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Tasso


SCENE FROM 'TASSO'.

[Composed, 1818. Published by Dr. Garnett, "Relics of Shelley", 1862.]

MADDALO, A COURTIER.
MALPIGLIO, A POET.
PIGNA, A MINISTER.
ALBANO, AN USHER.

MADDALO:
No access to the Duke! You have not said
That the Count Maddalo would speak with him?

PIGNA:
Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna
Waits with state papers for his signature?

MALPIGLIO:
The Lady Leonora cannot know _5
That I have written a sonnet to her fame,
In which I ... Venus and Adonis.
You should not take my gold and serve me not.

ALBANO:
In truth I told her, and she smiled and said,
'If I am Venus, thou, coy Poesy, _10
Art the Adonis whom I love, and he
The Erymanthian boar that wounded him.'
O trust to me, Signor Malpiglio,
Those nods and smiles were favours worth the zechin.

MALPIGLIO:
The words are twisted in some double sense _15
That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me.

PIGNA:
How are the Duke and Duchess occupied?

ALBANO:
Buried in some strange talk. The Duke was leaning,
His finger on his brow, his lips unclosed.
The Princess sate within the window-seat, _20
And so her face was hid; but on her knee
Her hands were clasped, veined, and pale as snow,
And quivering--young Tasso, too, was there.

MADDALO:
Thou seest on whom from thine own worshipped heaven
Thou drawest down smiles--they did not rain on thee. _25

MALPIGLIO:
Would they were parching lightnings for his sake
On whom they fell!

***


SONG FOR 'TASSO'.

[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.]

1.
I loved--alas! our life is love;
But when we cease to breathe and move
I do suppose love ceases too.
I thought, but not as now I do,
Keen thoughts and bright of linked lore, _5
Of all that men had thought before.
And all that Nature shows, and more.

2.
And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live, _10
And love;...
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.

3.
Sometimes I see before me flee _15
A silver spirit's form, like thee,
O Leonora, and I sit
...still watching it,
Till by the grated casement's ledge
It fades, with such a sigh, as sedge _20
Breathes o'er the breezy streamlet's edge.


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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