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Lines: When the Lamp is Shattered

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

1.
When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies dead--
When the cloud is scattered
The rainbow's glory is shed.
When the lute is broken, _5
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

2.
As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the lute, _10
The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:--
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges _15
That ring the dead seaman's knell.

3.
When hearts have once mingled
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed. _20
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

4.
Its passions will rock thee _25
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home _30
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.

NOTES:
_6 tones edition 1824; notes Trelawny manuscript.
_14 through edition 1824; in Trelawny manuscript.
_16 dead edition 1824; lost Trelawny manuscript.
_23 choose edition 1824; chose Trelawny manuscript.
_25-_32 wanting Trelawny manuscript.


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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