Percy Bysshe Shelley: An Ode, Written October, 1819

by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Sonnet: England in 1819
Ode to Heaven

An Ode, Written October, 1819

Before the Spaniards Had Recovered Their Liberty

Published with "Prometheus Unbound", 1820.

Arise, arise, arise!
There is blood on the earth that denies ye bread;
Be your wounds like eyes
To weep for the dead, the dead, the dead.
What other grief were it just to pay?
Your sons, your wives, your brethren, were they;
Who said they were slain on the battle day?
Awaken, awaken, awaken!
The slave and the tyrant are twin-born foes;
Be the cold chains shaken
To the dust where your kindred repose, repose:
Their bones in the grave will start and move,
When they hear the voices of those they love,
Most loud in the holy combat above.
Wave, wave high the banner!
When Freedom is riding to conquest by:
Though the slaves that fan her
Be Famine and Toil, giving sigh for sigh.
And ye who attend her imperial car,
Lift not your hands in the banded war,
But in her defence whose children ye are.
Glory, glory, glory,
To those who have greatly suffered and done!
Never name in story
Was greater than that which ye shall have won.
Conquerors have conquered their foes alone,
Whose revenge, pride, and power they have overthrown
Ride ye, more victorious, over your own.
Bind, bind every brow
With crownals of violet, ivy, and pine:
Hide the blood-stains now
With hues which sweet Nature has made divine:
Green strength, azure hope, and eternity:
But let not the pansy among them be;
Ye were injured, and that means memory.

Cancelled Stanza

Published in "The Times" (Rossetti).

Gather, O gather,
Foeman and friend in love and peace!
Waves sleep together
When the blasts that called them to battle, cease.
For fangless Power grown tame and mild
Is at play with Freedom's fearless child—
The dove and the serpent reconciled!