Percy Bysshe Shelley




'When the lamp is shattered' 

   When the lamp is shattered, 
The light in the dust lies dead—
   When the cloud is scattered, 
The rainbow's glory is shed—
   When the lute is broken, 
Sweet tones are remembered not—
   When the lips have spoken 
Loved accents are soon forgot. 

   As music and splendour 
Survive not the lamp and the lute, 
   The heart's echoes render 
No song when the spirit is mute—
   No song—but sad dirges 
Like the wind through a ruined cell
   Or the mournful surges 
That ring the dead seaman's knell. 

   When hearts have once mingled 
Love first leaves the well-built nest— 
   The weak one is singled 
To endure what it once possest. 
   O Love! Thou bewailest 
The frailty of all things here, 
   Why choose you the frailest 
For your cradle, your home and your bier? 

   Its passions will rock thee, 
As the storms rock the ravens on high— 
   Bright Reason will mock thee, 
Like the Sun from a wintry sky— 
   From thy nest every rafter 
Will rot, and thine eagle home 
   Leave thee naked to laughter
When leaves fall and cold winds come.