Percy Bysshe Shelley: Sonnet to Byron
Sonnet to Byron
Published by Medwin, "The Shelley Papers", 1832 (lines 1-7), and "Life of Shelley", 1847 (lines 1-9, 12-14). Revised and completed from the Boscombe manuscript by Rossetti, "Complete Poetical Works of P. B. S.", 1870.
If I esteemed you less, Envy would kill
Pleasure, and leave to Wonder and Despair
The ministration of the thoughts that fill
The mind which, like a worm whose life may share
A portion of the unapproachable,
Marks your creations rise as fast and fair
As perfect worlds at the Creator's will.
To soar above the heights where others [climb],
Nor fame, that shadow of the unborn hour
Cast from the envious future on the time,
Move one regret for his unhonoured name
Who dares these words:—the worm beneath the sod
May lift itself in homage of the God.
_1 you edition 1870; him 1832; thee 1847.
_4 So edition 1870; My soul which as a worm may haply share 1832;
My soul which even as a worm may share 1847.
_6 your edition 1870; his 1832; thy 1847.
_8, _9 So edition 1870 wanting 1832 -
But not the blessings of thy happier lot,
Nor thy well-won prosperity, and fame 1847.
_10, _11 So edition 1870; wanting 1832, 1847.
_12-_14 So 1847, edition 1870; wanting 1832.
Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Poetical Works", 1839, 1st edition-ED.
But, ere the breath that could erase it blew,
Death, in remorse for that fell slaughter,
Death, the immortalizing winter, flew
Athwart the stream,—and time's printless torrent grew
A scroll of crystal, blazoning the name