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Lift Not The Painted Veil Which Those Who Live

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Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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 Lift not the painted veil which those who live 
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there, 
And it but mimic all we would believe 
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear 
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave 
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought, For his lost heart was tender, things to love, But found them not, alas! nor was there aught The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move, A splendour among shadows, a bright blot Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.


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