[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.]
A portal as of shadowy adamant
Stands yawning on the highway of the life
Which we all tread, a cavern huge and gaunt;
Around it rages an unceasing strife
Of shadows, like the restless clouds that haunt _5
The gap of some cleft mountain, lifted high
Into the whirlwinds of the upper sky.
And many pass it by with careless tread,
Not knowing that a shadowy ...
Tracks every traveller even to where the dead _10
Wait peacefully for their companion new;
But others, by more curious humour led,
Pause to examine;--these are very few,
And they learn little there, except to know
That shadows follow them where'er they go. _15
_8 pass Rossetti; passed editions 1824, 1839.
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