Lines: "When the Lamp Is Shattered"
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems, ed. Mary Shelley (1824). Cf. Posthumous Poems of Shelley. Mary Shelley's Fair Copy Book, Bodleian MS. Shelley Adds. d. 9, Collated with the Holographs and the Printed Texts, ed. Irving Massey (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1969). PR 5403 M27 ROBA.
1 When the lamp is shattered
2The light in the dust lies dead--
3 When the cloud is scattered
4The rainbow's glory is shed.
5 When the lute is broken,
6Sweet tones are remembered not:
7 When the lips have spoken,
8Loved accents are soon forgot.
9 As music and splendour
10Survive not the lamp and the lute,
11 The heart's echoes render
12No song when the spirit is mute:--
13 No song but sad dirges,
14Like the wind through a ruined cell,
15 Or the mournful surges
16That ring the dead seaman's knell.
17 When hearts have once mingled
18Love first leaves the well-built nest;
19 The weak one is singled
20To endure what it once possessed.
21 O Love! who bewailest
22The frailty of all things here,
23 Why choose you the frailest
24For your cradle, your home, and your bier?
25 Its passions will rock thee
26As the storms rock the ravens on high;
27 Bright reason will mock thee,
28Like the sun from a wintry sky.
29 From thy nest every rafter
30Will rot, and thine eagle home
31 Leave thee naked to laughter,
32When leaves fall and cold winds come.
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RPO poem Editors:
J. D. Robins