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Adonais

Language: English

The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. -- Die,
If thou wouldst be with [that]1 which thou dost seek! 
Follow where all is fled! -- [Rome's azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.]2

Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
[Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is passed from the revolving year,
And man, and woman; and what still is dear
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles,--the low wind whispers near:
'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,
No more let Life divide what Death can join together.]2

That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
[That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,]3
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

The breath whose might I have invoked in song
Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given;
The massy earth and spherèd skies are riven!
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;
Whilst burning through the inmost veil of Heaven,
[The soul of Adonais, like]2 a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Dyson: "those"
2 omitted by Dyson.
3 Dyson: "That beauty which birth can quench not,/ That sustaining love, now beams on me."

Submitted by Harry Joelson

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Text added to the website: 2011-06-24.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:26
Line count: 36
Word count: 288

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