Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Liberty


I.
The fiery mountains answer each other;
Their thunderings are echoed from zone to zone;
The tempestuous oceans awake one another,
And the ice-rocks are shaken round Winter's throne,
When the clarion of the Typhoon is blown.

II.
From a single cloud the lightening flashes,
Whilst a thousand isles are illumined around,
Earthquake is trampling one city to ashes,
An hundred are shuddering and tottering; the sound
Is bellowing underground.

III.
But keener thy gaze than the lightening’s glare,
And swifter thy step than the earthquake’s tramp;
Thou deafenest the rage of the ocean; thy stare
Makes blind the volcanoes; the sun’s bright lamp
To thine is a fen-fire damp.

IV.
From billow and mountain and exhalation
The sunlight is darted through vapour and blast;
From spirit to spirit, from nation to nation,
From city to hamlet thy dawning is cast,--
And tyrants and slaves are like shadows of night
In the van of the morning light.

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

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