Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Quotations

  • ''I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. letter, Jan. 3, 1811.
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  • ''It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower—and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self- respect.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Revenge is the naked idol of the worship of a semi-barbarous age.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, publ. 1840).
  • ''A poet, as he is the author to others of the highest wisdom, pleasure, virtue, and glory, so he ought personally to be the happiest, the best, the wisest, and the most illustrious of men.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).

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The Triumph of Life

Swift as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory & of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, & the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.
The smokeless altars of the mountain snows
Flamed above crimson clouds, & at the birth
Of light, the Ocean's orison arose
To which the birds tempered their matin lay,
All flowers in field or forest which unclose

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