Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Percy Bysshe Shelley Quotes

  • ''Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. An Address to the Irish People (1812). These sentiments reflect those expressed in Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776).
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  • ''Love is free; to promise for ever to love the same woman is not less absurd than to promise to believe the same creed; such a vow in both cases excludes us from all inquiry.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A note from Queen Mab, Even Love Is Sold (1813).
  • ''The odious and disgusting aristocracy of wealth is built upon the ruins of all that is good in chivalry or republicanism; and luxury is the forerunner of a barbarism scarcely capable of cure.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A note, in Queen Mab, A Vindication of Natural Diet (1813).
  • ''It is impossible that had Buonaparte descended from a race of vegetable feeders that he could have had either the inclination or the power to ascend the throne of the Bourbons.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Vindication of Natural Diet, a note in Queen Mab (1813). Shelley became a vegetarian in 1812, remaining so until his death.
  • ''Constancy has nothing virtuous in itself, independently of the pleasure it confers, and partakes of the temporizing spirit of vice in proportion as it endures tamely moral defects of magnitude in the object of its indiscreet choice.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Even Love Is Sold (1813). A note from Queen Mab.
  • ''Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Even Love is Sold, note, Queen Mab (1813).
  • ''It is his weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness of human life.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Julian and Maddalo, preface. The description of Count Maddalo was taken to be a portrait of Byron.

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Best Poem of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias

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,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal ...

Read the full of Ozymandias

To Coleridge

Oh! there are spirits of the air,
And genii of the evening breeze,
And gentle ghosts, with eyes as fair
As star-beams among twilight trees:
Such lovely ministers to meet
Oft hast thou turned from men thy lonely feet.

With mountain winds, and babbling springs,
And moonlight seas, that are the voice

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