Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
Extracts from Prometheus Unbound: Semichorus II
By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
(See full text.)

THERE the voluptuous nightingales
  Are awake through all the broad noonday.
When one with bliss or sadness fails,
And through the windless ivy-boughs,
  Sick with sweet love, droops dying away        5
  On its mate’s music-panting bosom;
  Another, from the swinging blossom
Watching to catch the languid close
Of the last strain, then lifts on high
The wings of the weak melody,—        10
Till some new strain of feeling bear
  The song, and all the woods are mute;
When there is heard through the dim air
The rush of wings, and, rising there
  Like many a lake-surrounded flute,        15
Sounds overflow the listener’s brain
So sweet that joy is almost pain.

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