Percy Bysshe Shelley: On a Faded Violet

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

On a Faded Violet

Published by Hunt, "Literary Pocket-Book", 1821. Reprinted by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824. Again reprinted, with several variants, "Poetical Works", 1839, 1st edition. Our text is that of the editio princeps, 1821. A transcript is extant in a letter from Shelley to Sophia Stacey, dated March 7, 1820.

The odour from the flower is gone
Which like thy kisses breathed on me;
The colour from the flower is flown
Which glowed of thee and only thee!
A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form,
It lies on my abandoned breast,
And mocks the heart which yet is warm,
With cold and silent rest.
I weep,—my tears revive it not!
I sigh,—it breathes no more on me;
Its mute and uncomplaining lot
Is such as mine should be.
_1 odour]colour 1839.
_2 kisses breathed]sweet eyes smiled 1839.
_3 colour]odour 1839.
_4 glowed]breathed 1839.
_5 shrivelled]withered 1839.
_8 cold and silent all editions; its cold, silent Stacey manuscript.