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Hymn of Apollo


[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824. There is a fair
draft amongst the Shelley manuscripts at the Bodleian. See Mr. C.D.
Locock's "Examination", etc., 1903, page 25.]

The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,--
Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn, _5
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves,
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves _10
Are filled with my bright presence, and the air
Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare.

The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill _15
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of Night.

I feed the clouds, the rainbows and the flowers
With their aethereal colours; the moon's globe _20
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine
Are portions of one power, which is mine.

I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven, _25
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle? _30

I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself and knows itself divine;
All harmony of instrument or verse,
All prophecy, all medicine is mine,
All light of art or nature;--to my song _35
Victory and praise in its own right belong.

_32 itself divine]it is divine B.
_34 is B.; are 1824.
_36 its cj. Rossetti, 1870, B.; their 1824.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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