness, beyond which the im-

agination scarcely doubts that

can conceive anything.

it

That masterpiece of the poetic harmony of marble exThere

presses other feelings.


inevitable
her, as if

is

and rapid destiny which


were already over.

it

embodied a sense of the

consummating around

is

It seems as if despair

and

beauty had combined, and produced nothing but the sub-

As

limity of grief.

the motions of the form expressed the

instinctive sense of the possibility of protecting the child,

and the accustomed and

assurance that she

affectionate

would find an asylum within her arms,

so reason

and im-

agination speak in the countenance the certainty that no

mortal defence

tenance, only grief

anger

known

of

There

of avail.

is

what

deep, remediless grief.

avail

is

agency
calamity

there

is

is

there

is

no adverting

is

no

selfish

no panic

is

no

what

is

There

indignation against

There

to be omnipotent ?

from personal pain

no terror in the coun-

is

shrinking

at supernatural

to herself as herself: the

mightier than to leave scope for such emotions.

Everything

is

swallowed up in sorrow

she

is all tears

her countenance, in assured expectation of the arrow piercing

its last

victim in her embrace,

tent enemy.
tender,

The

is

fixed

on her omnipo-

pathetic beauty of the expression of her

and inexhaustible, and unquenchable

beyond the

effect of sculpture.

pierce her last tie

upon

As soon as

despair,

is

the arrow shall

earth, the fable that she

was turned

into stone, or dissolved into a fountain of tears, will be but


[

281

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
a feeble

emblem

of the sadness of hopelessness, in which

remaining

evil years of her

the few and

life,

we

feel,

must

flow away.
It is difficult to speak of the beauty of the countenance,

or to

make

from what such astonish-

intelligible in words,

ing loveliness results.

The head,

resting

somewhat backward upon the

flowing contour of the neck,

is

The

event momently to arrive.

hair

clear forehead, over

face

is

which

The

of an oval fulness, and the features conceived with

bles the careless majesty

In

this respect it resem-

which Nature stamps upon the

them

rare masterpieces of her creation, harmonising

were from the harmony of the


not only consists with, but

is

spirit within.

of innocence

aE

Yet

as

it

all this

the cause of the subtlest deli-

cacy of clear and tender beauty

of

the, broad

strings are drawn.

its

the daring of a sense of power.

and

divided

is delicately

on the forehead, and a gentle beauty gleams from


and

full

as in the act of watching an

the

and sublimity of soul

expression at once

of purity and strength

that which touches the most removed and divine

of the chords that

make music

in our thoughts

of that

which shakes with astonishment even the most superficial

The Mineeva
The head

is of

from which the


escapes.

The

the highest beauty.


hair, delicately

It has a close helmet,

parted on the forehead, half

attitude gives entire

form of the neck, and to that

full

effect to

of the lower part of the face and mouth, which


[

282

the perfect

and beautiful moulding


is

in living

ICIIEL ANGELO'S Bacchus.


In National Museum.

See p. 286.


THE YEAR

1822

beings the seat of the expression of a simplicity ana in-

Her

tegrity of nature.

face, upraised to

heaven,

is

anima-

ted with a profound, sweet, and impassioned melancholy,

with an earnest, and fervid, and disinterested pleading


against

some vast and

inevitable wrong.

and

It is the joy

poetry of sorrow making grief beautiful, and giving

it

that

nameless feeling which, from the imperfection of language,

we

call pain,

but which

which makes not only


prefer

it

to

pleasure.

what

is

not

all pain,

though a feeling

possessor, but the spectator of

which

called pleasure, in

It is difficult to think that this head,

highest ideal beauty,


attributes

is

its

is

all

though of

the head of Minerva, although the

and attitude of the lower part of the statue

The Greeks

tainly suggest that idea.

unless

we

the poetic enthusiasm of Apollo a mortal passion,

pressed the disturbance of

is,

human

feeling

and here

is

call

ex-

deep

grief animating a divine countenance.

indeed, divine.

posed to emblem)

Wisdom (which Minerva may


is

It

be sup-

pleading earnestly with Power,

and invested with the expression of that

must ever plead

cer-

rarely, in their repre-

sentations of the characters of their gods,

and impassioned

it,

not

is

so vainly.-

The drapery

grief,

because

it

of the statue, the

gentle beauty of the feet, and the grace of the attitude, are

what may be seen in many other statues belonging


astonishing era which produced

it

to that

such a countenance

is

seen in few.

This statue happens to be placed on a pedestal, the subject of

whose

relief is in a spirit

was probably an

Under the

altar to

wholly the reverse.

Bacchus

It

possibly a funeral urn.

festoons of fruits and flowers that grace the


[

283

WITH SHELLEY

IN ITALY

which are omamented with the

pedestal, the corners of

skulls of goats, are sculptured

some

figures of

Maenads

Nothing can be con-

under the inspiration of the god.

ceived more wild and terrible than their gestures, touching,


as they do, the verge of distortion, into which their fine

There

limbs and lovely forms are thrown.

is

nothing,

however, that exceeds the possibility of nature, though


borders on

its

utmost

The tremendous

aided by drunk-

spirit of superstition,

something beyond insanity, seems

enness, producing

have caught them in

it

line.

its

to

whirlwinds, and to bear them over

the earth, as the rapid volutions of a tempest have the

ever-changing trunk of a waterspout, or as the torrent of a

mountain

river whirls the

in its full

autumnal leaves

resistlessly along

and

floating, seems

The

eddies.

hair, loose

caught in the tempest of their own tumultuous motion;


their heads are

thrown back, leaning with a strange delirium

and looking up to heaven whilst they

upon

their necks,

totter

and stumble even in the energy of their tempestuous

dance.

One

represents

Agave with the head

hand, and in the other a great knife

with
with

its

of Pentheus in one

a second has a spear

pine cone, which was the Thyrsus

mad

voluptuousness

the fourth

is

another dances

beating a kind of

tambourine.

This was
Greece, where

indeed a monstrous superstition, even


it

was alone capable of combining

in

ideal

beauty and abstract enthusiasm with the wild errors from

which

it

sprung.

In

and dry appearance j

Eome
it

it

had a more

familiar, wicked,

was not suited to the


[

284

severe and

THE YEAR

1822

exact apprehensions of the Eomans, and their strict morals

were violated by
analogous to
things

it,

and sustained a deep

its effects

superstition,

injury, little

upon the Greeks, who turned


prejudice,

murder, madness

all

to

beauty.

On the Venus
She has

just issued from the bath,

with the enjoyment of

She seems

all soft

lines of her fine

Kmbs

is

animated

it.

flow into each other with a never-

Her

Her

sweetness.

breathless, yet passive


affectation.

and yet

and mild enjoyment, and the curved

ending sinuosity of

from

called Anadyombnb

face

expresses

and innocent voluptuousness,

free

hps, without the sublimity of lofty

and impetuous passion, the grandeur of enthusiastic imagination of the Apollo of the Capitol, or the union of both,
like the

Apollo Belvedere, have the tenderness of arch, yet

pure and affectionate

and the mode in which the

desire,

ends of the mouth are drawn

in, yet lifted

with the smile that for ever

circles

or half-opened,

round them, and the

tremulous curve into which they are wrought by inextinguishable desire, and the tongue lying against the lower
lip, as in

the listlessness of passive joy, express love,

still

love.

Her

eyes seem heavy and

swimming with

pleasure,

and

her small forehead fades on both sides into that sweet


swelling

the

and thin declension of the bone over the

mode which

The neck
delight,

is

eye, in

expresses simple and tender feelings.

fuU, and panting as with the aspiration of

and flows with gentle curves into her perfect form.


[

285

IN ITALY

WITH SHELLEY
Her form

is

She

indeed perfect.

is

haK-sitting and

haK-rising from a shell, and the fulness of her limbs, and

and perfection, do not diminish

their complete roundness

the vital energy with which they seem to be animated.

The position of the arms, which


nation, is natural, unaffected,

are lovely beyond imagi-

and

easy.

This, perhaps,

is

the finest personification of Venus, the deity of superficial


desire,

Her

in all antique statuary.

like person, ever virgin,

pointed and pear-

and her attitude modesty

itself.

Michael Angelo's Bacchus

The

countenance of this figure

is

a most revolting mistake

of the spirit and meaning of Bacchus.


brutal, narrow-minded,

most

ness the
stiff,

It looks drunken,

and has an expression of

The lower

revolting.

dissolute-

part of the figure

and the manner in which the shoulders are united

is

to

the breast, and the neck to the head, abundantly inhar-

monious.

It is altogether without unity, as

was the

idea

of the deity of Bacchus in the conception of a Catholic.

On

the other hand, considered only as a piece of workman-

ship, it has
style of the

many
most

The arms

merits.

perfect

are executed in a

and manly beauty.

The body

is

conceived with great energy, and the manner in which the


lines

mingle into each other, of the highest boldness and

truth.

tion of

work of

It wants unity as a

Bacchus

it

wants everything.

286

art

as a representa-

INDEX

INDEX
J5^A, Circe's island, 199
Albano, 92
Albano (painter) in Bologna Gallery,

Bay

76, 147, 196; see illus-

of,

tration facing 196

Barherini

Amphitheatre, Rome, 71, 102 ; see


illitstrations facing 70, 102
Angelo, Michael, in TJfiizi Gallery, 286; see illustration facing
282
Apennines, The, 3, 5, 9, 14, 26,
67, 250
see illustration facing
2
;

Arch of Constantiue,

71, 95, 101;

see illustration facing

127;

87;

Leghorn, Pisa (1820 and

1821), 153

the, near Florence," 146 (note),

facing 146; at
Pisa, 254, see illustration facing

see illustrations

238
Arno, Vale of, 14
Arquk, 16, 63 ;
facing 16
Avernus, Lake, 77

see

Bacchus,

Gallery,

of Lerici

Bologna, Letter from, 64

fadng

tratians

of,

66; leaning

66, see

illu^rai/wn,

4,

153, 233, 244,

24/, 261, 279

Maddalo in
Maddalo," 36-59
di

60-62,

22, 36,

as

Campagna

see illiis-

62,

"Julian and

Roma,

70, 92

see

illustration facing 86

Caracalla,

Baths

of,

92

see illus-

Oarracci in Bologna Gallery, 65


illustration

see illustration facing

19

Bay

trcUion facing 80

286
282
letter
Bagni di Lucca, 9, 62
from, 9 ; see illustration facing
10
Baiffi, Excursion to, 76, 195 (note);
Uffizi

Pisa,

(1822), 259

fa/Ang 66
Arch of Septimus Severus, 95
Arch of Titus, 101; see illitstrations Byron, Lord,
facing 98, 102
Arch of Trajan, see Arch of
Constantino
Amo, River, " Wood that skirts

La

see illustration

facing 126
Biographical ITotes :
Bagni di
Lucca, Este, Naples (1818), 3 ;
Rome, Leghorn, Florence (1819),

towers

90

Portrait of

Palace,

Cenei in,

65

Casa Magni (Casa Maccarini), 269,


278 ; see frontispiece, and illustration facing 262
Oascine, Pine forest of the, near
Pisa, 267; see illustration facing
152
Castor and Pollux, statues on steps
of Capitol, Rome, 97
Cenci Palace, Rome, 128
lustration facing 132

[289]

see il-

INDEX
Tomb

Cestius,

228;

73,

of,

see

Mr. and Mrs., 156;

GiSBOENE,

242
Coleridge, Samuel T., 164

letter to, 9

Coliseum, Eome, 71, 102; see illustrations facing 70, 102


Colonna Palace, 127
Como, Lake, 6; scene of "Eosa-

169
248

illustration facing

lind and Helen " laid on shores,


4,

10; see illiistration facing i

Como, Town

Da

of,

Vinci, Leonardo,

entine Gallery, 143

in Florsee

illris-

tration facing 142

Doge's

Palace,

62

see

illvstration facing 46

Domenichino in Bologna

Gallery,

65

in Terse to

letter

Mr. Gisborne,

to

Godwin, father-in-law of
164

Shelley,

Gondolas, Padua, 60 ; Venice, 62


Guercino in Bologna Gallery, 65
see illvstration facing 66

Hogg, Thomas Jeffbkson,

165,

168
Hunt, Leigh,

235,

165, 168,

38,

261-264,

279;

letter

to,

278

Inabime

(island of Ischia), 192,

196

English cemetery, Rome,


263
ing 242
241,
Este,

letter

247,

Venice,

Mrs. Gisborne in London, 157-

illitstration fac-

see

72, 228,

ten from,

14

description

of,

Shelley" writ-

Mary
15

Shelley's

letter from,

Hills, scene of poem, 16

in "Julian and Maddalo," 40;


see illustrations facing 14, 28,

40

Fano, 67
Florence, Letters' from,
description

enghi," 30

of,
;

14

Edward

Jane
270;

Williams),

"To

Jane: the
264-266
"To
;

the Recollection," 267"With a Guitar: to

"To

Jane," 270-273;

Jane,"

274, 275

62

ing 32
Florentine

(Mrs.

163, 154, 260;

Invitation,"

"To Mary

Eaganean

"Jane"

243 ;
" Mar-

13,

in

see illustration fac-

Keats, John, news of death of and


inspiration of "Adonais," 155;

sketch of in preface to "Adonais," 228 ; subject of poem, 229-

243;
210

see illvstrations facing 206,

Leghokn

(Livomo), Letters from,

157 Shelley's home


155; Shelley's last
journey to, 261, 278
9, 126, 156,

Gallery,

Medusa

of

Leonardo da Vinci, 143


Foligno, 67

Fossombrone, 67
Fountains of Rome, 99

126,

Bay and town of, 259;


" Lines Written in the Bay of

Lerici,

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, 99


Forum, Rome, 72, 95 ; see illvstration facing 92

at,

Lerici," 275-277

278, 279

letters from,

see frontispiece,

and

il-

lustrations facing 246, 248, 250,

254

[290]

INDEX
Letters

Mr. and Mrs. Gisborne, 9


to Mra. Gisborne (in verse), 157169 to Mr. Gisborne, 248
to Leigh Hunt, 278
to

to

Thomas Love Peacock,

6, 9,

62, 64, 67, 70, 76, 80, 91, 125,

126, 156, 187


to

Mary

Shelley,

59, 243,

13,

244, 247
to

Horace Smith, 279

Naples, Letters from, 70, 75, 80,


187; "Stanzas written in Dejection, near Naples," 73; Bay

"Ode to Naples,"
76;
195-201
Nar, River, 70
Nepi, 70
Niobe, UfSzi Gallery, Florence,
243, 280-282; see illustration
facing 218
Nisida, Island of, 76
of,

"Liberal, The," 261, 279

Lido at "Venice, 38, 41, 61 ; see Padua, 23-25, 60 see illustration


illualration, facing 36
facing 24
Livorno (Leghorn), Letter from, Paestum, see Posidonia
126
Pantheon, Rome, 98 ; see illustraLombardy, Plain of, 9, 19, 64
tion facing 96
;

leaning towers

of,

66

see

iUas-

Peacock,

tration facing 52

Lucca, Baths

of,

Thomas Love,

6, 9, 62,

62;

see

Bagni di

Letters to,

64, 67, 70, 75, 80, 91,

125, 126, 156, 187; reference to in

Lucca

poetical letter to Maria Gisborne,


165, 168

in letter to Mr. Gis-

borne, 248

Makbmma,

The, 82
Mare Morto, 76; see illustration

Pesto, see Posidonia

Petrarch,

facing 196

Mavrooordato (Greek prince), 154


Medici family. Residence of, 64
Medusa (Leonardo da Vinci), Florentine Gallery, 143; see

99

in,

Piazza Quirinale (Monte Cavallo)


fountain, 100
tion facing 152

of, 8; see illustrations

Description

Pisa,

Milan, Letter from, 6; cathedral

fadng

6,

31

of,

home

Shelley's

154, 247, 248

Minerva, Uffizi Gallery, Florence,


282-285; see illustration faxing
274

Mola di Gaeta, 91
Monte Nuovo, 77

of, 16,

Pineta, near Pisa, 154; see illustra-

Medwin, Thomas, 153


Metaurns River, 67

facing 196

house

Rome, Fountain

Piazza Navona,

illijustra-

tion facing 142

Misenum, Cape, 76;

Tomb and

23, 64; see illustration facing 16

ruins

there,

of,

153,

prison of TJgolino,

Convent of St. Anne, 204;


" Evening
letter from, 248
Ponte al Mare, Pisa," 254; see
illiistrations facing 234, 238
203

see illudratiorti,

Pliniana, Villa, 7.

Pompeii, described in letter, 187194 ; in " Ode to Naples," 195

Moore, Thomas, 233

see illustrations facing 186, 192,

200, 204

[291

;;

INDEX
Porto Venere ; see illusiraiion
facing 254
Posidonia (Pesto or Paestum), 80,
82 ; see illustrations facing 74, 78

Bay

of,

Prato Fiorito, 9
Protestant cemetery, Home, 72
Keats buried in, 228; Shelley's
son buried in, 241 ;
Shelley

buried in, 263 ; see illustrations


facing 206, 214, 242

Eaphael

in Bologna Galleiy, 64;

see illustration facing

62

see illnstration fac-

see illustration

facing 250
Chiesa

Vitale,

244

76, 77.

San Terenzo, 259

San

Posilipo, 76.

Pozzuoli,

venna, 246
ing 230

Eayenna,

di,

see illustration

facing 222

" The Boat


;
on the Serchio," 249-253 ; see

Serchio Eirer, 155

illustration fa/sing 258

Sgricci (improvisatore), 154

Shelley,

Mary

addi'essed in poems,

letters to, 13, 59, 243,


14
244, 247 ; her description of villa

6,

atEste, 15; of homeatPisa,153;


her explanatory notes, 29, 76;

Eavenna, Letters from, 244, 247;


in regard to home at Lerici, 279
description of, 244 ; tombs of Sirani, Elisabetta, 65
emperors in, 246 see illustrcUions Smith, Horace, 166, 168, 248;
letter to, 279
facing 222, 226, 230
;

Resina, 78

Solfatara, 77

Eeveley, Henry, 156

Spezia, Gulf

Rome, Letters from,

67, 91,

70

prose description,

"The

Cenoi," 127

Liberty," 180
tery,

72,

228,

125

story of

in " Ode to

Protestant ceme241,

"Adonais," 240;

see

263;

facing 70, 92, 96, 98, 102,


138, 206, 210, 214, 242

Angelo,

Castle,

Rome

see

illustration facing 138

Bologna, 64 ;
62
Without the "Walls,

St. Cecilia (Raphael),

see illustration facing

St.

Paul

Rome, 246
Rome, 97
81,

82

see illustrations

facing 82

San Giuliano, Baths of, 155


Mountains of, 250
San Salvador, Hermitage of, 78
Sant' ApoUinare,

Chiesa

Lerioi,

see illustration faei/ng

58
Staggia, Fortress at, 181

see illus-

tration facing 180

Temple

of Concord, 95

Terni, Falls

of,

67; see illustration

facing 68
Terracina, 91
Theodoric the

Eavenna, 245
facing 226
Theodosius,

Great,

Tomb of,

Tomb

di,

Ea-

of,

illustration

see

Ravenna,

Theodoric the Great,

Tomb

Torre del Greco, 81


Trelawney, Captain Edward,

St. Peter's,

Salerno,

see

of

in

illustra-

tions

St.

Spoleto, 68

278

of,

Bay and town

Rimini, 67

see

of

163,

154
Tremezina, The, 6

Ugolino,

Prison

Cavalieri, Pisa

Famine

[292]

"),

203

of.

Piazza de'

("The Tower

ot

INDEX
VaooI

(the physician), 154


Via Flaminia, 67
Vado, Tower of, 29, 32
Viareggio, 262, 263; seeillustraiions
Velino Kiver, Falls of (Terni), 68,
facing 266, 270
70
Villa di Cicerone, Mola di Gaeta, 91
Venice in " Lines Written Among Villa Mecocci, on Via del Fagiano,
the Euganean Hills," 19-23; in
Leghorn, 126
"Julian and Maddalo," 36, 38; Villa Pliniana, Este, 7
:

letter from,

59; prose descrip-

tion, 62; see

illustration facing

20

Venus Anadyomene,

Uffizi Gallery,

Williams, Captain and Mrs. Edward, 153, 154, 247, 259-262;

Florence, 285 ; see illustration


facing 278
Vesuvius, 75, 78, 192; in "Ode
to Naples," 195; see illustrations
facing 192, 200

[293]

278

Captain

"Melchior"

in

Williams

as

"The Boat on

the Serchio," 250

et

seq.

UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME

FLORENCE IN THE
POETRY OF THE BROWNINGS
Edited by

Anna Benneson McMahan

of the Poems of ROBERT and ELIZABETH


BARRETT BROWNING, which have to do with the

Selection

History, the Scenery,

and

the

Art of Florence

THIS

beautiful example of bookmaking offers its


appeal to lovers of Florence, to lovers of art, and
The first will be ready to
to lovers of Browning.
admit that never has the wonderful city been so glorified
as in the more famous Browning poems ; the second will

be glad to have such a representative collection of fine reproductions of both painting and sculpture; and the Browning lovers will appreciate so appropriately illustrated a
selection which includes "Casa Guidi Windows," "The
Dance," "The Statue and the Bust," Book I. of "The
Ring and the Book," and several others.

With

sixty-five full-page illustrations

from photographs.

Among

others are Fra Lippo Lippils "St. Jerome," Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of himself, Raphael's portrait of
himself from the Uffizi Gallery, Giotto's portrait of Dante,
etc.

ISmo,

illustrations

Boumd

gilt top, SJjO pages, indexed,

$1.40

net.

on special ItaUan hand-made paper;


in photogravure brown on Japan vellum.

Large-paper

edition

The same, bound


in half vellum, boxed, $3.76 net.
fuU vellum, Florentine embellishments, $10.00 net.

in Florence,

A. C.

McCLURG &

CO., PubUshers, Chicago