Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Percy Bysshe Shelley
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Percy Bysshe Shelley. (1792–1822)
 
 
1
    Then black despair,
The shadow of a starless night, was thrown
Over the world in which I moved alone.
          The Revolt of Islam. Dedication, Stanza 6.
2
    With hue like that when some great painter dips
His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse.
          The Revolt of Islam. Canto v. Stanza 23.
3
    The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats, tho’ unseen, amongst us.
          Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.
4
    The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,
Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
In sorrow.
          Adonais. xxx.
5
    A pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift.
          Adonais. xxxii.
6
    Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.
          Adonais. lii.
7
    O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth.
          Ode to the West Wind.
8
    Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
  The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystalline streams
  Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
  Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
  So sweet, the sense faints picturing them.
          Ode to the West Wind.
9
    That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
  Whom mortals call the moon.
          The Cloud. iv.
10
    We look before and after,
  And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter
  With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
          To a Skylark. Line 86.
  
  
  
11
    Kings are like stars,—they rise and set, they have
The worship of the world, but no repose. 1
          Hellas. Line 195.
12
      The moon of Mahomet
  Arose, and it shall set;
While, blazoned as on heaven’s immortal noon,
  The cross leads generations on.
          Hellas. Line 221.
13
    The world’s great age begins anew,
  The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
  Her winter weeds outworn.
          Hellas. Line 1060.
14
    What! alive, and so bold, O earth?
          Written on hearing the News of the Death of Napoleon.
15
    All love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever.
     .     .     .     .     .     .
They who inspire it most are fortunate,
As I am now; but those who feel it most
Are happier still. 2
          Prometheus Unbound. Act ii. Sc. 5.
16
    Those who inflict must suffer, for they see
The work of their own hearts, and this must be
Our chastisement or recompense.
          Julian and Maddalo. Line 482.
17
    Most wretched men
Are cradled into poetry by wrong:
They learn in suffering what they teach in song. 3
          Julian and Maddalo. Line 544.
18
    I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne, and yet must bear.
          Stanzas written in Dejection, near Naples. Stanza 4.
19
    Peter was dull; he was at first
  Dull,—oh so dull, so very dull!
Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed,
Still with this dulness was he cursed!
  Dull,—beyond all conception, dull.
          Peter Bell the Third. Part vii. xi.
20
    A lovely lady, garmented in light
  From her own beauty.
          The Witch of Atlas. Stanza 5.
21
    Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
          Music, when soft Voices die.
22
    I love tranquil solitude
  And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good.
          Rarely, rarely comest Thou.
23
    Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
      A tone
  Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
      Are one.
          To Jane. The keen Stars were twinkling.
24
    The desire of the moth for the star,
  Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
  From the sphere of our sorrow.
          One Word is too often profaned.
25
    You lie—under a mistake, 4
For this is the most civil sort of lie
That can be given to a man’s face. I now
Say what I think.
          Translation of Calderon’s Magico Prodigioso. Scene i.
26
    How wonderful is Death!
Death and his brother Sleep.
          Queen Mab. i.
27
    Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.
          Queen Mab. iii.
28
    Heaven’s ebon vault
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon’s unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love has spread
To curtain her sleeping world.
          Queen Mab. iv.
29
    Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present. 5
          A Defence of Poetry.
 
Note 1.
See Bacon, Quotation 20. [back]
Note 2.
The pleasure of love is in loving. We are much happier in the passion we feel than in that we inspire.—Francis, Duc de La Rochefoucauld: Maxim 259. [back]
Note 3.
See Butler, Quotation 71. [back]
Note 4.
See Swift, Quotation 36. [back]
Note 5.
See Coleridge, Quotation 71. [back]
 

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