1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

C., "The Atheist" The Literary Gazette (2 June 1821) 348.



"There is no God," the atheist cried:
And when the daring blasphemy
Ascended from his lips to thee,
Where were thy tardy lightnings, Heaven,
Thy dreadful reply in thunder given,
To blast him to his native hell,
And in his punishment to tell
The impious wretch, he lied?

The lightnings then remained at rest;
No answer to the wretch from high,
In pealing thunder, shook the sky;
For well the Almighty Father knew,
Who pierces nature with his view,
In all creation's ample round,
So fierce a hell could not be found,
As glowed within his breast.