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?
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:
Ode to the West Wind
I O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
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 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
A Bridal Song
I. The golden gates of Sleep unbar Where Strength and Beauty, met together, Kindle their image like a star
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 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
Music, When Soft Voices Die
Music, when soft voices die, Vibrates in the memory; Odours, when sweet violets sicken, Live within the sense they quicken.
DEATH: For my dagger is bathed in the blood of the brave, I come, care-worn tenant of life, from the grave,
To A Skylark
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert, That from Heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart
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