Percy Bysshe Shelley: Lines to a Critic

by Percy Bysshe Shelley
A Hate-Song

Lines to a Critic

Published by Hunt in "The Liberal", No. 3, 1823. Reprinted in "Posthumous Poems", 1824, where it is dated December, 1817.

Honey from silkworms who can gather,
Or silk from the yellow bee?
The grass may grow in winter weather
As soon as hate in me.
Hate men who cant, and men who pray,
And men who rail like thee;
An equal passion to repay
They are not coy like me.
Or seek some slave of power and gold
To be thy dear heart's mate;
Thy love will move that bigot cold
Sooner than me, thy hate.
A passion like the one I prove
Cannot divided be;
I hate thy want of truth and love—
How should I then hate thee?