Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXII. Irrevocable
From ‘Epipsychidion’
By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
SHE, whom prayers or tears then could not tame,
Passed, like a God throned on a wingèd planet;
Whose burning plumes to tenfold swiftness fan it;
Into the dreary cone of our life’s shade;
And as a man with mighty loss dismayed,        5
I would have followed, though the grave between
Yawned like a gulf whose spectres are unseen:
When a voice said:—‘O thou of hearts the weakest,
The phantom is beside thee whom thou seekest.’
Then I—‘Where?’—the world’s echo answered ‘where?’        10
And in that silence, and in my despair,
I questioned every tongueless wind that flew
Over my tower of mourning, if it knew
Whither ’twas fled, this soul out of my soul;
And murmured names and spells which have control        15
Over the sightless tyrants of our fate;
But neither prayer nor verse could dissipate
The night which closed on her …

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