Front Page Titles (by Subject) MAZENGHI. * - Posthumous Poems
MAZENGHI. * - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems 
Posthumous Poems (London: John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824).
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- Oh! foster-nurse of man’s abandoned glory,
- Since Athens, its great mother, sunk in splendour;
- Thou shadowest forth that mighty shape in story,
- As ocean its wrecked fanes, severe yet tender:—
- The light-invested angel Poesy
- Was drawn from the dim world to welcome thee.
- And thou in painting didst transcribe all taught
- By loftiest meditations; marble knew
- The sculptor’s fearless soul—and as he wrought,
- The grace of his own power and freedom grew.
- And more than all, heroic, just, sublime
- Thou wert among the false—was this thy crime?
- Yes; and on Pisa’s marble walls the twine
- Of direst weeds hangs garlanded—the snake
- Inhabits its wrecked palaces;—in thine
- A beast of subtler venom now doth make
- Its lair, and sits amid their glories overthrown,
- And thus thy victim’s fate is as thine own.
- The sweetest flowers are ever frail and rare,
- And love and freedom blossom but to wither;
- And good and ill like vines entangled are,
- So that their grapes may oft be plucked together;—
- Divide the vintage ere thou drink, then make
- Thy heart rejoice for dead Mazenghi’s sake.
- No record of his crime remains in story,
- But if the morning bright as evening shone,
- It was some high and holy deed, by glory
- Pursued into forgetfulness, which won
- From the blind crowd he made secure and free
- The patriot’s meed, toil, death, and infamy.
- For when by sound of trumpet was declared
- A price upon his life, and there was set
- A penalty of blood on all who shared
- So much of water with him as might wet
- His lips, which speech divided not—he went
- Alone, as you may guess, to banishment.
- Amid the mountains, like a hunted beast,
- He hid himself, and hunger, cold, and toil,
- Month after month endured; it was a feast
- Whene’er he found those globes of deep red gold
- Which in the woods the strawberry-tree doth bear,
- Suspended in their emerald atmosphere.
- And in the roofless huts of vast morasses,
- Deserted by the fever-stricken serf,
- All overgrown with reeds and long rank grasses,
- And hillocks heaped of moss-inwoven turf,
- And where the huge and speckled aloe made,
- Rooted in stones, a broad and pointed shade,
- He housed himself. There is a point of strand
- Near Vada’s tower and town; and on one side
- The treacherous marsh divides it from the land,
- Shadowed by pine and ilex forests wide,
- And on the other creeps eternally,
- Through muddy weeds, the shallow, sullen sea.