Percy Bysshe Shelley
Love, Hope, Desire, And Fear
And many there were hurt by that strong boy,
His name, they said, was Pleasure,
And near him stood, glorious beyond measure
Four Ladies who possess all empery
In earth and air and sea,
Nothing that lives from their award is free.
Their names will I declare to thee,
Love, Hope, Desire, and Fear,
And they the regents are
Of the four elements that frame the heart,
And each diversely exercised her art
By force or circumstance or sleight
To prove her dreadful might
Upon that poor domain.
Desire presented her [false] glass, and then
The spirit dwelling there
Was spellbound to embrace what seemed so fair
Within that magic mirror,
And dazed by that bright error,
It would have scorned the [shafts] of the avenger
And death, and penitence, and danger,
Had not then silent Fear
Touched with her palsying spear,
So that as if a frozen torrent
The blood was curdled in its current;
It dared not speak, even in look or motion,
But chained within itself its proud devotion.
Between Desire and Fear thou wert
A wretched thing, poor heart!
Sad was his life who bore thee in his breast,
Wild bird for that weak nest.
Till Love even from fierce Desire it bought,
And from the very wound of tender thought
Drew solace, and the pity of sweet eyes
Gave strength to bear those gentle agonies,
Surmount the loss, the terror, and the sorrow.
Then Hope approached, she who can borrow
For poor to-day, from rich tomorrow,
And Fear withdrew, as night when day
Descends upon the orient ray,
And after long and vain endurance
The poor heart woke to her assurance.
—At one birth these four were born
With the world’s forgotten morn,
And from Pleasure still they hold
All it circles, as of old.
When, as summer lures the swallow,
Pleasure lures the heart to follow--
O weak heart of little wit!
The fair hand that wounded it,
Seeking, like a panting hare,
Refuge in the lynx’s lair,
Love, Desire, Hope, and Fear,
Ever will be near.
Percy Bysshe Shelley's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Love, Hope, Desire, And Fear by Percy Bysshe Shelley )
Did you read them?
- Her Front Door, Randy McClave
- Thankless animal, hasmukh amathalal
- Treat Me Right, Katherine Nordhaus
- A Call to the MinuteMen, Michael Stevens
- Romeos morning serenade climb, Mark Heathcote
- Screamers, Lev Brekhman
- Bitter lament, Lev Brekhman
- Breakheart solo, Lev Brekhman
- Pygmalion, Lev Brekhman
- Be ready, Lev Brekhman
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Surfer, Judith Wright
- The Genius Of The Crowd, Charles Bukowski
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Robert William Service
(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958)
- Heather Burns
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)