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Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley


An Exhortation


Camelions feed on light and air:
 Poets food is love and fame:
If in this wide world of care
 Poets could but find the same
With as little toil as they,
 Would they ever change their hue
 As the light camelions do,
Suiting it to every ray
Twenty times a-day?


Poets are on this cold earth,
 As camelions might be,
Hidden from their early birth
 In a cave beneath the sea;
Where light is camelions change:
 Where love is not, poets do:
 Fame is love disguised: if few
Find either never think it strange
That poets range.


Yet dare not stain with wealth or power
 A poets free and heavenly mind:
If bright camelions should devour
 Any food but beams and wind,
They would grow as earthly soon
 As their brother lizards are.
 Children of a sunnier star,
Spirits from beyond the moon,
O, refuse the boon!



Percy Bysshe Shelley


Percy Bysshe Shelley's other poems:
  1. To The Republicans Of North America
  2. To Mary
  3. Letter To Maria Gisborne
  4. Liberty
  5. To The Lord Chancellor


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