Percy Bysshe Shelley
Biography of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelley, born the heir to rich estates and the son of an Member of Parliament, went to University College, Oxford in 1810, but in March of the following year he and a friend, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, were both expelled for the suspected authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Necessity of Atheism.
In 1811 he met and eloped to Edinburgh with Harriet Westbrook and, one year later, went with her and her older sister first to Dublin, then to Devon and North Wales, where they stayed for six months into 1813. However, by 1814, and with the birth of two children, their marriage had collapsed and Shelley eloped once again, this time with Mary Godwin.
Along with Mary's step-sister, the couple travelled to France, Switzerland and Germany before returning to London where he took a house with Mary on the edge of Great Windsor Park and wrote Alastor (1816), the poem that first brought him fame.
In 1816 Shelley spent the summer on Lake Geneva with Byron and Mary who had begun work on her Frankenstein. In the autumn of that year Harriet drowned herself in the Serpentine in Hyde Park and Shelley then married Mary and settled with her, in 1817, at Great Marlow, on the Thames. They later travelled to Italy, where Shelley wrote the sonnet Ozymandias (written 1818) and translated Plato's Symposium from the Greek. Shelley himself drowned in a sailing accident in 1822.
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Percy Bysshe Shelley Poems
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,
The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean; The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion;
Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill Which severs those it should unite; Let us remain together still, Then it will be good night.
O World! O Life! O Time! On whose last steps I climb, Trembling at that where I had stood before; When will return the glory of your prime?
Ode To The West Wind
I O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon; How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver, Streaking the darkness radiantly!--yet soon Night closes round, and they are lost forever:
I Arise From Dreams Of Thee
I arise from dreams of thee In the first sweet sleep of night, When the winds are breathing low, And the stars are shining bright
To The Men Of England
Men of England, wherefore plough For the lords who lay ye low? Wherefore weave with toil and care The rich robes your tyrants wear?
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams.
I weep for Adonais -he is dead! O, weep for Adonais! though our tears Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head! And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
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
Alastor: Or, The Spirit Of Solitude
Earth, Ocean, Air, belovèd brotherhood! If our great Mother has imbued my soul With aught of natural piety to feel Your love, and recompense the boon with mine;
Art Thou Pale For Weariness
Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different birth,
England In 1819
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,-- Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow Through public scorn,--mud from a muddy spring,-- Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
I weep for Adonais -he is dead!
O, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"