Notebook, 1993-


Percy Bysshe Shelley

SHELLEY "The great secret of morals is love, or a going out of our nature and the identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man to be greatly good must imagine intensely and comprehensively." [ pg. 646]

He gave man speech, and speech created thought,
Which is the measure of the Universe;
And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven,
Which shook, but fell not; and the harmonious mind
Poured itself forth in all-prophetic song;
And music lifted up the listening spirit
Until it walked, exempt from the mortal care,
Godlike, o'er the clear billows of sweet sound;
And human hands first mimicked and then mocked,
With moulded limbs more lovely than its own,
The human form, till marble grew divine;
And mothers, gazing, drank the love men see
Reflected in their race, behold, and perish.

[Percy Bysshe Shelley, from 'Prometheus Unbound', 1820]

This soft air in your face comes from the grove of 'Daphne by
Orontes'; these lucid waters, that part before you like oil, are the same
from which Venus arose, pressing them out of their hair. In that quarter
Vulcan fell -
'Dropt from the Zenith like a falling star' -
and there is Circe's Island, and Calypso's, and the promontory of
Plato, and Ulysses wandering, and Cymon and Miltiades fighting, and
Regulus, crossing the sea to Carthage, and
'Damasco and Morocco and Trebisond
And whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Chalemagne with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabia.'
The mind hardly separates truth from fiction in thinking of all these
things, nor does it wish to do so.

[Leigh Hunt, from his 'Autobiography', 1850]

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothng in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle
Why not I with thine?

[Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'Love's Philosopohy']



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