Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
July 8
Shelley
By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)
 
          Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous young English poet, was drowned in the Bay of Spezia, near Genoa, Italy, July 8, 1822.

TO shore the sea-nymphs buoyed their captive dead,
Touched by a human grief; yes, there lay hand,
Heart, lip, and brain of that august command,
All—save the soul that Heaven to music wed.
Clung curling yet the pale locks round the head;        5
Silent and prone upon the drifted sand,
He clasped her still, his loved Italian land,
The foster-mother to whose breast he fled.
 
We raised him on the pyre—in one great shine
The body reached the beckoning shade—’twas meet,        10
That which had given the flaming soul a shrine
Should incorrupt as that bright soul retreat;
Yet, heart of proof, thy substance still divine,
Lingering in earthly love, lay at our feet!
 
 
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