THE world's great age begins anew
The golden years return
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn;
Heaven smiles and faiths and empires gleam 5
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star; 10
Where fairer Tempes bloom there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main
Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again 15
And loves and weeps and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.
O write no more the tale of Troy
If earth Death's scroll must be¡ª 20
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
Which dawns upon the free
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise 25
And to remoter time
Bequeath like sunset to the skies
The splendour of its prime;
And leave if naught so bright may live
All earth can take or Heaven can give.
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst more bright and good
Than all who fell than One who rose
Than many unsubdued:
Not gold not blood their altar dowers 35
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
O cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy! 40
The world is weary of the past¡ª
O might it die or rest at last!
Percy Bysshe Shelley
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