Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

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Good-Night


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.

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood --
Then it will be -- good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie - 639 Points Akinkunmi Oseni (1/29/2014 4:23:00 AM)

    This is subliminal! The diction is very simple, brief and concise. The emotion and relunctancy of missing one's lover through the night is well conveyed. Thumbs up for PBS! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 639 Points Akinkunmi Oseni (1/29/2014 4:20:00 AM)

    This is subliminal! The diction is very simple, brief and concise. The emotion and relunctancy of missing one's lover through the night is well conveyed. Thumbs up for PBS! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 21 Points Alistair Graham (1/29/2014 4:10:00 AM)

    To Sleep


    Calm down my friend
    we’re all going to die

    Don’t get caught up
    like the fly in the web

    You may and you must
    sleep every night
    Not annually, monthly or weekly
    like tax returns, utility bills
    or putting out the bins

    Flick the switch
    and watch your woes
    burn in fires of hell

    The rich and poor
    burn at different degrees
    To sleep now (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 125 Points Manonton Dalan (1/29/2012 4:11:00 AM)

    different parts of this heart planet
    good night is interpreted in so many
    ways. in my country between husband
    and wife it means; there's unfinished business
    but time to go to sleep it's like sleep on it.
    it's great poem it does enhance my imagination. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 125 Points Terence George Craddock (1/30/2011 8:42:00 AM)

    A brief explanation of “Seems ghost writing Christopher, would be an option, if his fine works to be, drowned in a lake in the rough winds of fate”, as requested by a PH friend.

    Both Shelley and his friend Lord George Gordon Byron often discussed ghost stories. A conversation the two poets had about galvanism (electricity) , inspired Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to write her most famous novel ‘Frankenstein’, ‘The Modern Prometheus’ (1818) based upon her nightmare. Percy Shelley wrote the introduction for ‘Frankenstein’, and in 2008 he was credited as co-author. The title Mary Shelley claimed came to her in a dream vision.
    The complex ghost writing Christopher reference first alludes to the pseudo-confessional style of Christopher Wren which influenced Shelley. Wren was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–82): Sir Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal regarded highly his scientific work. To Shelley and Byron, Wren the mathematician-physicist and his physico-mathematical experimental learning concept intrigued as evidenced in the novel ‘Frankenstein’.
    Shelley the atheist was an authoritative figure, writing with a strong disapproving voice. His unconventional life and uncompromising idealism, in an age of even more religious intolerance than the present, meant he was denigrated during his life and in death; some of his works were published but often suppressed upon publication. It is estimated Shelley had approximately 50 readers by the time of his death and evidence exists which suggests he may have been murdered for political reasons.
    Shelley drowned after his schooner was rammed by a larger vessel and rapidly sink. The alleged attack upon Shelley during the night at his Regency house, he rented at Tremadog, near Porthmadog, north-west Wales by a possible intelligence agent is mentioned by Richard Holmes in ‘Shelley: The Pursuit’. Trelawny in his 'Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron', relates a supposed deathbed confession by an Italian fisherman who claimed to have rammed Shelley's schooner.
    After Percy Shelley’s death, Mary Shelley determined to write his biography in the 'most popular form possible' 'to make him beloved to all posterity.' Edward Moxon Mary’s publisher, and deference to public propriety of the time, forced Mary to omit certain writings such as the atheistic passages from ‘Queen Mab’ in the first edition. Therefore charges of omissions which provoked stinging criticism from members of Percy Shelley's former circle; and reviewers who accused Mary of indiscriminate inclusions are overly harsh. We are indebted to Mary because she established her late husband’s reputation and ensured the survival of his previously unpublished work. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 125 Points Michael Pruchnicki (1/29/2010 6:28:00 PM)

    Ah, sweet mystery of love! the poet sighs as he consigns himself to a night without his love close by! If we stay together in love's embrace, he argues, then indeed it will be a good night. Do not bid farewell with that commonplace 'good night, sleep well! ' If I do not remonstrate and argue my case for staying close this night. then it shall be a kind of farewell! Those like us, my love, who cling to one another from the onset of night to early morning's light, we never do bid farewell because we are as one! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Herman Chiu (1/29/2010 1:36:00 PM)

    Bravo! Mr. Shelley does it again!
    From looking at love from a grand perspective that fills your life, to small moments captured in something as subtle as the night, Shelley's command of emotion through the English language is superlative. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Terence George Craddock (1/29/2010 1:51:00 AM)

    'Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
    Which severs those it should unite; '
    Yes a beautiful play on words, the good-night separation is forsaken, for an entire night, 'To hearts which near each other move
    From evening close to morning light, '
    is indeed a night of pleasure not forsaken. Nice moves Shelley. Seems ghost writing Christopher, would be an option, if his fine works to be, drowned in a lake in the rough winds of fate. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 119 Points Indira Renganathan (1/29/2010 1:05:00 AM)

    Good-night isn't for a good sleep here...it's a night lasting till dawn for the lovers together...to mean a good night...nice exposition (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Ramesh T A (1/29/2010 12:42:00 AM)

    As long as good night is not said till the night lasts to dawn together it will be good night! It is really a very good idea by Shelley! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Sydney Kerr (1/29/2008 3:25:00 AM)

    Well in her defense reading the poem you can't really tell that its a couple hundred years old. Oh. Wait. Nevermind. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points *Mandy * (1/29/2007 11:06:00 AM)

    I love the way it flows and It makes me smile! Keep writing!


    Mandy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Gina Smith (1/29/2005 11:38:00 AM)

    I FELT THE LONGING OF NOT WANTING THE DAY OR THE NIGHT TO END. THAT TIME FEELS PERFECT ALTHOUGH YOU KNOW THAT NOTHING IS PERFECT, THAT NIGHT MUST BE. YOU DON'T THAT PERSON YOU ARE WITH TO LEAVE SO YOU DON'T WANT THAT NIGHT TO END EITHER. BECAUSE IF IT DOES, YOU FEEL THAT NOTHING WILL EVER COMPARE TO THAT MOST SPECIAL GOOD NIGHT. (Report) Reply

Read all 21 comments »

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