Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
July 8
By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)
          Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous young English poet, was drowned in the Bay of Spezia, near Genoa, Italy, July 8, 1822.

TO shore the sea-nymphs buoyed their captive dead,
Touched by a human grief; yes, there lay hand,
Heart, lip, and brain of that august command,
All—save the soul that Heaven to music wed.
Clung curling yet the pale locks round the head;        5
Silent and prone upon the drifted sand,
He clasped her still, his loved Italian land,
The foster-mother to whose breast he fled.
We raised him on the pyre—in one great shine
The body reached the beckoning shade—’twas meet,        10
That which had given the flaming soul a shrine
Should incorrupt as that bright soul retreat;
Yet, heart of proof, thy substance still divine,
Lingering in earthly love, lay at our feet!

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