[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.
Our text is that of the "Poetical Works", 1839.]
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave _5
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve. _10
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
_6 Their...drear 1839;
The shadows, which the world calls substance, there 1824.
_7 who had lifted 1839; who lifted 1824.
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