Percy Bysshe Shelley




Song of Apollo

The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie, 
    Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries, 
From the broad moonlight of the open sky, 
    Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,
Waken me when their mother, the grey Dawn, 
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone. 

Then I arise; and climbing Heaven's blue dome, 
    I walk over the mountains and the waves, 
Leaving my robe upon the Ocean foam. 
    My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves 
Are filled with my bright presence, and the air 
Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare. 

The sunbeams are my shafts with which I kill 
    Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day. 
All men who do, or even imagine ill 
    Fly me; and from the glory of my ray 
Good minds, and open actions, take new might, 
Until diminished by the reign of night. 

I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers, 
    With their aethereal colors; the moon's globe
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
    Are cinctured with my power as with a robe; 
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine, 
Are portions of one spirit; which is mine. 

I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven; 
    Then with unwilling steps, I linger down 
To the clouds of the Atlantic even. 
    For grief that I depart they weep and frown— 
What look is more delightful, than the smile 
With which I soothe them from the Western isle? 

I am the eye with which the Universe 
    Beholds itself, and knows it is divine.
All harmony of instrument and verse, 
    All prophecy and medicine are mine;
All light of art or nature—to my song 
Victory and praise, in its own right, belong.