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Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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          When the lamp is shattered
 The light in dust lies dead -
           When the cloud is scattered
 The rainbow's glory is shed.
           When the lute is broken,
 Sweet tones are remembered not;
           When the lips have spoken,
 Loved accents are soon forgot.


          As music and splendour
 Survive not the lamp and the lute,
           The heart's echoes render
 No song when the spirit is mute: -
           No song but sad dirges,
 Like the wind through a ruined cell,
           Or the mournful surges
 That ring the dead seaman's knell.


          When hearts have once mingled
 Love first leaves the well-built nest
           The weak one is singled
 To endure what it once possessed.
           O Love! who bewailest
 The frailty of all things here,
           Why choose you the frailest
 For your cradle, your home, and your bier?


          Its passions rock thee
 As the storms rock the ravens on high;
           Bright reason will mock thee,
 Like the sun from a wintry sky.
           From thy nest every rafter
 Will rot, and thine eagle home
           Leave thee naked to laughter,
 When leaves fall and cold winds come. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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

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