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[This and the following poem were published together in their original
form as one piece under the title, "The Pine Forest of the Cascine near
Pisa", by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824; reprinted in the same
shape, "Poetical Works", 1839, 1st edition; republished separately in
their present form, "Poetical Works", 1839, 2nd edition. There is a
copy amongst the Trelawny manuscripts.]
Best and brightest, come away!
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough Year just awake _5
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring,
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon Morn
To hoar February born, _10
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kissed the forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains, _15
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear. _20
Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs--
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find _25
An echo in another's mind,
While the touch of Nature's art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
I leave this notice on my door
For each accustomed visitor:-- _30
'I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields;--
Reflection, you may come to-morrow,
Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.--
You with the unpaid bill, Despair,--
You, tiresome verse-reciter, Care,-- _35
I will pay you in the grave,--
Death will listen to your stave.
Expectation too, be off!
To-day is for itself enough; _40
Hope, in pity mock not Woe
With smiles, nor follow where I go;
Long having lived on thy sweet food,
At length I find one moment's good
After long pain--with all your love, _45
This you never told me of.'
Radiant Sister of the Day,
Awake! arise! and come away!
To the wild woods and the plains,
And the pools where winter rains _50.
Image all their roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green and ivy dun
Round stems that never kiss the sun;
Where the lawns and pastures be, _55
And the sandhills of the sea;--
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets,
And wind-flowers, and violets,
Which yet join not scent to hue, _60
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous _65
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.
_34 with Trelawny manuscript; of 1839, 2nd edition.
_44 moment's Trelawny manuscript; moment 1839, 2nd edition.
_50 And Trelawny manuscript; To 1839, 2nd edition.
_53 dun Trelawny manuscript; dim 1839, 2nd edition.
TO JANE: THE RECOLLECTION.
[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Poetical Works", 1839, 2nd edition.
See the Editor's prefatory note to the preceding.]
Now the last day of many days,
All beautiful and bright as thou,
The loveliest and the last, is dead,
Rise, Memory, and write its praise!
Up,--to thy wonted work! come, trace _5
The epitaph of glory fled,--
For now the Earth has changed its face,
A frown is on the Heaven's brow.
We wandered to the Pine Forest
That skirts the Ocean's foam, _10
The lightest wind was in its nest,
The tempest in its home.
The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
And on the bosom of the deep _15
The smile of Heaven lay;
It seemed as if the hour were one
Sent from beyond the skies,
Which scattered from above the sun
A light of Paradise. _20
We paused amid the pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude
As serpents interlaced;
And, soothed by every azure breath, _25
That under Heaven is blown,
To harmonies and hues beneath,
As tender as its own,
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,
Like green waves on the sea, _30
As still as in the silent deep
The ocean woods may be.
How calm it was!--the silence there
By such a chain was bound
That even the busy woodpecker _35
Made stiller by her sound
The inviolable quietness;
The breath of peace we drew
With its soft motion made not less
The calm that round us grew. _40
There seemed from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain waste,
To the soft flower beneath our feet,
A magic circle traced,--
A spirit interfused around _45
A thrilling, silent life,--
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal nature's strife;
And still I felt the centre of
The magic circle there _50
Was one fair form that filled with love
The lifeless atmosphere.
We paused beside the pools that lie
Under the forest bough,--
Each seemed as 'twere a little sky _55
Gulfed in a world below;
A firmament of purple light
Which in the dark earth lay,
More boundless than the depth of night,
And purer than the day-- _60
In which the lovely forests grew,
As in the upper air,
More perfect both in shape and hue
Than any spreading there.
There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn, _65
And through the dark green wood
The white sun twinkling like the dawn
Out of a speckled cloud.
Sweet views which in our world above
Can never well be seen, _70
Were imaged by the water's love
Of that fair forest green.
And all was interfused beneath
With an Elysian glow,
An atmosphere without a breath, _75
A softer day below.
Like one beloved the scene had lent
To the dark water's breast,
Its every leaf and lineament
With more than truth expressed; _80
Until an envious wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought,
Which from the mind's too faithful eye
Blots one dear image out.
Though thou art ever fair and kind, _85
The forests ever green,
Less oft is peace in Shelley's mind,
Than calm in waters, seen.
_6 fled edition. 1824; dead Trelawny manuscript, 1839, 2nd edition.
_10 Ocean's]Ocean 1839, 2nd edition.
_24 Interlaced, 1839; interlaced; cj. A.C. Bradley.
_28 own; 1839 own, cj. A.C. Bradley.
_42 white Trelawny manuscript; wide 1839, 2nd edition
_87 Shelley's Trelawny manuscript; S--'s 1839, 2nd edition.]
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