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O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run;
Like an embodied 1 Joy whose race is just begun.

1 Undoubtedly the true word, though always perverted into unbodied, – as if a joy were a thing that naturally wore a body. The conception is of the same kind with what we have in the Witch of Atlas :

“ — in that care a dewy splendour hidden
Took shape and motion: with the living form

Of this embodied Power the cave grew warm.”
As the dewy splendor, on taking shape and motion, is called an “embodied Power”
in the one poem, so the lark, winging the blue sky like a cloud of fire, and floating
in the evening sunlight, is called an "embodied Joy” in the other. In the preceding
verse, too, very absurdly, the cloud of fire which the bird has become in the poet's
imagination is, by the removal of the semicolon from its proper place at the end of
the second line to the end of the third, represented, not as soaring in the blue deep
of the sky, but as springing from the earth, — which is what nobody ever saw a
cloud do, not a cloud of fire, or cloud glowing with colored radiance, at any rate,
and would besides give us as forced and false an image of a lark commencing its
ascent as could well be put into rhyme, or into words, - striking, too, all its lustre
out of what follows, and turning the climax into an anticlimax, by substituting for
the splendid picture of the blue deep winged by the radiant cloud the statement of
its being simply winged by something, we are not told what, — for the cloud of fire
was only, according to this pointless pointing, the appearance that the bird presented
(and which yet it never could have presented) when rising from the earth. These
are two examples of the misprints that swarm more especially in so much of Shel-
ley's poetry as was first given to the world in the edition brought out in 4 vols.
under the care of his widow in 1839, and nearly all of which are repeated in the
enlarged edition dated in the following year, notwithstanding we are told that in
the latter some poems are presented “complete and correct ” which had been till
then “defaced by various mistakes and omissions.” We have noted the following
in the fourth volume of the first edition alone: - In the Witch of Atlas, at p. 10,

"Some weak and faint
With the soft burden of intensest bliss:

It is its work to bear" read,

“Some weak and faint
With the soft burden of intensest bliss

It is their work to bear.”
At p. 12, for “And her thoughts were each a minister,” read, probably, “And her
own thoughts,” &c. At p. 28, for “And lived thenceforth as if some control,” read
"And lived thenceforward,” &c.; and for “Was a green and overarching bower,"
read “Was as a green,” &c. In the Epipsychidion, – to say nothing of the strange
commencement, in which it is difficult not to suspect something wrong, -

“Sweet spirit! sister of that orphan one,

Whose empire is the name thou weepest onwe have at p. 66, “Though it is in the code," instead of “ Though it is the code," - as the line is correctly given on p. 319 of the one-volume edition in the first of a lew fragments described as “Gleanings from Shelley's manuscript books and papers;

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The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

preserved not only because they are beautiful in themselves, but as affording indications of his feelings and virtues ;” – strangely enough, without its having been observed that this first fragment, in substance, and mostly in the same words, forms part of the Epipsychidion! At p. 76, in the same poem, we have the solitary misprint of the one edition which we find corrected in the other — “The blue Aegean girds” ludicrously corrupted into “The blue Aegean girls.” In the Adonais, again, at p. 94, in the line “A wound more fierce than his tears and sighs,” it is evident that something is wanting ; perhaps it should be “ Than were his tears and sighs.” At p. 134, in the bridal song, read “Where strength and beauty met together kindle their image" (without the comma after together). At p. 140, we have certainly one misprint, if not two, in the three lines beginning “Pours itself on the plain, until wandering.” At p. 144. we have the pretty, and prettily expressed, thought entitled “Good night” half obliterated by the manner in which the third line of the second verse is printed, “Be it not said, thought, understood,” instead of “Be it not said, though understood.” At p. 178, in a poem which does not seem to be given at all in the second edition, we have “Within an Elysium air” for “With an Elysium air” (if, indeed, Elysium be the word); and at p. 180, in another, “Leave the naked to laughter” for “Leave thee naked,” &c. 183, in the lines on Keats, “ Time's monthless torrent” is wrong of course ; it should probably be “ Time's smooth torrent." At p. 191, in the dramatic fragment entitled “ Charles the First,” “Scoffs at the stake" should apparently be “Scoffs at the state”; and at p. 193, “ Against innocent sleep” should be “ Against the innocent sleep.” In the Triumph of Life, at p. 206, “And past in these performs cannot be right; at p. 207 “ Those deluded crew" should be “that deluded crew” at p. 209 “Said my guide” should be “Said then my guide”; at p. 217 “ Touched with faint lips the cup she raised” should probably be “ Touched with my fainting lips,” &c., and the line “ Whilst the wolf from which they fled amazed” is evidently wrong ; as is also the line “ Under the crown which girt with empire ” on p. 222. In the Hymn to Mercury, at p. 245, the line “And through the tortoise's hard strong skin” wants a word or a syllable somewhere ; at p. 270, in the line "the lyre

— be mine the glory giving it ” the words should stand “the glory of giving it”; and lower down in the same page we should probably read

“But thou, who art as wise as thou art strong
To compass all that thou desirest, I
Present thee with,” &c.

instead of " Can compass,” with a full-point after “desirest.” In the translation of the Cyclops, at p. 295, the line “I have stolen out, so that if you will ” should probably run “So that now if you will ”; and at p. 296, in the line “ You think by some measure to despatch him,” “measure” cannot be right. In the Scenes from the Magico Prodigioso, finally, at p. 314, the reading should be, apparently, " That which you know the best ” (not "you know best ”); at p. 316 “ And you may not say that I allege” should probably be “And, that you may not,” &c., with the strong point removed from the end of the following line; at p. 325 it should be "The whistling waves” (not "wave”); at p. 328 there is something wrong in

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not:

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not :

Like a highborn maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view :

" And I have wandered o'er

The expanse of these wide wildernesses”; and at p. 329 the line "'Twixt thou and me be, that neither fortune” is also certainly wrong, and should probably stand "'Twixt thou and me be set, that neither fortune.” There may be many more instances of the same kind. On the other hand, the alterations in the second edition, some at least, are only additional blunders. One of the most flagrant occurs in the lines on Keats, already noticed, where, while the impossible nonsense of “ Time's monthless torrent” is left untouched, the striking figure in the preceding line, “Death, the immortalizing writer," is actually corrected into “Death, the immortalizing winter"]

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves, By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieres :

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphal chant,
Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt -
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain ?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain ?

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee :
Thou lovest ; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream ?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not ;

Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


Keats, born in 1796, died the year before Shelley, and, of course, at a still earlier age. But his poetry is younger than Shelley's in a degree far beyond the difference of their years. He was richly endowed by nature with the poetical faculty, and all that he has written is stamped with originality and power; it is probable, too, that he would soon have supplied, as far as was necessary or important, the defects of his education, as indeed he had actually done to a considerable extent, for he was full of ambition as well as genius; but he can scarcely be said to have given full assurance by anything he has left that he would in time have produced a great poetical work. The character of his mental constitution, explosive and volcanic, was adverse to every kind of restraint and cultivation ; and his poetry is a tangled forest, beautiful indeed and glorious with many a majestic oak and sunny glade, but still with the unpruned, untrained savagery everywhere, constituting, apparently, so much of its essential character as to be inseparable

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