Attributed to 1817 by Mary Shelley, but probably written by Percy Shelley in 1816, when he was alone in London or Marlow. These fraught lines show the beautiful complexity by which the poet’s mind worked:

My thoughts arise and fade in solitude –
The verse that would invest them melts away
Like moonlight in the beam of spreading day –
How beautiful they were- how firm they stood
Freckling the starry sky like woven pearl!-


[Verse cited from Matthews and Everest, The Poems of Shelley Vol. I pp. 449-550. Image: Bust of P B Shelley in the Keats-Shelley House, Rome].


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