Shelley Sunday: ‘Rarely, Rarely Comest Thou’

Rarely, Rarely Comest Thou

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Rarely, rarely comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day
‘Tis since thou art fled away.

How shall ever one like me
Win thee back again?
With the joyous and the free
Thou wilt scoff at pain.
Spirit false! thou hast forgot
All but those who need thee not.

As a lizard with the shade
Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismayed;
Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not her.

Let me set my mournful ditty
To a merry measure;–
Thou wilt never come for pity,
Thou wilt come for pleasure;
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.

I love all that thou lovest,
Spirit of Delight!
The fresh Earth in new leaves dressed,
And the starry night;
Autumn evening, and the morn
When the golden mists are born.

I love snow and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;
I love waves, and winds, and storms,
Everything almost
Which is Nature’s, and may be
Untainted by man’s misery.

I love tranquil solitude,
And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good;
Between thee and me
What difference? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.

I love Love–though he has wings,
And like light can flee,
But above all other things,
Spirit, I love thee–
Thou art love and life! O come!
Make once more my heart thy home!

 

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Image Source: frozensecond.giphy

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2 thoughts on “Shelley Sunday: ‘Rarely, Rarely Comest Thou’

  1. An excellent Shelley selection, Brandy. Haven’t read this one in some time. Favorite parts: “Pity then will cut away/Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay” and the entire sixth stanza, beginning with “I love snow . . .”

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