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Best Famous Percy Bysshe Shelley Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Percy Bysshe Shelley poems. This is a select list of the best famous Percy Bysshe Shelley poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Percy Bysshe Shelley poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Percy Bysshe Shelley poems.

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Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

A Dream of the Unknown

I DREAM'D that as I wander'd by the way 
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, 
And gentle odours led my steps astray, 
Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring 
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay 5 
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling 
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, 
But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth, 10 The constellated flower that never sets; Faint oxlips; tender bluebells, at whose birth The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets¡ª Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth¡ª Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, 15 When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.
And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, Green cow-bind and the moonlight-colour'd may, And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day; 20 And wild roses, and ivy serpentine With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray; And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold, Fairer than any waken'd eyes behold.
And nearer to the river's trembling edge 25 There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd with white, And starry river-buds among the sedge, And floating water-lilies, broad and bright, Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge With moonlight beams of their own watery light; 30 And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.
Methought that of these visionary flowers I made a nosegay, bound in such a way That the same hues, which in their natural bowers 35 Were mingled or opposed, the like array Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours Within my hand,¡ªand then, elate and gay, I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come That I might there present it¡ªoh! to Whom? 40

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

To the Moon

ART thou pale for weariness 
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth  
Wandering companionless 
Among the stars that have a different birth ¡ª 
And ever-changing like a joyless eye 5 
That finds no object worth its constancy? 

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

To a Lady with a Guitar

ARIEL to Miranda:¡ªTake 
This slave of music for the sake 
Of him who is the slave of thee; 
And teach it all the harmony 
In which thou canst and only thou 5 
Make the delighted spirit glow  
Till joy denies itself again 
And too intense is turn'd to pain.
For by permission and command Of thine own Prince Ferdinand 10 Poor Ariel sends this silent token Of more than ever can be spoken; Your guardian spirit Ariel who From life to life must still pursue Your happiness for thus alone 15 Can Ariel ever find his own.
From Prospero's enchanted cell As the mighty verses tell To the throne of Naples he Lit you o'er the trackless sea 20 Flitting on your prow before Like a living meteor.
When you die the silent Moon In her interlunar swoon Is not sadder in her cell 25 Than deserted Ariel:¡ª When you live again on earth Like an unseen Star of birth Ariel guides you o'er the sea Of life from your nativity:¡ª 30 Many changes have been run Since Ferdinand and you begun Your course of love and Ariel still Has track'd your steps and served your will.
Now in humbler happier lot 35 This is all remember'd not; And now alas the poor Sprite is Imprison'd for some fault of his In a body like a grave¡ª From you he only dares to crave 40 For his service and his sorrow A smile to-day a song to-morrow.
The artist who this viol wrought To echo all harmonious thought Fell'd a tree while on the steep 45 The woods were in their winter sleep Rock'd in that repose divine On the wind-swept Apennine; And dreaming some of autumn past And some of spring approaching fast 50 And some of April buds and showers And some of songs in July bowers And all of love; and so this tree ¡ª Oh that such our death may be!¡ª Died in sleep and felt no pain 55 To live in happier form again: From which beneath heaven's fairest star The artist wrought this loved guitar; And taught it justly to reply To all who question skilfully 60 In language gentle as thine own; Whispering in enamour'd tone Sweet oracles of woods and dells And summer winds in sylvan cells.
For it had learnt all harmonies 65 Of the plains and of the skies Of the forests and the mountains And the many-voic¨¨d fountains; The clearest echoes of the hills The softest notes of falling rills 70 The melodies of birds and bees The murmuring of summer seas And pattering rain and breathing dew And airs of evening; and it knew That seldom-heard mysterious sound 75 Which driven on its diurnal round As it floats through boundless day Our world enkindles on its way:¡ª All this it knows but will not tell To those who cannot question well 80 The spirit that inhabits it: It talks according to the wit Of its companions; and no more Is heard than has been felt before By those who tempt it to betray 85 These secrets of an elder day.
But sweetly as its answers will Flatter hands of perfect skill It keeps its highest holiest tone For one beloved Friend alone.
90

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

To a Skylark

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit! 
Bird thou never wert, 
That from heaven, or near it, 
Pourest thy full heart 
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
5 Higher still and higher From the earth thou springest, Like a cloud of fire The blue deep thou wingest, And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
10 In the golden lightning Of the sunken sun, O'er which clouds are bright'ning, Thou dost float and run, Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
15 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¡ª 20 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.
25 All the earth and air With thy voice is loud¡ª As, when night is bare, From one lonely cloud The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.
30 What thou art we know not; What is most like thee?¡ª From rainbow clouds there flow not Drops so bright to see As from thy presence showers a rain of melody: 35 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: 40 Like a high-born maiden In a palace tower, Soothing her love-laden Soul in secret hour With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower: 45 Like a glow-worm golden In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden Its aerial hue Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view: 50 Like a rose embower'd In its own green leaves, By warm winds deflower'd, Till the scent it gives Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wing¨¨d thieves.
55 Sound of vernal showers On the twinkling grass, Rain-awaken'd flowers¡ª All that ever was Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.
60 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.
65 Chorus hymeneal, Or triumphal chaunt, Match'd with thine, would be all But an empty vaunt¡ª A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.
70 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? 75 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.
80 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? 85 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.
90 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.
95 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! 100 Teach me half the gladness That thy brain must know¡ª Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then, as I am listening now! 105

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Ozymandias of Egypt

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:  "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.
.
.
.
Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
"

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

The Poets Dream

ON a Poet's lips I slept  
Dreaming like a love-adept 
In the sound his breathing kept; 
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses  
But feeds on the aerial kisses 5 
Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom The lake-reflected sun illume The blue bees in the ivy-bloom Nor heed nor see what things they be¡ª 10 But from these create he can Forms more real than living man Nurslings of Immortality!

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Ode to the West Wind

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being¡ª 
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead 
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, 
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, 
Pestilence-stricken multitudes!¡ªO thou 5 
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed 
The wing¨¨d seeds, where they lie cold and low, 
Each like a corpse within its grave, until 
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow 
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10 
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) 
With living hues and odours plain and hill¡ª 
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere¡ª 
Destroyer and Preserver¡ªhear, O hear! 

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion, 15 
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed, 
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean, 
Angels of rain and lightning! they are spread 
On the blue surface of thine airy surge, 
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head 20 
Of some fierce M?nad, ev'n from the dim verge 
Of the horizon to the zenith's height¡ª 
The locks of the approaching storm.
Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing night Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre, 25 Vaulted with all thy congregated might Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:¡ªO hear! Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay, 30 Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams, Beside a pumice isle in Bai?'s bay, And saw in sleep old palaces and towers Quivering within the wave's intenser day, All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers 35 So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou For whose path the Atlantic's level powers Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 40 Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear And tremble and despoil themselves:¡ªO hear! If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear; If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee; A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share 45 The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable!¡ªif even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven, As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed 50 Scarce seem'd a vision,¡ªI would ne'er have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd 55 One too like thee¡ªtameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, 60 Sweet though in sadness.
Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incantation of this verse, 65 Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? 70

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Loves Philosophy

THE fountains mingle with the river 
And the rivers with the ocean  
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion; 
Nothing in the world is single 5 
All things by a law divine 
In one another's being mingle¡ª 
Why not I with thine? 

See the mountains kiss high heaven  
And the waves clasp one another; 10 
No sister-flower would be forgiven 
If it disdain'd its brother; 
And the sunlight clasps the earth  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea¡ª 
What are all these kissings worth 15 
If thou kiss not me?

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

The Moon

I
AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,

Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil, 
Out of her chamber, led by the insane 
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain, 
The mood arose up in the murky east, 5 
A white and shapeless mass.
II Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different birth, 10 And ever changing, like a joyless eye That finds no object worth its constancy?

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Autumn: A Dirge

 The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the Year
On the earth is her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Is lying.
Come, Months, come away, From November to May, In your saddest array; Follow the bier Of the dead cold Year, And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.
The chill rain is falling, the nipped worm is crawling, The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling For the Year; The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone To his dwelling.
Come, Months, come away; Put on white, black and gray; Let your light sisters play-- Ye, follow the bier Of the dead cold Year, And make her grave green with tear on tear.

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

The Flight of Love

WHEN the lamp is shatter'd 
The light in the dust lies dead¡ª 
When the cloud is scatter'd  
The rainbow's glory is shed.
When the lute is broken 5 Sweet tones are remember'd not; When the lips have spoken Lov'd accents are soon forgot.
As music and splendour Survive not the lamp and the lute 10 The heart's echoes render No song when the spirit is mute¡ª No song but sad dirges Like the wind through a ruin'd cell Or the mournful surges 15 That ring the dead seaman's knell.
When hearts have once mingl'd Love first leaves the well-built nest; The weak one is singl'd To endure what it once possesst.
20 O Love! who bewailest The frailty of all things here Why choose you the frailest For your cradle your home and your bier? Its passions will rock thee 25 As the storms rock the ravens on high; Bright reason will mock thee Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter Will rot and thine eagle home 30 Leave thee naked to laughter When leaves fall and cold winds come.

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Music when soft voices die

MUSIC when soft voices die  
Vibrates in the memory; 
Odours when sweet violets sicken  
Live within the sense they quicken; 

Rose leaves when the rose is dead 5 
Are heap'd for the belov¨¨d's bed: 
And so thy thoughts when thou art gone  
Love itself shall slumber on.

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

On Death

 The pale, the cold, and the moony smile
Which the meteor beam of a starless night
Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle,
Ere the dawning of morn's undoubted light,
Is the flame of life so fickle and wan
That flits round our steps till their strength is gone.
O man! hold thee on in courage of soul Through the stormy shades of thy wordly way, And the billows of clouds that around thee roll Shall sleep in the light of a wondrous day, Where hell and heaven shall leave thee free To the universe of destiny.
This world is the nurse of all we know, This world is the mother of all we feel, And the coming of death is a fearful blow To a brain unencompass'd by nerves of steel: When all that we know, or feel, or see, Shall pass like an unreal mystery.
The secret things of the grave are there, Where all but this frame must surely be, Though the fine-wrought eye and the wondrous ear No longer will live, to hear or to see All that is great and all that is strange In the boundless realm of unending change.
Who telleth a tale of unspeaking death? Who lifteth the veil of what is to come? Who painteth the shadows that are beneath The wide-winding caves of the peopled tomb? Or uniteth the hopes of what shall be With the fears and the love for that which we see?

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Mont Blanc

 (Lines written in the Vale of Chamouni)

1

The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark - now glittering - now reflecting gloom -
Now lending splendor, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters, - with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume
In the wild woods, amon the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.
2 Thus thou, Ravine of Arve - dark, deep Ravine- Thou many-colored, many voiced vale, Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene, Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne, Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame Of lightning through the tempest; -thou dost lie, Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging, Children of elder time, in whose devotion The chainless winds still come and ever came To drink their odors, and their mighty swinging To hear - an old and solemn harmony; Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the sweep Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep Which when the voices of the desert fail Wraps all in its own deep eternity;- Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion, A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame; Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion, Thou art the path of that unresting sound- Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee I seem as in a trance sublime and strange To muse on my own separate fantasy, My own, my human mind, which passively Now renders and receives fast influencings, Holding an unremitting interchange With the clear universe of things around; One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings Now float above thy darkness, and now rest Where that or thou art no unbidden guest, In the still cave of the witch Poesy, Seeking among the shadows that pass by Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee, Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast From which they fled recalls them, thou art there! 3 Some say that gleams of a remoter world Visit the soul in sleep,-that death is slumber, And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber Of those who wake and live.
-I look on high; Has some unknown omnipotence unfurled The veil of life and death? or do I lie In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep Spread far and round and inaccessibly Its circles? For the very spirit fails, Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep That vanishes amon the viewless gales! Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky, Mont Blanc appears,-still snowy and serene- Its subject mountains their unearthly forms Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps, Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread And wind among the accumulated steeps; A desert peopled by the storms alone, Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone, And the wolf tracks her there - how hideously Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare, and high, Ghastly, and scarred, and riven.
-Is this the scene Where the old Earthquake-demon taught her young Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea Of fire envelop once this silent snow? None can reply - all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild, So solemn, so serene, that man may be, But for such faith, with nature reconciled; Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood By all, but which the wise, and great, and good Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.
4 The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams, Ocean, and all the living things that dwell Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain, Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, The torpor of the year when feeble dreams Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep Holds every future leaf and flower; -the bound With which from that detested trance they leap; The works and ways of man, their death and birth, And that of him, and all that his may be; All things that move and breathe with toil and sound Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquility, Remote, serene, and inaccessible: And this, the naked countenance of earth, On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains Teach the adverting mind.
The glaciers creep Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice, Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power Have piled: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle, A city of death, distinct with many a tower And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing Its destined path, or in the mangled soil Branchless and shattered stand; the rocks, drawn down From yon remotest waste, have overthrown The limits of the dead and living world, Never to be reclaimed.
The dwelling-place Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil Their food and their retreat for ever gone, So much of life and joy is lost.
The race Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, And their place is not known.
Below, vast caves Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling Meet in the vale, and one majestic River, The breath and blood of distant lands , for ever Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves, Breathes its swift vapors to the circling air.
5 Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:-the power is there, The still and solemn power of many sights, And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights, In the lone glare of day, the snows descend Upon that mountain; none beholds them there, Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun, Or the star-beams dart through them:-Winds contend Silently there, and heap the snow with breath Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home The voiceless lightning in these solitudes Keeps innocently, and like vapor broods Over the snow.
The secret Strength of things Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee! And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea, If to the human mind's imaginings Silence and solitude were vacancy?

Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

Remorse

AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon  
Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even: 
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon  
And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries 'Away!' 5 Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood: Thy lover's eye so glazed and cold dares not entreat thy stay: Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.
Away away! to thy sad and silent home; Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth; 10 Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet: But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead 15 Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile ere thou and peace may meet.
The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose For the weary winds are silent or the moon is in the deep; Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows; Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep.
20 Thou in the grave shalt rest:¡ªyet till the phantoms flee Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.