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O! there are spirits of the air by Percy Bysshe Shelley

O! there are spirits of the air

O! there are spirits of the air
 And genii of the evening breeze,
And gentle ghosts, with eyes as fair
 As star-beams among twilight trees:—
Such lovely ministers to meet
Oft hast thou turned from men thy lonely feet.

With mountain winds, and babbling springs,
 And moonlight seas, that are the voice
Of these inexplicable things
Thou didst hold commune, and rejoice
When they did answer thee; but they
Cast, like a worthless boon, thy love away.

And thou hast sought in starry eyes
 Beams that were never meant for thine
Another’s wealth:—tame sacrifice
 To a fond faith I still dost thou pine!
Still dost thou hope that greeting hands,
Voice, looks, or lips, may answer thy demands!

Ah! wherefore didst thou build thine hope
 On the false earth’s inconstancy!
Did thine own, mind afford no scope
 Of love, or moving thoughts to thee!
That natural scenes or human smiles
Could steal the power to wind thee in their wiles.

Yes, all the faithless smiles are fled
 Whose falsehood left thee broken-hearted;
The glory of the moon is dead;
 Night’s ghosts and dreams have now departed;
Thine own soul still is true to thee,
But changed to a foul fiend through misery.

This fiend, whose ghastly presence ever
 Beside thee like thy shadow hangs,
Dream not to chase;—the mad endeavour
 Would scourge thee to severer pangs.
Be as thou art. Thy settled fate,
Dark as it is, all change would aggravate.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792 – 1822)
O! there are spirits of the air
1886

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