1 Now the last day of many days, All beautiful and bright as thou, The loveliest and the last, is dead: Rise, Memory, and write its praise! Up -- to thy wonted work! come, trace The epitaph of glory fled, For now the earth has changed its face, A frown is on the heaven's brow. 2 We wander'd to the Pine Forest That skirts the ocean's foam. The lightest wind was in its nest, The tempest in its home; The whispering waves were half asleep, The clouds were gone to play, And on the bosom of the deep The smile of heaven lay: It seem'd as if the hour were one Sent from beyond the skies Which scatter'd from above the sun A light of Paradise! 3 We paused amid the pines that stood The giants of the waste, Tortured by storms to shapes as rude As serpents interlaced, -- And soothed by every azure breath That under heaven is blown, To harmonies and hues beneath, As tender as its own. Now all the tree-tops lay asleep Like green waves on the sea, As still as in the silent deep The ocean-woods may be. 4 How calm it was! -- The silence there By such a chain was bound, That even the busy woodpecker Made stiller by her sound The inviolable quietness; The breath of peace we drew With its soft motion made not less The calm that round us grew. There seem'd, from the remotest seat Of the wide mountain waste To the soft flower beneath our feet, A magic circle traced, -- A spirit interfused around A thrilling silent life; To momentary peace it bound Our mortal nature's strife; -- And still I felt the centre of The magic circle there Was one fair form that fill'd with love The lifeless atmosphere. 5 We paused beside the pools that lie Under the forest bough; Each seem'd as 'twere a little sky Gulf'd in a world below -- A firmament of purple light Which in the dark earth lay, More boundless than the depth of night And purer than the day -- In which the lovely forests grew As in the upper air, More perfect both in shape and hue Than any spreading there. There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn, And through the dark-green wood The white sun twinkling like the dawn Out of a speckled cloud. Sweet views which in our world above Can never well be seen Were imaged in the water's love Of that fair forest green; And all was interfused beneath With an Elysian glow, An atmosphere without a breath, A softer day below. Like one beloved, the scene had lent To the dark water's breast Its every leaf and lineament With more than truth exprest; Until an envious wind crept by, Like an unwelcome thought Which from the mind's too faithful eye Blots one dear image out. -- Though thou art ever fair and kind, The forests ever green, Less oft is peace in Shelley's mind Than calm in waters seen!
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822), "The recollection", subtitle: "To Jane" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Reginald B. Clarke , "A summer day", op. 19 no. 2, published 1900, begins "The whispering waves were half asleep" [sung text not yet checked]
- by Florence Gilbert , "Whispering waves (To Jane: The recollection)", published 1895 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Kenneth Blanchard Klaus (b. 1923), "Recollection: Now the last day", 1967, first performed 1966 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Agnes Lambert (d. 1929), "The whispering waves that were half asleep (from The "Pine Forest")", published 1907 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Montague Fawcett Phillips (1885 - 1969), "The whispering waves", published 1912 [ partsong: SATB chorus ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Alexander Voormolen (1895 - 1980), "From -- The recollection: Now the last day", published 1970 [ medium voice, strings, and celesta ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Charles Wood (1866 - 1926), "The whispering waves", published 1905 [ SATB chorus ] [sung text not yet checked]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] ; composed by Giorgio Federico Ghedini.
- Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Konstantin Dmitrevich Bal'mont (1867 - 1942) , "Воспоминание", written 1822 ; composed by Anton Stepanovich Arensky.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Vzpomínka", subtitle: "Janě", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-11-24
Line count: 93
Word count: 500