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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

498. Stanzas Written in Dejection Near Naples

THE SUN is warm, the sky is clear,

The waves are dancing fast and bright,

Blue isles and snowy mountains wear

The purple noon’s transparent light:

The breath of the moist earth is light

Around its unexpanded buds;

Like many a voice of one delight—

The winds’, the birds’, the ocean-floods’—

The City’s voice itself is soft like Solitude’s.

I see the Deep’s untrampled floor

With green and purple sea-weeds strown;

I see the waves upon the shore

Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown:

I sit upon the sands alone;

The lightning of the noon-tide ocean

Is flashing round me, and a tone

Arises from its measured motion—

How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,

Nor peace within nor calm around,

Nor that Content, surpassing wealth,

The sage in meditation found,

And walk’d with inward glory crown’d—

Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure;

Others I see whom these surround—

Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;

To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

Yet now despair itself is mild

Even as the winds and waters are;

I could lie down like a tired child,

And weep away the life of care

Which I have borne, and yet must bear,

Till death like sleep might steal on me,

And I might feel in the warm air

My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea

Breathe o’er my dying brain its last monotony.