Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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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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