1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

John Jesse, "The Funeral of Percy Bysshe Shelley" The Star (29 October1830).



We laid him down on his funeral bed,
By the waves of the boundless sea;
And their moan was the dirge of the reckless dead,
With their wild monotony!

Beyond was the forest's darksome shade,
And around was the desert's gloom;
Oh! well did we fix on that lonely glade,
For the scene of the Poet's tomb!

The sky was without its wonted blue,
In the noon-tide's sultry heat;
And hoarse was the scream of the wild sea-mew,
As his wings o'er the sleeper beat!

And the winds around, and the wave beneath,
Were still as the sleep of the dead;
All grew hush'd, save the sound of our thick'ning breath,
As we sobb'd by his lonely bed.

That bed was the boughs of the mountain pine,
And beside was the torch's glare;
And we mornfully mark'd its flashes shine
Thro' the gloom of the sunless air!

We fir'd the pile! — and the earth and sky
Were lit by its burst of light!
A moment it blaz'd, then died on high,
Like the spirit we mourn'd that night!

That spirit! it never can light again
The form that is mould'ring there;
Does it mix with the storm on the angry main,
Or rove through the boundless air?

Does it roam o'er the forest, the wave, the glen,
Away from these scenes of strife;
Far, far from the haunts of little men,
And the little concerns of life?

Peace, peace to his ashes! they sleep by the wave,
But his spirit remains with us yet;
Years and ages must roll o'er the Poet's grave
Ere the sun of his glory be set!
—Jesse's Tales of the Dead.