Stanzas Written in Dejection, near Naples

Original Text: 
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      The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
2      The waves are dancing fast and bright,
3    Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
4    The purple noon's transparent might,
5      The breath of the moist earth is light,
6    Around its unexpanded buds;
7      Like many a voice of one delight,
8    The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
9The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.
10      I see the Deep's untrampled floor
11      With green and purple seaweeds strown;
12    I see the waves upon the shore,
13    Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
14      I sit upon the sands alone,--
15    The lightning of the noontide ocean
16      Is flashing round me, and a tone
17    Arises from its measured motion,
18How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.
19      Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
20      Nor peace within nor calm around,
21    Nor that content surpassing wealth
22    The sage in meditation found,
23      And walked with inward glory crowned--
24    Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
25      Others I see whom these surround--
26    Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;
27To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
28      Yet now despair itself is mild,
29      Even as the winds and waters are;
30    I could lie down like a tired child,
31    And weep away the life of care
32      Which I have borne and yet must bear,
33    Till death like sleep might steal on me,
34      And I might feel in the warm air
35    My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
36Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
37      Some might lament that I were cold,
38      As I, when this sweet day is gone,
39    Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
40    Insults with this untimely moan;
41      They might lament--for I am one
42    Whom men love not,--and yet regret,
43      Unlike this day, which, when the sun
44    Shall on its stainless glory set,
45Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.
Publication Start Year: 
1824
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: 
2RP 2.249.
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