Sunday, September 20, 2009

from "Lines written in the Bay of Lerici"


...She left me, and I staid alone
Thinking over every tone,
Which though now silent to the ear
The enchanted heart could hear
Like notes which die when born, but still
Haunt the echoes of the hill:
And feeling ever--O too much--
The soft vibrations of her touch
As if her gentle hand even now
Lightly trembled on my brow;
And thus although she absent were
Memory gave me all of her
That even fancy dares to claim.
Her presence had make weak and tame
All passions, and I lived alone,
In the time which is our own;
The past and future were forgot
As they had been, and would be, not....

--Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1822

Written about 2-3 weeks before Shelley's death at age 29--he drowned in his own sail boat, the Don Juan, while returning from Livorno to Lerici. The subject is Jane Williams.

Thinking about the portrayal of Keats and Fanny Brawne in Bright Star, I couldn't get these lines out of my head.

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