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To Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin


[Composed June, 1814. Published in "Posthumous Poems", 1824.]

Mine eyes were dim with tears unshed;
Yes, I was firm--thus wert not thou;--
My baffled looks did fear yet dread
To meet thy looks--I could not know
How anxiously they sought to shine _5
With soothing pity upon mine.

To sit and curb the soul's mute rage
Which preys upon itself alone;
To curse the life which is the cage
Of fettered grief that dares not groan, _10
Hiding from many a careless eye
The scorned load of agony.

Whilst thou alone, then not regarded,
The ... thou alone should be,
To spend years thus, and be rewarded, _15
As thou, sweet love, requited me
When none were near--Oh! I did wake
From torture for that moment's sake.

Upon my heart thy accents sweet
Of peace and pity fell like dew _20
On flowers half dead;--thy lips did meet
Mine tremblingly; thy dark eyes threw
Their soft persuasion on my brain,
Charming away its dream of pain.

We are not happy, sweet! our state _25
Is strange and full of doubt and fear;
More need of words that ills abate;--
Reserve or censure come not near
Our sacred friendship, lest there be
No solace left for thee and me. _30

Gentle and good and mild thou art,
Nor can I live if thou appear
Aught but thyself, or turn thine heart
Away from me, or stoop to wear
The mask of scorn, although it be _35
To hide the love thou feel'st for me.

_2 wert 1839; did 1824.
_3 fear 1824, 1839; yearn cj. Rossetti.
_23 Their 1839; thy 1824.
_30 thee]thou 1824, 1839.
_32 can I 1839; I can 1824.
_36 feel'st 1839; feel 1824.

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

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    Volume 3

    Volume 3 - Juvenilia

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