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MEMOIR OF PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
1 THE CENCI; a Tragedy, in Five Acts
50 PROMETHEUS UNBOUND; a Lyrical Drama,
in Four Acts... QUEEN MAB
123 ALASTOR, OR THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE 141 ROSALIND AND HELEN; a Modern Eclogue 148 ADONAIS; an Elegy on the Death of John Keats 159 EPIPSYCHIDION; Verses addressed to the
Noble and unfortunate Lady Emilia
164 HELLAS; a Lyrical Drama....
170 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS:
Julian and Maddalo; a Conversation 182
187 The Triumph of Life
193 Lines written among the Euganean Hills. 198 Letter to
201 The Sensitive Plant..
204 A Vision of the Sea.
207 Ode to Heaven..
208 Ode to the West Wind...
209 An Ode, written October 1819, before the
Spaniards had recovered their Liberty . 210 Ode to Liberty...
ib. Ode to Naples
213 The Cloud..
214 To a Skylark
215 An Exhortation
216 Hymn to Intellectual Beauty.
ib. Marianne's Dream.
217 Mont Blanc ..
218 On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci, in the Florentine Gallery...
219 Song. “ Rarely, rarely, comest thou 220 To Constantia, singing.
ib. The Fugitives
221 A Lament
ib. The Pine Forest of the Cascine, near Pisa ib. To Night ...
223 Evening-Ponte a Mare, Pisa.
ib. The Question...
224 Lines to an Indian Air.
ib, Stanzas, written in dejection, near Naples ib. Autumn; a Dirge
225 Hymn of Apollo..
Pago Hymn of Pan
225 The Boat on the Serchio
226 The Zucca.
ib. The Two Spirits; an Allegory.
227 A Fragment
228 A Bridal Song
ib. The Sunset.
ib. Song. On a Faded Violet
229 Lies to a Critic
ib. Good Night.
20. Death .
ib. A Lament
ib. Love's Philosophy
ib. To E*** V ***
ib. To William Shelley
ib. An Allegory
ib. From the Arabic; an Imitation
ib. November, 1815.
ib. Death ..
232 Passage of the Apennines
ib. To Mary
ib. The Past
ib. Song of a Spirit
ib. The Isle
ib. A Song
ib. The World's Wanderers
ib. A Dirge
ib. “O! there are spirits of the air”
ih. Stanzas.--April, 1814
235 On Death
ib. A Summer Evening Church-yard, Lechdale, Gloucestershire ....
ib. Lines, written on hearing the News of the Death of Napoleon
ib. Summer and Winter
236 The Tower of Famine
ib. The Aziola ....
ib. Dirge for the Year.
Translated from the Greek of Moschus ..
238 TRANSLATIONS —
Hymn to Mercury-translated from Homer ib.
from the Greek of Euripides ....... 245
Page Scenes, from the “ Magico Prodigioso" of Calderon
253 Translation from Moschus.
260 Scenes from the Faust" of Goëthe. Prologue in Heaven
260 May-Day Night
261 FRAGMENTS : Ginevra ...
265 Charles the First
267 From an unfinished Drama..
270 Prince Athanase
ik Mazenghi .....
273 The Woodman and the Nightingale 274 To the Moon
275 Song for Tasso ...
ib. The Waning Moon
The Publishers of the present edition of Mr. Shel- universal of all feelings, and have endeavored to ley's Poetical Works think it necessary to state, that strengthen the moral sense, by forbidding it I waste the first Poem in the collection, “ THE Revolt of its energies in seeking to avoid actions which are Islam," did not originally bear that title: it appeared only crimes of convention. It is because there is so under the name of “ LAON AND CYTHNA; or the Revo- great a multitude of artificial vices, that there are so lution of the Golden City: a Vision of the Nineteenth few real virtues. Those feelings alone which are Century.” But, with the exception of this change of benevolent or malevolent are essentially good or bad. name,-into the reasons that led to which it is now The circumstance of which I speak was introduced, unnecessary to inquire—some inconsiderable verbal however, merely to accustom men to that charity and corrections, and the omission of the following para- toleration, which the exhibition of a practice widely graph and note in the preface, the poem is in all differing from their own has a tendency to promote.* respects the same as when first given to the public. Nothing, indeed, can be more mischievous than many
“In the personal conduct of my hero and heroine, actions innocent in themselves, which might bring there is one circumstance which was intended to down upon individuals the bigoted contempt and rage startle the reader from the trance of ordinary life. It of the multitude." was my object to break through the crust of those outworn opinions on which established institutions • The sentiments connected with and characteristic of this depend. I have appealed, therefore, to the most circumstance have no persona, reference to the writer.
Memoir of Percy Bysshe Shelley.
FIELD-PLACE, in the county of Sussex, was the spot sin his second term, as he refused to retract any of where Percy Bysshe Shelley first saw the light. his opinions; and thereby incurred the marked He was born on the 4th of August, 1792; and displeasure of his father. This expulsion arising was the eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, Bart. as he believed conscientiously, from his avowal of of Castle-Goring. His family is an ancient one, what he thought to be true, did not deeply affect and a branch of it has become the representative him. His mind seems to have been wandering in of the house of the illustrious Sir Philip Sidney a maze of doubt at times between truth and error, of Penshurst. Despising honors which only rest ardently desirous of finding the truth, warm in upon the accidental circumstances of birth, Shel. its pursuit, but without a pole-star to guide him ley was proud of this connexion with an immortal in steering after it. In this state of things he met name. At the customary age, about thirteen, he with the Political Justice of Godwin, and read it was sent to Eton School, and before he had com- with eagerness and delight. What he had wanted pleted his fifteenth year, he published two novels, he had now found; he determined that justice the Rosicrucian and Zasterozzi. From Eton he should be his sole guide, and justice alone. He removed to University College, Oxford, to mature regarded not whether what he did was after the his studies, at the age of sixteen, an earlier period fashion of the world; he pursued the career ho than is usual. At Oxford he was, according to had marked out with sincerity, and excited cen.. custom, imbued with the elements of logic; and sure for some of his actions and praise for others, he ventured, in contempt of the fiat of the Univer- bordering upon wonder, in proportion as they were sity, to apply them to the investigation of ques- singular, or as their motives could not be appretions which it is orthodox to take granted. His ciated. His notions at the University tended to original and uncompromising spirit of inquiry atheism; and in a work which he published en could not reconcile the limited use of logical prin. titled “Queen Mab," it is evident that this doctrine ciples. He boldly tested, or attempted to test, had at one time a hold upon his mind. This was propositions which he imagined, the more they printed for private circulation only, and was pi were obscure, and the more claim they had upon rated by a knavish bookseller and given to the his credence, the greater was the necessity for ex- public, long after the writer had altered many of amining them. His spirit was an inquiring one, the opinions expressed in it, disclaimed it, and and he fearlessly sought after what he believed to lamented its having been printed. He spoke of be truth, before, it is probable, he had acquired all the commonly-received notions of God with con. the information necessary to guide him, from col- tempt; and hence the idea that he denied the belateral sources—a common error of headstrong ing of any superintending first cause. He was youth. This is the more likely to be the case, as not on this head sufficiently explicit. He seemed when tiine had matured his knowledge, he differed hopeless, in moments of low spirits, of there being much on points upon which, in callow years and such a ruling power as he wished, yet he ever without an instructor, flung upon the world to clung to the idea of some “great spirit of intelform his own principles of action, guileless, and lectual beauty" being throughout all things. His vehement, he was wont to advocate strongly. Shel. life was inflexibly moral and benevolent. He acted ley possessed the bold quality of inquiring into up to the theory of his received doctrine of justhe reason of every thing, and of resisting what he tice; and, after all the censures that were cast could not reconcile to be right according to his upon him, who shall impugn the man who thus conscience. In some persons this has been de acts and lives ? nominated a virtue, in others a sin—just as it Shelley married at an early age a Miss Harriet might happen to chime in with worldly custom or Westbrooke, a very beautiful girl, much younger received opinion. At school he formed a conspi- than himself, daughter of a coffee-house-keeper, racy for resistance to that most odious and de- retired from business. By this marriage he so ir testable custom of English seminaries, fagging, ritated his father, that he was entirely abandoned which pedagogues are bold enough to defend open- by him ; but the lady's father allowed them 2001. ly at the present hour.
per annum, and they resided some time in Edin. At Oxford he imprudently printed a dissertation burgh and then in Ireland. The match was a on the being of a God, which caused his expulsion Gretna-green one, and did not turn out happily,
By this connexion he had two children, the young. In short, seduction, which term could have no est of whom, born in 1815, is since dead. Con- meaning in a rational society, has now a most sistent with his own views of marriage and its tremendous one; the fictitious merit attached to institution, Shelley paid his addresses to another chastity has made that a forerunner to the most lady, Miss Godwin, with whom, in July, 1814, he terrible ruins, which in Malabar would be a pledge fled, accompanied by Miss Jane Claremont, her of honor and homage. If there is any enormous sister-in-law, to Uri, in Switzerland, from whence, and desolating crime of which I should shudder after a few days' residence, they suddenly quitted, to be accused, it is seduction. I need not say how suspecting they were watched by another lodger; I admire “ Love," and little as a British publie they departed for Paris on foot, and there found seems to appreciate its merit, in not permitting it that the person to whom they had confided a large to emerge from a first edition, it is with satisfactrunk of clothes, had absconded with them: this tion I find, that justice had conceded abroad what hastened their return to England. A child was bigotry has denied at home. I shall take the libe the fruit of this expedition. Shortly after they crty of sending you any little publication I may again quitted England, and went to Geneva, Como give to the world. Mrs. S. joins with myself in and Venice. In a few months they revisited Eng- hoping, if we come to London this winter, we may land, and took up their abode in Bath, from whence be favored with the personal friendship of one Shelley was suddenly called by the unexpected whose writings we have learnt to esteem. suicide of his wife, who destroyed herself on the “ Yours, very truly, PERCY Byssur. SHELLEY." 10th November, 1816. Her fate hung heavy on the mind of her husband, who felt deep self-re. A circumstance arose out of his first marriage proach that he had not selected a female of a higher which attracted a good deal of notice from the order of intellect, who could appreciate better the public. As we have already mentioned, there were feelings of one constituted as he was. Both were two children left, whom the Lord Chancellor El. entitled to compassion, and both were sufferers by don took away from their father by one of his own this unfortunate alliance. Shortly after the death arbitrary decrces, because the religious sentiments of his first wife, Shelley, at the solicitation of her of Shelley were avowedly heterodox. No immorfather, married Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin, ality of liic, no breach of parental duty was at. daughter of the celebrated authoress of the Rights tempted to be proved; it was suficient that the of Woman; and went to reside at Great Marlow father did not give credit to religion as established in Buckinghamshire. That this second hymen by act of parliament, to cause the closest ties of was diametrically opposed to his own sentiments nature to be rent asunder, and the connexion of will be apparent from the following letter, address- father and child to be for ever broken. This des. ed to Sir James Lawrence, on the perusal of one potism of a law-officer has since been displayed in of that gentleman's works :
another case, where immorality of the parent was
the alleged cause. Had the same law-officer, un“ Lyinouth, Barnstaple, Devon, August 17, 1812.
happily for England, continued to preside, no doubt “Sir, I feel peculiar satisfaetion in seizing the the political sentiments of the parent would by opportunity which your politeness places in my and by furnish an excuse for such a monstrous power, of expressing to you personally (as I may tyranny over the rights of nature. say) a high acknowledgment of my sense of your Shelley for ever sought to make mankind and talents and principles, which, before I conceived things around him in harmony with a better state it possible that I should ever know you, I sincerely of moral existence. He was too young and iner. entertained. Your “ Empire of the Nairs," which perienced when he first acted upon this principle I read this spring, succeeded in making me a to perccive the obstacles which opposed the pro perfect convert to its doctrines. I then retained gress of his views, arising out of the usages and no doubts of the evils of marriage; Mrs. Wolstone- customs which rule mankind, and which, from the craft reasons too well for that; but I had been dull nature of things, it takes a long time to overcome. enough not to perceive the greatest argument Ardent in the pursuit of the good he sought, he against it, until developed in the “ Nairs,” viz. was always ready to meet the consequences of his prostitution both legal and illegal.
actions; and if any condemn them for their mis"I am a young man, not of age, and have been taken views, they ought to feel that charity should married a year to a woman younger than myself. forbid their arraigning motives, when such proofs Love seems inclined to stay in the prison, and my of sincerity were before them. The vermin who, only reason for putting him in chains, whilst con- under the specious title of “reviewers,” soek in vinced of the unholiness of the act, was a know- England to crush every bud of genius that appears ledge, that in the present state of society, if love out of the pale of their own party, fell mercilessly is not thus villanously treated, she, who is nost upon the works of Shelley. The beauty and proloved, will be treated worse by a misjudging world. fundity which none but the furious zealots of a