Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From 1821

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
RARELY, 1 rarely, comest thou,
  Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
  Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day        5
’Tis since thou art fled away.
 
How shall ever one like me
  Win thee back again?
With the joyous and the free
  Thou wilt scoff at pain.        10
Spirit false! thou hast forgot
All but those who need thee not.
 
As a lizard with the shade
  Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismayed;        15
  Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not hear.
 
Let me set my mournful ditty
  To a merry measure;        20
Thou wilt never come for pity,
  Thou wilt come for pleasure.
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.
 
I love all that thou lovest,        25
  Spirit of Delight!
The fresh Earth in new leaves drest,
  And the starry night;
Autumn evening, and the morn
When the golden mists are born …        30
 
I love Love—though he has wings,
  And like light can flee,
But above all other things,
  Spirit, I love thee—
Thou art love and life! Oh, come,        35
Make once more my heart thy home.
 
Note 1. Shelley. 1821. Song, omitting two stanzas. [back]
 
 
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