Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ode to the West Wind

by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to Heaven
An Exhortation

Ode to the West Wind

(This poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.

The phenomenon alluded to at the conclusion of the third stanza is well known to naturalists. The vegetation at the bottom of the sea, of rivers, and of lakes, sympathizes with that of the land in the change of seasons, and is consequently influenced by the winds which announce it.-[SHELLEY'S NOTE.])

Published with "Prometheus Unbound", 1820.