Percy Bysshe Shelley: Good-Night


Published by Leigh Hunt over the signature Sigma, "The Literary Pocket-Book", 1822. It is included in the Harvard manuscript book, and there is a transcript by Shelley in a copy of "The Literary Pocket-Book", 1819, presented by him to Miss Sophia Stacey, December 29, 1820. (See "Love's Philosophy" and "Time Long Past".) Our text is that of the editio princeps, 1822, with which the Harvard manuscript and "Posthumous Poems", 1824, agree. The variants of the Stacey manuscript, 1820, are given in the footnotes.

Good-night? ah! no; the hour is ill
Which severs those it should unite;
Let us remain together still,
Then it will be GOOD night.
How can I call the lone night good,
Though thy sweet wishes wing its flight?
Be it not said, thought, understood—
Then it will be—GOOD night.
To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light,
The night is good; because, my love,
They never SAY good-night.
_1 Good-night? no, love! the night is ill Stacey manuscript.
_5 How were the night without thee good Stacey manuscript.
_9 The hearts that on each other beat Stacey manuscript.
_11 Have nights as good as they are sweet Stacey manuscript.
_12 But never SAY good night Stacey manuscript.