Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
From ‘Prometheus Unbound’
By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
(See full text.)

Chorus of Furies

FROM the ends of the earth, from the ends of the earth,
Where the night has its grave and the morning its birth,
                Come, come, come!
O ye who shake hills with the scream of your mirth,
When cities sink howling in ruin; and ye        5
Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea,
And close upon Shipwreck and Famine’s track,
Sit chattering with joy on the foodless wreck;
                Come, come, come!
        Leave the bed, low, cold, and red,        10
        Strewed beneath a nation dead;
        Leave the hatred, as in ashes
            Fire is left for future burning:
        It will burst in bloodier flashes
            When ye stir it, soon returning:        15
        Leave the self-contempt implanted
        In young spirits, sense-enchanted,
            Misery’s yet unkindled fuel:
        Leave Hell’s secrets half unchanted
            To the maniac dreamer; cruel        20
        More than ye can be with hate
                Is he with fear.
              Come, come, come!
    We are steaming up from Hell’s wide gate,
      And we burthen the blast of the atmosphere,        25
      But vainly we toil till ye come here.
Voice in the Air

    LIFE of Life! thy lips enkindle
      With their love the breath between them;
    And thy smiles before they dwindle
      Make the cold air fire: then screen them        30
    In those looks, where whoso gazes
    Faints, entangled in their mazes.
    Child of Light! thy limbs are burning
      Through the vest which seems to hide them;
    As the radiant lines of morning        35
      Through the clouds ere they divide them;
    And this atmosphere divinest
    Shrouds thee wheresoe’er thou shinest.
    Fair are others: none beholds thee,
      But thy voice sounds low and tender        40
    Like the fairest, for it folds thee
      From the sight, that liquid splendor;
    And all feel, yet see thee never,
    As I feel now, lost for ever!
    Lamp of Earth! where’er thou movest        45
      Its dim shapes are clad with brightness,
    And the souls of whom thou lovest
      Walk upon the winds with lightness.
    Till they fail, as I am failing,
    Dizzy, lost, yet unbewailing!        50

    My soul is an enchanted boat,
    Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;
    And thine doth like an angel sit
    Beside a helm conducting it;        55
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.
    It seems to float ever, for ever,
    Upon that many-winding river,
    Between mountains, woods, abysses,
    A paradise of wildernesses!        60
    Till, like 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;        65
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;
    Till through Elysian garden islets        70
    By thee, most beautiful of pilots,
    Where never mortal pinnace glided,
    The boat of my desire is guided:
Realms where the air we breathe is love,
Which in the winds and on the waves doth move,        75
Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above.

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