SONG (c. 1807)


’Twas dead of the night, when I sat in my dwelling
         One glimmering lamp was expiring and low,
Around, the dark tide of the tempest was swelling,
         Along the wild mountains night-ravens were yelling,
They bodingly presaged destruction and woe:

’Twas then that I started! the wild storm was howling,
         Nought was seen save the lightning which danced in the sky.
Above me, the crash of the thunder was rolling,
         And low chilling murmurs the blast wasted by.

My heart sunk within me, unheeded the war
         Of the battling clouds on the mountain tops broke,
Unheeded the thunder peal crashed in mine ear,
This heart, hard as iron, is stranger to fear;
         But conscience in low, noiseless whispering spoke.

’Twas then that her form, in the whirlwind unfolding,
         The ghost of the murdered Victoria strode,
In her right hand a shadowy shroud she was holding
         She swiftly advanced to my lonely abode.
I wildly then called on the tempest to bear me. –

[SOURCE: Thomas Medwin, The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 2 vols (London: Thomas Cautley Newby, 1847), vol. 1, p. 75]

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