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In spirit, Percy Shelley was perhaps the most essentially romantic poet of his age. Intense, idealistic, personal, his is the poetry of youth. His brief, impetuous life aroused great controversy, and, like Byron, he lives on outside his verse.
Shelley’s work has been criticized for its undisciplined emotionalism. But essentially he was a poet of ideas, and in his search for truth and original human perfection, Shelley was inspired as much by the Greek poets and philosophers, particularly Plato, as by the radicalism of his own age. Above all, his great gift was his lyricism, and his verse comes as near to music as poetry can. As the poet Kathleen Raine said, “In his art if not in his life, Shelley was able to soar, to give expression to those dreams and visions which, continually broken by reality, are inextinguishable in the human spirit.”
Table of Contents
Main Dates in the Life of Shelley
Queen Mab. Selections from Parts I, II, and VI
Stanza, Written at Bracknell
Stanzas - April 1814
To Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte
Lines. "The cold earth slept below"
Alastor; or the Spirit of Solitude
Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
To Constantia, Singing
The Revolt of Islam. Selections from Cantos I, II, XI, and XII
To William Shelley
On Fanny Godwin
On a Faded Violet from Rosalind and Helen
Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills
Invocation to Misery from Julian and Maddalo
Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples
Sonnet: "Lift not the painted veil which those who live"
Sonnet: England in 1819
Prometheus Unbound. Selections from Acts I, II, III, and IV
The Cenci. Selections from Act III, Sc. I, Act V, Sc. IV
Ode to the West Wind
The Indian Serenade
To Sophia (Miss Stacey)
The Sensitive Plant
To a Skylark
Letter to Maria Gisborne from The Witch of Atlas
Ode to Liberty
Hymn of Apollo
Hymn of Pan
Ode to Naples
Autumn: A Dirge
To the Moon
From the Arabic: An Imitation
To Emilia Viviani
Choruses from Hellas
To Edward Williams
Lines: "When the lamp is shattered"
from Translation of Calderon's "El Magico Prodigioso"
To Jane: The Invitation
To Jane: The Recollection
With a Guitar, to Jane
To Jane: "The keen stars were twinkling"
Lines Written in the Bay of Lerici
Song from "Charles I"
The Triumph of Life
Index of First Lines