Lines: The cold earth slept below

Original Text: 
Leigh Hunt, ed., The Literary Pocket-Book: or, Companion for the Lover of Nature and Art (London: C. |&| J. Ollier, 1818-22). 5 vols. AY L584 MICR mfm.
2      Above the cold sky shone;
3           And all around,
4           With a chilling sound,
5From caves of ice and fields of snow
6The breath of night like death did flow
7           Beneath the sinking moon.
8The wintry hedge was black;
9      The green grass was not seen;
10           The birds did rest
11           On the bare thorn's breast,
12Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
13Had bound their folds o'er many a crack
14           Which the frost had made between.
15Thine eyes glow'd in the glare
16      Of the moon's dying light;
18           On a sluggish stream
19Gleams dimly--so the moon shone there,
20And it yellow'd the strings of thy tangled hair,
21           That shook in the wind of night.
22The moon made thy lips pale, belov{`e}d;
23      The wind made thy bosom chill;
24           The night did shed
25           On thy dear head
26Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
27Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
28           Might visit thee at will.


1] The single surviving MS. is dated November 5, 1815. If correct, this date makes impossible the common assumption that the poem refers to the suicide of Shelley's first wife, Harriet, in November 1816. Back to Line
17] Tangled. Hunt prints "raven," but the MS. reads "tangled." Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
M. T. Wilson
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.555.