by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Question
Ode to Naples

The Two Spirits: An Allegory

Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824.

 FIRST SPIRIT: O thou, who plumed with strong desire Wouldst float above the earth, beware! A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire- Night is coming! Bright are the regions of the air,  And among the winds and beams It were delight to wander there- Night is coming! 
 SECOND SPIRIT: The deathless stars are bright above; If I would cross the shade of night,  Within my heart is the lamp of love, And that is day! And the moon will smile with gentle light On my golden plumes where'er they move; The meteors will linger round my flight,  And make night day. 
 FIRST SPIRIT: But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain; See, the bounds of the air are shaken- Night is coming!  The red swift clouds of the hurricane Yon declining sun have overtaken, The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain- Night is coming! 
 SECOND SPIRIT: I see the light, and I hear the sound;  I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark With the calm within and the light around Which makes night day: And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark, Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,  My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark On high, far away. 
 Some say there is a precipice Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice  Mid Alpine mountains; And that the languid storm pursuing That winged shape, for ever flies Round those hoar branches, aye renewing Its aery fountains.  
 Some say when nights are dry and clear, And the death-dews sleep on the morass, Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller, Which make night day: And a silver shape like his early love doth pass  Upborne by her wild and glittering hair, And when he awakes on the fragrant grass, He finds night day. 
 NOTES: _2 Wouldst 1839; Would 1824. _31 moon-like 1824; moonlight 1839. _44 make]makes 1824, 1839.