Percy Bysshe Shelley: Fragment 4

by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Fragment 3
Fragment 5

Fragment 4

'Twas at the season when the Earth upsprings
From slumber, as a sphered angel's child,
Shadowing its eyes with green and golden wings,
Stands up before its mother bright and mild,
Of whose soft voice the air expectant seems—
So stood before the sun, which shone and smiled
To see it rise thus joyous from its dreams,
The fresh and radiant Earth. The hoary grove
Waxed green—and flowers burst forth like starry beams;—
The grass in the warm sun did start and move,
And sea-buds burst under the waves serene:—[1]
How many a one, though none be near to love,
Loves then the shade of his own soul, half seen
In any mirror—or the spring's young minions,
The winged leaves amid the copses green;—
How many a spirit then puts on the pinions
Of fancy, and outstrips the lagging blast,[2]
And his own steps—and over wide dominions
Sweeps in his dream-drawn chariot, far and fast,
More fleet than storms—the wide world shrinks below,[3]
When winter and despondency are past.

"under" [edition 1824, Bodleian manuscript]; "beneath" [edition 1839].


"outstrips" [editions 1824, 1839]; "outrides" [Bodleian manuscript].


"Exulting, while the wide" [Bodleian manuscript].