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quite sincere with others. You have contracted this bad habitude from your custom of addressing the people. But among friends and philosophers, would it not be better to speak exactly as we think, whether ingeniously or not? Ingenious things, I am afraid, are never perfectly true: however, I would not exclude them, the difference being wide between perfect truth and violated truth; I would not even leave them in a minority; I would hear and say as many as may be, letting them pass current for what they are worth. Anaxagoras rightly remarked that Love always makes us better, Religion sometimes, Power



Never tell me, O my Pericles, that you are suddenly changed in appearance. May every change of your figure and countenance be gradual, so that I shall not perceive it; but if you really are altered to such a degree as you describe, I must transfer my affection from the first Pericles to the second. Are you jealous? If you are, it is I who am to be pitied, whose heart is destined to fly from the one to the other incessantly. In the end it will rest, it shall, it must, on the nearest. I would write a longer letter; but it is a sad and wearisome thing to aim at playfulness where the hand is palsied by affliction. Be well; and all is well: be happy; and Athens rises up again, alert and blooming and vigorous, from between war and pestilence. Love me; for love cures all but love. How can we fear to die, how can we die, while we cling or are clung to by the beloved?


The pestilence has taken from me both my sons. You, who were ever so kind and affectionate to them, will receive a tardy recompense in hearing that the least gentle and the least grateful did acknowledge it.

I mourn for Paralos because he loved me; for Xanthippos because he loved me not.

Preserve with all your maternal care our little Pericles. I cannot be fonder of him than I have always been; I can only fear more for him.

Is he not with my Aspasia? What fears then are so irrational as mine? But oh! I am living in a widowed house, a house of desolation; I am living in a city of tombs and torches, and the last I saw before me were for my children.


It is right and orderly, that he who has partaken so largely in the prosperity of the Athenians should close the procession of their calamities. The fever that has depopulated our city returned upon me last night, and Hippocrates and Acron tell me that my end is near.

When we agreed, O Aspasia in the beginning of our loves, to communicate our thoughts by writing, even while we were both in Athens, and when we had many reasons for it, we little foresaw the more powerful one that has rendered it necessary of late. We never can meet again: the laws forbid it, and love itself enforces them. Let wisdom be heard by you as imperturbably, and affection as authoritatively, as ever; and remember that the sorrow of Pericles can arise but from the bosom of Aspasia. There is only one word of tenderness we could say, which we have not said oftentimes before; and there is no consolation in it. The happy never say, and never hear said, farewell.

Reviewing the course of my life, it appears to me at one moment as if we met but yesterday; at another as if centuries had passed within it, — for within it have existed the greater part of those who, since the origin of the world, have been the luminaries of the human race. Damon called me from my music to look at Aristides on his way to exile; and my father pressed the wrist by which he was leading me along, and whispered in my ear: "Walk quickly by; glance cautiously; it is there Miltiades is in prison."

In my boyhood Pindar took me up in his arms, when he brought to our house the dirge he had composed for the funeral of my grandfather; in my adolescence I offered the rites of hospitality to Empedocles; not long afterward I embraced the neck of Eschylus, about to abandon his country. With Sophocles I have argued on eloquence; with Euripides on polity and ethics; I have discoursed, as became an inquirer, with Protagoras and Democritus, with Anaxagoras and Meton. From Herodotus I have listened to the most instructive history, conveyed in a language the most copious and the most harmonious; -a man worthy to carry away the collected suffrages of universal Greece; a man worthy to throw open the temples of Egypt, and to celebrate the exploits of Cyrus. And from Thucydides, who alone can succeed to him, how recently did my Aspasia hear with me the energetic praises of his just supremacy!

As if the festival of life were incomplete, and wanted one great ornament to crown it, Phidias placed before us, in ivory and gold, the tutelary Deity of this land, and the Zeus of Homer and Olympus.

To have lived with such men, to have enjoyed their familiarity and esteem, overpays all labors and anxieties. I were unworthy of the friendships I have commemorated, were I forgetful of the latest. Sacred it ought to be, formed as it was under the portico of Death-my friendship with the most sagacious, the most scientific, the most beneficent of philosophers, Acron and Hippocrates. If mortal could war against Pestilence and Destiny, they had been victorious. I leave them in the field: unfortunate he who finds them among the fallen!

And now, at the close of my day, when every light is dim and every guest departed, let me own that these wane before me: remembering as I do, in the pride and fullness of my heart, that Athens confided her glory, and Aspasia her happiness, to me.

Have I been a faithful guardian? do I resign them to the custody of the gods undiminished and unimpaired? Welcome then, welcome, my last hour! After enjoying for so great a number of years, in my public and my private life, what I believe has never been the lot of any other, I now extend my hand to the urn, and take without reluctance or hesitation what is the lot of all.


Ан, what avails the sceptered race,
Ah, what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.

Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eves
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and of sighs
I consecrate to thee.


I LEAVE thee, beauteous Italy! no more
From the high terraces, at even-tide,
To look supine into thy depths of sky,
Thy golden moon between the cliff and me,
Or thy dark spires of fretted cypresses
Bordering the channel of the Milky Way.
Fiesole and Val d' Arno must be dreams

Hereafter, and my own lost Affrico
Murmur to me but in the poet's song.
I did believe (what have I not believed?)
Weary with age, but unopprest by pain,
To close in thy soft clime my quiet day,
And rest my bones in the mimosa's shade.
Hope! Hope! few ever cherisht thee so little;
Few are the heads thou hast so rarely raised;
But thou didst promise this, and all was well.


FIRST bring me Raffael, who alone hath seen.
In all her purity heaven's virgin queen,
Alone hath felt true beauty; bring me then
Titian, ennobler of the noblest men;
And next the sweet Correggio, nor chastise
His little Cupids for those wicked eyes.
I want not Rubens's pink puffy bloom,
Nor Rembrandt's glimmer in a dusty room.
With those, and Poussin's nymph-frequented woods,
His templed heights and long-drawn solitudes,
I am content, yet fain would look abroad
On one warm sunset of Ausonian Claude.


[The first passage here given was Shelley's favorite.]
ONCE a fair city-courted then by kings,
Mistress of nations, thronged by palaces,
Raising her head o'er destiny, her face
Glowing with pleasure and with palms refresht;
Now pointed at by Wisdom or by Wealth,
Bereft of beauty, bare of ornament -
Stood in the wilderness of woe, Masar..

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Now to Aurora borne by dappled steeds,
The sacred gate of orient pearl and gold,
Smitten with Lucifer's light silver wand,
Expanded slow to strains of harmony.
The waves beneath in purpling rows, like doves
Glancing with wanton coyness toward their queen,
Heaved softly; thus the damsel's bosom heaves
When from her sleeping lover's downy cheek,
To which so warily her own she brings
Each moment nearer, she perceives the warmth

Of coming kisses fanned by playful Dreams.
Ocean and earth and heaven was jubilee;
For 'twas the morning pointed out by Fate.
When an immortal maid and mortal man
Should share each other's nature knit in bliss.


WHEN hath wind or rain

Borne hard upon weak plant that wanted me,

And I (however they might bluster round)

Walkt off? 'Twere most ungrateful; for sweet scents Are the swift vehicles of still sweeter thoughts,

And nurse and pillow the dull memory

That would let drop without them her best stores.
They bring me tales of youth and tones of love,
And 'tis and ever was my wish and way
To let all flowers live freely, and all die
(Whene'er their Genius bids their souls depart)
Among their kindred in their native place.
I never pluck the rose; the violet's head
Hath shaken with my breath upon its bank
And not reproacht me; the ever-sacred cup
Of the pure lily hath between my hands
Felt safe, unsoiled, nor lost one grain of gold.


As he who baskt in sunshine loves to go
Where in dim coolness graceful laurels grow;
In that lone narrow path whose silent sand
Hears of no footstep, while some gentle hand
Beckons, or seems to beckon, to the seat
Where ivied wall and trellised woodbine meet:
Thus I, of ear that tingles not to praise,
And feet that, weary of the world's highways,
Recline on moldering tree or jutting stone,
And (though at last I feel I am alone)
Think by a gentle hand mine too is prest
In kindly welcome to a calmer rest.


I STROVE with none, for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art;

I warmed both hands before the fire of life,-
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

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