Sunday, July 13, 2008

Not by Dafydd ap Gwilym :)

Good Night

GOOD NIGHT? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severes those it should unite;
Let us remain together still
Then it will be a good night

How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight
Be it not said, thought, understood,
That it will be good night.

To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never say good-night.

Percy B. Shelley


  1. I did not know this poem and had to read it three times before I understood it.
    It begs to be read aloud with all the intonations to be truly appreciated.
    I have taken a copy.

  2. jmb,
    why would I've chosen this one yesterday?
    I intended to post the next 'by Dafyyd ap Gwilym', when suddenly I remembered a bright morning on Achill Island. A young American sitting on the bench in front of the B&B I was just going to leave.

    To cut a story short which otherwise could easily becomes as long as the story about the seal, which is as everybody knows a very long story: He was reading Shelley. A minute later I'd sit at his side and we would be talking about Shelley, poetry, literature, politics ... and two days later on my way to Donegal I'd give him a lift to his next destination in the midst of nowhere in Mayo.
    Years later he would become protagonist of a story, and whenever I happen to think of either him and/or the story it gives me a long lasting smile.

    As for Shelley: It is foremost his biography, that I find interesting / fascinating.

    And as for this very poem: It's nice imagining you reading it aloud with all the intonations.
    No doubt the 'old scientist' will / would truly appreciate it. :)

    Vive la poésie! :)

  3. I do know this poem and many of his others. So much said in those last lines...
    Shelley is indeed a fascinating man to study - there are many areas of his work I find most compelling. I tend to believe his death was 'arranged' as some of his work was very outspoken for the times in which he lived.

  4. I would love to hear Jmb reading this :-)

  5. What a charming encounter for you in the almost nowhere. An encounter with a kindred spirit who lives on in your words.

    One of my favourite museum visits ever was to Shelley's house in Rome, right by the Spanish Steps. No one but the three of us, my daughter and the "old scientist" and myself. We spent several hours there, reading his letters and enjoying what the museum had to offer.

    I will have to find a suitable biography and refresh my memory of this man.

  6. Janice,
    as I had so much to add, I'll rather write: There is nothing to add. :)
    Yes, a fascinating personality. I am glad though I did not happen to be Harriet. :)

    Oh, well, some media were as lovely as some are today: "Shelley, the writer of some infidel poetry, has been drowned, now he knows whether there is a God or not."

    If I had never read a single line of him; after reading this, I had known this man cannot have been the worst on this planet.

    There is surely another poetry reading in SL. :)

    what year? Did you also visit his ashes under the pyramid?

    As for the encounter. I was ready to leave this very morning. Afterwards I stayed two days longer. Tells all, doesn't it? :)