by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Summer and Winter
An Allegory

The Tower of Famine

Published by Mrs. Shelley in "The Keepsake", 1829. Mr. C.W. Frederickson of Brooklyn possesses a transcript in Mrs. Shelley's handwriting.

 Amid the desolation of a city, Which was the cradle, and is now the grave Of an extinguished people,-so that Pity 
 Weeps o'er the shipwrecks of Oblivion's wave, There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built  Upon some prison-homes, whose dwellers rave 
 For bread, and gold, and blood: Pain, linked to Guilt, Agitates the light flame of their hours, Until its vital oil is spent or spilt. 
 There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers  And sacred domes; each marble-ribbed roof, The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers 
 Of solitary wealth,-the tempest-proof Pavilions of the dark Italian air,- Are by its presence dimmed-they stand aloof,  
 And are withdrawn-so that the world is bare; As if a spectre wrapped in shapeless terror Amid a company of ladies fair 
 Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue,  The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error, Should be absorbed, till they to marble grew. 
 NOTE: _7 For]With 1829.