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.
No access to the Duke! You have not said
That the Count Maddalo would speak with him?
Did you inform his Grace that Signor Pigna
Waits with state papers for his signature?
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.
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.
The words are twisted in some double sense _15
That I reach not: the smiles fell not on me.
How are the Duke and Duchess occupied?
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.
Thou seest on whom from thine own worshipped heaven
Thou drawest down smiles--they did not rain on thee. _25
Would they were parching lightnings for his sake
On whom they fell!
SONG FOR 'TASSO'.
[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.]
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.
And still I love and still I think,
But strangely, for my heart can drink
The dregs of such despair, and live, _10
And if I think, my thoughts come fast,
I mix the present with the past,
And each seems uglier than the last.
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.
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