An Allegory

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

 1. A portal as of shadowy adamant Stands yawning on the highway of the life Which we all tread, a cavern huge and gaunt; Around it rages an unceasing strife Of shadows, like the restless clouds that haunt  The gap of some cleft mountain, lifted high Into the whirlwinds of the upper sky. 
 2. And many pass it by with careless tread, Not knowing that a shadowy ... Tracks every traveller even to where the dead  Wait peacefully for their companion new; But others, by more curious humour led, Pause to examine;-these are very few, And they learn little there, except to know That shadows follow them where'er they go.  
 NOTE: _8 pass Rossetti; passed editions 1824, 1839.