Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792–1822
  
614. Lines
  
WHEN the lamp is shatter'd, 
The light in the dust lies dead; 
  When the cloud is scatter'd, 
The rainbow's glory is shed; 
  When the lute is broken,         5
Sweet tones are remember'd not 
  When the lips have spoken, 
Loved accents are soon forgot. 
 
  As music and splendour 
Survive not the lamp and the lute,  10
  The heart's echoes render 
No song when the spirit is mute— 
  No song but sad dirges, 
Like the wind through a ruin'd cell, 
  Or the mournful surges  15
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.  20
  O Love, who 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,  25
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  30
  Leave thee naked to laughter, 
When leaves fall and cold winds come. 
 
 
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