Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE PINE FOREST OF THE CASCINE, NEAR PISA. - Posthumous Poems
THE PINE FOREST OF THE CASCINE, NEAR PISA. - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems 
Posthumous Poems (London: John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824).
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THE PINE FOREST
OF THE CASCINE, NEAR PISA.
- Dearest, best and brightest,
- Come away,
- To the woods and to the fields!
- Dearer than this fairest day,
- Which like thee to those in sorrow,
- Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
- To the rough year just awake
- In its cradle in the brake.
- The eldest of the hours of spring,
- Into the winter wandering,
- Looks upon the leafless wood;
- And the banks all bare and rude
- Found it seems this halcyon morn,
- In February’s bosom born,
- Bending from heaven, in azure mirth,
- Kissed the cold forehead of the earth,
- And smiled upon the silent sea,
- And bade the frozen streams be free;
- And waked to music all the fountains,
- And breathed upon the rigid mountains,
- And made the wintry world appear
- Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.
- Radiant Sister of the Day,
- Awake! arise! and come away!
- To the wild woods and the plains,
- To the pools where winter rains
- Image all the roof of leaves,
- Where the Pine its garland weaves,
- Sapless, grey, and ivy dun
- Round stones that never kiss the sun,
- To the sandhills of the sea,
- Where the earliest violets be.
- 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,
- And do thy wonted work and trace
- The epitaph of glory fled:
- For the Earth hath changed its face,
- A frown is on the Heaven’s brow.
- We wandered to the Pine Forest
- That skirts the Ocean’s foam,
- The lighest 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 woods, and on the deep,
- The smile of Heaven lay.
- It seemed as if the day were one
- Sent from beyond the skies,
- Which shed to earth above the sun
- A light of Paradise.
- We paused amid the Pines that stood
- The giants of the waste,
- Tortured by storms to shapes as rude,
- With stems like serpents interlaced.
- 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.
- It seemed that from the remotest seat
- Of the white mountain’s waste,
- To the bright flower beneath our feet,
- A magic circle traced;—
- A spirit interfused around,
- A thinking silent life,
- To momentary peace it bound
- Our mortal Nature’s strife.—
- For still it seemed the centre of
- The magic circle there,
- Was one whose being filled with love
- The breathless atmosphere.
- Were not the crocusses that grew
- Under that ilex tree,
- As beautiful in scent and hue
- As ever fed the bee?
- We stood beside the pools that lie
- Under the forest bough,
- And each seemed like a sky
- Gulphed in a world below;—
- A purple firmament of light,
- Which in the dark earth lay,
- More boundless than the depth of night,
- And clearer than the day—
- In which the massy forests grew,
- As in the upper air,
- More perfect both in shape and hue
- Than any waving there.
- Like one beloved, the scene had lent
- To the dark water’s breast
- Its every leaf and lineament
- With that clear truth expressed.
- There lay far glades and neighbouring lawn,
- And through the dark green crowd
- The white sun twinkling like the dawn
- Under a speckled cloud.
- Sweet views, which in our world above
- Can never well be seen,
- Were imaged by the water’s love
- Of that fair forest green.
- And all was interfused beneath
- Within an Elysium air,
- An atmosphere without a breath,
- A silence sleeping there.
- Until a wandering wind crept by,
- Like an unwelcome thought,
- Which from my mind’s too faithful eye
- Blots thy bright image out.
- For thou art good and dear and kind,
- The forest ever green,
- But less of peace in S—’s mind,
- Than calm in waters seen.
February 2, 1822.