Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE ZUCCA. * - Posthumous Poems
THE ZUCCA. * - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems 
Posthumous Poems (London: John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824).
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- Summer was dead and Autumn was expiring,
- And infant Winter laughed upon the land
- All cloudlessly and cold;—when I, desiring
- More in this world than any understand,
- Wept o’er the beauty, which like sea retiring,
- Had left the earth bare as the wave-worn sand
- Of my poor heart, and o’er the grass and flowers
- Pale for the falsehood of the flattering hours.
- Summer was dead, but I yet lived to weep
- The instability of all but weeping;
- And on the earth lulled in her winter sleep
- I woke, and envied her as she was sleeping.
- Too happy Earth! over thy face shall creep
- The wakening vernal airs, until thou, leaping
- From unremembered dreams, shalt [[ ]] see
- No death divide thy immortality.
- I loved—O no, I mean not one of ye,
- Or any earthly one, though ye are dear
- As human heart to human heart may be;—
- I loved, I know not what—but this low sphere
- And all that it contains, contains not thee,
- Thou, whom seen no where, I feel everywhere,
- Dim object of my soul’s idolatry.
- Veiled art thou like—
- By Heaven and Earth, from all whose shapes thou flowest,
- Neither to be contained, delayed, or hidden,
- Making divine the loftiest and the lowest,
- When for a moment thou art not forbidden
- To live within the life which thou bestowest;
- And leaving noblest things vacant and chidden,
- Cold as a corpse after the spirit’s flight,
- Blank as the sun after the birth of night.
- In winds, and trees, and streams, and all things common,
- In music and the sweet unconscious tone
- Of animals, and voices which are human,
- Meant to express some feelings of their own;
- In the soft motions and rare smile of woman,
- In flowers and leaves, and in the fresh grass shewn,
- Or dying in the autumn, I the most
- Adore thee present or lament thee lost.
- And thus I went, lamenting when I saw
- A plant upon the river’s margin lie,
- Like one who loved beyond his Nature’s law,
- And in despair had cast him down to die;
- Its leaves which had outlived the frost, the thaw
- Had blighted as a heart which hatred’s eye
- Can blast not, but which pity kills; the dew
- Lay on its spotted leaves like tears too true.
- The Heavens had wept upon it, but the Earth
- Had crushed it on her unmaternal breast.
- * * * * * * *
- I bore it to my chamber, and I planted
- It in a vase full of the lightest mould;
- The winter beams which out of Heaven slanted
- Fell through the window panes, disrobed of cold,
- Upon its leaves and flowers; the star which panted
- In evening for the Day, whose car has rolled
- Over the horizon’s wave, with looks of light
- Smiled on it from the threshold of the night.
- The mitigated influences of air
- And light revived the plant, and from it grew
- Strong leaves and tendrils, and its flowers fair,
- Full as a cup with the vine’s burning dew,
- O’erflowed with golden colours; an atmosphere
- Of vital warmth infolded it anew,
- And every impulse sent to every part
- The unbeheld pulsations of its heart.
- Well might the plant grow beautiful and strong,
- Even if the sun and air had smiled not on it;
- For one wept o’er it all the winter long
- Tears pure as Heaven’s rain, which fell upon it
- Hour after hour; for sounds of softest song
- Mixed with the stringed melodies that won it
- To leave the gentle lips on which it slept,
- Had loosed the heart of him who sat and wept.
- Had loosed his heart, and shook the leaves and flowers
- On which he wept, the while the savage storm
- Waked by the darkest of December’s hours
- Was raving round the chamber hushed and warm;
- The birds were shivering in their leafless bowers,
- The fish were frozen in the pools, the form
- Of every summer plant was dead [[ ]]
- Whilst this * * *