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Evening: Ponte al Mare, Pisa

[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.
There is a draft amongst the Boscombe manuscripts.]

1.
The sun is set; the swallows are asleep;
The bats are flitting fast in the gray air;
The slow soft toads out of damp corners creep,
And evening's breath, wandering here and there
Over the quivering surface of the stream, _5
Wakes not one ripple from its summer dream.

2.
There is no dew on the dry grass to-night,
Nor damp within the shadow of the trees;
The wind is intermitting, dry, and light;
And in the inconstant motion of the breeze _10
The dust and straws are driven up and down,
And whirled about the pavement of the town.

3.
Within the surface of the fleeting river
The wrinkled image of the city lay,
Immovably unquiet, and forever _15
It trembles, but it never fades away;
Go to the...
You, being changed, will find it then as now.

4.
The chasm in which the sun has sunk is shut
By darkest barriers of cinereous cloud, _20
Like mountain over mountain huddled--but
Growing and moving upwards in a crowd,
And over it a space of watery blue,
Which the keen evening star is shining through..

NOTES:
_6 summer 1839, 2nd edition; silent 1824, 1839, 1st edition.
_20 cinereous Boscombe manuscript; enormous editions 1824, 1839.


Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Volume 1

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