Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Indian Serenade

I ARISE from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright.
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Has led me - who knows how?
To thy chamber window, sweet.

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream -
The champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart,
As I must die on thine,
Oh, beloved as thou art!

Oh lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white alas!
My heart beats loud and fast
Oh, I press it close to thine again,
Where it will break at last.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


  1. Claudia,
    it's only the first stanza I like; the second is not bad; the third: awful.

    Still, for me Shelley('s biography) is fascinating.

  2. At the age of 18, I read Ariel (Shelley's Life), in French, by André Maurois. I cried when he drowned. Being able to understand his poetry, and Byron's, in English, became the ambition of my life. It took me a long time...I haven't been disappointed.

  3. Now that's interesting. I am just trying to polish a dialogue of two lovers about Shelley - one defending his decision to leave Harriet; one condemning his egoism. :)

  4. I would say: Forgive all to a romantic poet. Egoism has two faces. You stay without love (that's cruelty), or you leave for another love (maybe also cruelty.)

    Jane thought that she had been Shelley's last love. Mary was so incensed by this pretension. You'll have much to elucidate, in your dialogue. You're writing this in English?

  5. It's about Harriet, Claude. :) No, it's nice enough a challenge in my native language.

  6. If it's only Harriet, I would take his defense...Bon succès with the dialogue.:)