Posthumous Poems (London: John and Henry L. Hunt, 1824). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/268,
A volume of poems published after Shelley’s death in 1822 with a preface by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
The text is in the public domain.
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Count Maddalo is a Venetian nobleman of ancient family and of great fortune, who, without mixing much in the society of his countrymen, resides chiefly at his magnificent palace in that city. He is a person of the most consummate genius; and capable, if he would direct his energies to such an end, of becoming the redeemer of his degraded country. But it is his weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness of human life. His passions and his powers are incomparably greater than those of other men, and instead of the latter having been employed in curbing the former, they have mutually lent each other strength. His ambition preys upon itself, for want of objects which it can consider worthy of exertion. I say that Maddalo is proud, because I can find no other word to express the concentered and impatient feelings which consume him; but it is on his own hopes and affections only that he seems to trample, for in social life no human being can be more gentle, patient, and unassuming than Maddalo. He is cheerful, frank, and witty. His more serious conversation is a sort of intoxication; men are held by it as by a spell. He has travelled much; and there is an inexpressible charm in his relation of his adventures in different countries.
Julian is an Englishman of good family, passionntely attached to those philosophical notions which assert the power of man over his own mind, and the immense improvements Edition: current; Page:  of which, by the extinction of certain moral superstitions, human society may be yet susceptible. Without concealing the evil in the world, he is for ever speculating how good may be made superior. He is a complete infidel, and a scoffer at all things reputed holy; and Maddalo takes a wicked pleasure in drawing out his taunts against religion. What Maddalo thinks on these matters is not exactly known. Julian, in spite of his heterodox opinions, is conjectured by his friends to possess some good qualities. How far this is possible, the pious reader will determine. Julian is rather serious.
Of the Maniac I can give no information. He seems by his own account to have been disappointed in love. He was evidently a very cultivated and amiable person when in his right senses. His story, told at length, might be like many other stories of the same kind: the unconnected exclamations of his agony will perhaps be found a sufficient comment for the text of every heart.
[There is a chasm here in the MS. which it is impossible to fill up. It appears from the context, that other shapes pass, and that Rousseau still stood beside the dreamer, as]—
The Pageant to [celebrate] the arrival of the Queen.
A Chamber in Whitehall.
Enter the King, Queen, Laud, Wentworth, and Archy.
Hamiden, Pym, Cromwell, and the younger Vane.
Nondum amabam, et amare amabam, quærebam quid amarem amans amare.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK OF EURIPIDES.
Chorus of Satyrs.
The Cyclops, Silenus, Ulysses; Chorus.
Ulysses and the Chorus.
Cyprian as a Student; Clarin and Moscon as poor Scholars, with books.
Enter the Devil, as a fine Gentleman.
Enter Lelio and Floro.
Enter Moscon and Clarin.
[The rivals agree to refer their quarrel to Cyprian; who in consequence visits Justina, and becomes enamoured of her: she disdains him, and he retires to a solitary sea-shore.
[Tempest, with thunder and lightning.
A Tempest—All exclaim within,
The Dæmon enters, as escaped from the sea.
The Dæmon tempts Justina, who is a Christian.
[While these words are sung, the Dæmon goes out at one door, and Justina enters at another.
[She becomes troubled at the name of Cyprian.
[He draws, but cannot move her.
[He vainly endeavours to force her, and at last releases her.
Enter Lisander and Livia.
The Lord and the Host of Heaven. Enter three Archangels.
[Heaven closes; the Archangels exeunt.
Scene—The Hartz Mountain, a desolate Country.
faust, mephistopheles, and ignis-fatuus, in alternate Chorus.
[To some Old Women, who are sitting round a heap of glimmering coals.
(Who at once appears to have grown very old).
[Faust dances and sings with a Girl, and Mephistopheles with an Old Woman.
[To Faust, who has seceded from the dance.
Ἰμεϰος, from which the river Himera was named, is, with some slight shade of difference, a synonyme of Love.
The favorite song, “Stanco di pascolar le peccorelle,” is a Brescian national air.
The Author was pursuing a fuller development of the ideal character of Athanase, when it struck him that in an attempt at extreme refinement and analysis, his conceptions might be betrayed into the assuming a morbid character. The reader will judge whether he is a loser or gainer by this difference.—Author’s Note.
The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiæ with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.—Author’s Note.
Homer and Virgil.
Ææa, the island of Circe.
The viper was the armorial device of the Visconti, tyrants of Milan.
This and the former poem were written at the request of a friend, to be inserted in a drama on the subject of Midas. Apollo and Pan contended before Tmolus for the prize in music.
This fragment is part of a poem which Mr. Shelley intended to write, founded on a story to be found in the first volume of a book entitled “L’Osservatore Fiorentino.”
This fragment refers to an event, told in Sismodi’s Histoire des Republiques Italiennes, which occurred during the war when Florence finally subdued Pisa, and reduced it to a province. The opening stanzas are addressed to the conquering city.
The Antistrophe is omitted.
I confess I do not understand this.—Note of the Author.
Such is a literal translation of this astonishing Chorus; it is impossible to represent in another language the melody of the versification; even the volatile strength and delicacy of the ideas escape in the crucible of translation, and the reader is surprised to find a caput mortuum.—Author’s Note.
A sort of fundholder.