mutability

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!—yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest.—A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.—One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same!—For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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to liberty

…And human life shall seem
Like a short and happy dream
Ere we wake in the daybeam of the skies.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

written on a beautiful day in spring

In that strange mental wandering when to live,
To breathe, to be, is undivided joy,
When the most woe-worn wretch would cease to grieve,
When satiation’s self would fail to cloy;
When unpercipient of all other things
Than those that press around, the breathing Earth
The gleaming sky and the fresh season’s birth,
Sensation all its wondrous rapture brings
And to itself not once the mind recurs—
Is it foretaste of Heaven?
So sweet as this the nerves it stirs,
And mingling in the vital tide
With gentle motion driven,
Cheers the sunk spirits, lifts the languid eye,
And scattering thro’ the frame its influence wide
Revives the spirits when they droop and die
The frozen blood with genial beaming warms
And to a gorgeous fly the sluggish worm transforms.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

song

Ah! sweet is the moonbeam that sleeps on yon fountain,
And sweet the mild rush of the soft-sighing breeze,
And sweet is the glimpse of yon dimly-seen mountain,
’Neath the verdant arcades of yon shadowy trees.

But sweeter than all was thy tone of affection,
Which scarce seemed to break on the stillness of eve,
Though the time it is past !— yet the dear recollection,
For aye in the heart of thy ————— must live.

Yet he hears thy dear voice in the summer winds sighing,
Mild accents of happiness lisp in his ear,
When the hope-winged moments athwart him are flying,
And he thinks of the friend to his bosom so dear—

And thou dearest friend in his bosom for ever
Must reign unalloyed by the fast rolling year,
He loves thee, and dearest one never, Oh! Never
Canst thou cease to be loved by a heart so sincere.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

to a skylark

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.

Percy Bysshe Shelley