Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From Ode to Liberty

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
.. THE NODDING 1 promontories, and blue isles,
  And cloud-like mountains, and dividuous waves
Of Greece, basked glorious in the open smiles
  Of favouring heaven: from their enchanted caves
Prophetic echoes flung dim melody …        5
  And, like unfolded flowers beneath the sea,
    Like the man’s thought dark in the infant’s brain,
  Like aught that is which wraps what is to be,
    Art’s deathless dreams lay veiled by many a vein
Of Parian stone; and, yet a speechless child,        10
  Verse murmured, and Philosophy did strain
  Her lidless eyes for thee; 2 when o’er the Ægean main.
 
Athens arose: a city such as vision
  Builds from the purple crags and silver towers
Of battlemented cloud, as in derision        15
  Of kingliest masonry: the ocean-floors
Pave it; the evening sky pavilions it;…
          Athens, diviner yet,
    Gleam’d with its crest of columns, on the will
  Of man, as on a mount of diamond, set;        20
    For thou wert, and thine all-creative skill
Peopled, with forms that mock the eternal dead
  In marble immortality, that hill
  Which was thine earliest throne and latest oracle.
 
Within the surface of Time’s fleeting river        25
  Its wrinkled image lies, as then it lay
Immovably unquiet, and for ever
  It trembles, but it cannot pass away!…
 
Note 1. Shelley. From Ode to Liberty, St. iv, &c. In last lines see how Shelley has taken Wordsworth’s suggestion in No. 95. [back]
Note 2. ‘thee’, i.e. Liberty. [back]
 
 
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