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

Percy Bysshe Shelley

516. The Flight of Love

WHEN the lamp is shatter’d

The light in the dust lies dead—

When the cloud is scatter’d,

The rainbow’s glory is shed.

When the lute is broken,

Sweet tones are remember’d not;

When the lips have spoken,

Loved accents are soon forgot.

As music and splendour

Survive not the lamp and the lute,

The heart’s echoes render

No song when the spirit is mute—

No song but sad dirges,

Like the wind through a ruin’d cell,

Or the mournful surges

That ring the dead seaman’s knell.

When hearts have once mingled,

Love first leaves the well-built nest;

The weak one is singled

To endure what it once possesst.

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

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

Leave thee naked to laughter,

When leaves fall and cold winds come.