Percy Bysshe Shelley




‘How eloquent are eyes!’

   How eloquent are eyes!
Not the rapt poet's frenzied lay
When the soul's wildest feelings stray
   Can speak so well as they.
   How eloquent are eyes!
Not music’s most impassioned note
On which Love’s warmest fervours float
   Like they bid rapture rise.

    Love, look thus again,
That your look may light a waste of years,
Darting the beam that conquers cares
   Thro’ the cold shower of tears!
   Love! look thus again, 
That Time the victor as he flies
May pause to gaze upon thine eyes,
   A victor then in vain!—

   Yet no! arrest not Time,
For Time, to others dear, we spurn,
When Time shall be no more we burn,
   When Love meets full return.
   Ah no! arrest not Time,
Fast let him fly on eagle wing,
Nor pause till Heaven’s unfading spring
   Breathes round its holy clime.

   Yet quench that thrilling gaze
Which passionate Friendship arms with fire,
For what will eloquent eyes inspire
   But feverish, false desire?
   Quench then that thrilling gaze
For age may freeze the tremulous joy,
But age can never love destroy.
   It lives to better days.

   Age cannot love destroy.
Can perfidy then blight its flower
Even when in most unwary hour
   It blooms in fancy’s bower?
   Age cannot love destroy
Can slighted vows then rend the shrine
On which its chastened splendours shine
   Around a dream of joy?