1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Anonymous, "Sonnet to Percy Shelley" Literary Examiner (20 September 1823) 192.



Hast thou from earth, then, really passed away,
And mingled with the shadowy mass of things
Which were, but are not? Will thy harp's dear strings
No more yield music to the rapid play
Of thy swift thoughts, now thou art turned to clay?
Hark! Is that rushing of thy spirit's wings,
When (like the skylark, who in mounting sings)
Soaring through high imagination's way,
Thou pour'dst thy melody upon the earth,
Silent for ever? Yes, wild ocean's wave
Hath o'er thee rolled. But whilst within the grave
Thou sleepst, let me in the love of thy pure worth
One thing foretell, — that thy great fame shall be
Progressive as Time's flood, eternal as the sea!
August 4, 1823.