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The Tower of Famine


***

[Published by Mrs. Shelley in "The Keepsake", 1829. Mr. C.W.
Frederickson of Brooklyn possesses a transcript in Mrs. Shelley's
handwriting.]

Amid the desolation of a city,
Which was the cradle, and is now the grave
Of an extinguished people,--so that Pity

Weeps o'er the shipwrecks of Oblivion's wave,
There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built _5
Upon some prison-homes, whose dwellers rave

For bread, and gold, and blood: Pain, linked to Guilt,
Agitates the light flame of their hours,
Until its vital oil is spent or spilt.

There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers _10
And sacred domes; each marble-ribbed roof,
The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers

Of solitary wealth,--the tempest-proof
Pavilions of the dark Italian air,--
Are by its presence dimmed--they stand aloof, _15

And are withdrawn--so that the world is bare;
As if a spectre wrapped in shapeless terror
Amid a company of ladies fair

Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror
Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue, _20
The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error,
Should be absorbed, till they to marble grew.

NOTE:
_7 For]With 1829.


Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Volume 1

    Volume 2 - Early Poems 1814-1815

    Poems Written in 1816

    Poems Written in 1817

    Poems Written in 1818

    Poems Written in 1819

    Poems Written in 1820

    Poems Written in 1821

    Poems Written in 1822

    Volume 3

    Volume 3 - Juvenilia

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