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Asia: From Prometheus Unbound
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

English Romantic poet and essayist. Shelley's best-known works include his Prometheus Unbound (1819), a lyrical drama in which Shelley expounds the cause of an imaginative revolution, his atheistic poem Queen Mab (1821), his prose essay A Defence of Poetry (1840) and The Triumph of Life, left unfinished at Shelley's death. Many of Shelley's other works were written around 1820: these include The Mask of Anarchy (1820), the poem 'Ode to the West Wind' (1819), Peter Bell the Third (1819) and the political odes 'To Liberty' and 'To Naples' (both 1820). Other works include the unfinished novella The Assassins (1814), the essay A Philosophical View of Reform (1820), and a number of pamphlets on vegetarianism and political subjects - including his An Address to the Irish People (1812) and A Letter to Lord Ellenorough (1812) - as well as an early novel Zastrozzi: A Romance (1810).


Asia: From Prometheus Unbound
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

My soul is an enchanted boat,
Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;
And thine doth like an angel sit
Beside a helm conducting it,
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.
It seems to float ever, for ever,
Upon that many-winding river,
Between mountains, woods, abysses,
A paradise of wildernesses!
Till, like one in slumber bound,
Borne to the ocean, I float down, around,
Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound:

Meanwhile thy spirit lifts its pinions
In music's most serene dominions;
Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven.
And we sail on, away, afar,
Without a course, without a star,
But, by the instinct of sweet music driven;
Till through Elysian garden islets
By thee, most beautiful of pilots,
Where never mortal pinnace glided,
The boat of my desire is guided:
Realms where the air we breathe is love,
Which in the winds and on the waves doth move,
Harmonizing this earth with what we feel above.

We have past Age's icy caves,
And Manhood's dark and tossing waves,
And Youth's smooth ocean, smiling to betray:
Beyond the glassy gulfs we flee
Of shadow-peopled Infancy,
Through Death and Birth, to a diviner day;
A paradise of vaulted bowers,
Lit by downward-gazing flowers,
And watery paths that wind between
Wildernesses calm and green,
Peopled by shapes too bright to see,
And rest, having beheld; somewhat like thee;
Which walk upon the sea, and chant melodiously!


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