Shelley On Death
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 He will awake no more, oh, never more!
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Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
 
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 The pale, the cold, and the moony smile
Which the meteor beam of a starless night
Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle,
Ere the dawning of morn's undoubted light,
Is the flame of life so fickle and wan
That flits round our steps till their strength is gone.
O man! hold thee on in courage of soul
Through the stormy shades of thy wordly way,
And the billows of clouds that around thee roll
Shall sleep in the light of a wondrous day,
Where hell and heaven shall leave thee free
To the universe of destiny.
This world is the nurse of all we know,
This world is the mother of all we feel,
And the coming of death is a fearful blow
To a brain unencompass'd by nerves of steel:
When all that we know, or feel, or see,
Shall pass like an unreal mystery.
The secret things of the grave are there,
Where all but this frame must surely be,
Though the fine-wrought eye and the wondrous ear
No longer will live, to hear or to see
All that is great and all that is strange
In the boundless realm of unending change.
Who telleth a tale of unspeaking death?
Who lifteth the veil of what is to come?
Who painteth the shadows that are beneath
The wide-winding caves of the peopled tomb?
Or uniteth the hopes of what shall be
With the fears and the love for that which we see?

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Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth
The sage in meditation found,
And walked with inward glory crowned--
Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround--
Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
Yet now despair itself is mild,
Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne, and yet must bear,—
Till death like sleep might steal on me,
And I might feel in the warm air
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
 

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Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so
in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.  

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 Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is
lifted.

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 I weep for Adonais - he is dead!
   Oh, weep for Adonais! though our tears
   Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
   And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
   To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
   And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
   Died Adonais; till the Future dares
   Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"
   Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
   When thy Son lay, pierc'd by the shaft which flies
   In darkness? where was lorn Urania
   When Adonais died? With veiled eyes,
   'Mid listening Echoes, in her Paradise
   She sate, while one, with soft enamour'd breath,
   Rekindled all the fading melodies,
   With which, like flowers that mock the corse beneath,
He had adorn'd and hid the coming bulk of Death.



 Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, stains the white radiance of
Eternity,
until Death tramples it to fragments.



 To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy power which seems omnipotent; To love, and bear;
to hope till Hope creates From its own wreck the thing it contemplates





 The cemetery is an open space among the ruins,
covered in winter with violets and daisies.
It might make one in love with death, to think that
one should be buried in so sweet a place.
Mutability

The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright. 
Virtue, how frail it is!
Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
Which ours we call. 
Whilst skies are blue and bright,
Whilst flowers are gay,
Whilst eyes that change ere night
Make glad the day;
Whilst yet the calm hours creep,
Dream thou--and from thy sleep
Then wake to weep.  

©GlobalPoet 2007


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