by Percy Bysshe Shelley
To -

To Edward Williams

Published in Ascham's edition of the "Poems", 1834. There is a copy amongst the Trelawny manuscripts.

 1. The serpent is shut out from Paradise. The wounded deer must seek the herb no more In which its heart-cure lies: The widowed dove must cease to haunt a bower Like that from which its mate with feigned sighs  Fled in the April hour. I too must seldom seek again Near happy friends a mitigated pain. 
 2. Of hatred I am proud,-with scorn content; Indifference, that once hurt me, now is grown  Itself indifferent; But, not to speak of love, pity alone Can break a spirit already more than bent. The miserable one Turns the mind's poison into food,-  Its medicine is tears,-its evil good. 
 3. Therefore, if now I see you seldomer, Dear friends, dear FRIEND! know that I only fly Your looks, because they stir Griefs that should sleep, and hopes that cannot die:  The very comfort that they minister I scarce can bear, yet I, So deeply is the arrow gone, Should quickly perish if it were withdrawn. 
 4. When I return to my cold home, you ask  Why I am not as I have ever been. YOU spoil me for the task Of acting a forced part in life's dull scene,- Of wearing on my brow the idle mask Of author, great or mean,  In the world's carnival. I sought Peace thus, and but in you I found it not. 
 5. Full half an hour, to-day, I tried my lot With various flowers, and every one still said, 'She loves me-loves me not.'  And if this meant a vision long since fled- If it meant fortune, fame, or peace of thought- If it meant,-but I dread To speak what you may know too well: Still there was truth in the sad oracle.  
 6. The crane o'er seas and forests seeks her home; No bird so wild but has its quiet nest, When it no more would roam; The sleepless billows on the ocean's breast Break like a bursting heart, and die in foam,  And thus at length find rest: Doubtless there is a place of peace Where MY weak heart and all its throbs will cease. 
 7. I asked her, yesterday, if she believed That I had resolution. One who HAD  Would ne'er have thus relieved His heart with words,-but what his judgement bade Would do, and leave the scorner unrelieved. These verses are too sad To send to you, but that I know,  Happy yourself, you feel another's woe. 
 NOTES: _10 Indifference, which once hurt me, is now grown Trelawny manuscript. _18 Dear friends, dear friend Trelawny manuscript, 1839, 2nd edition;     Dear gentle friend 1834, 1839, 1st edition. _26 ever]lately Trelawny manuscript. _28 in Trelawny manuscript; on 1834, editions 1839, _43 When 1839, 2nd edition; Whence 1834, 1839, 1st edition. _48 will 1839, 2nd edition; shall 1834, 1839, 1st edition. _53 unrelieved Trelawny manuscript, 1839, 2nd. edition;     unreprieved 1834, 1839, 1st edition. _54 are]were Trelawny manuscript.