THE TWO SPIRITS: AN ALLEGORY by Percy Bysshe Shelley FIRST SPIRIT: O thou, who plumed with strong desire Wouldst float above the earth, beware! A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire-- Night is coming! Bright are the regions of the air, _5 And among the winds and beams It were delight to wander there-- Night is coming! SECOND SPIRIT: The deathless stars are bright above; If I would cross the shade of night, _10 Within my heart is the lamp of love, And that is day! And the moon will smile with gentle light On my golden plumes where'er they move; The meteors will linger round my flight, _15 And make night day. FIRST SPIRIT: But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain; See, the bounds of the air are shaken-- Night is coming! _20 The red swift clouds of the hurricane Yon declining sun have overtaken, The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain-- Night is coming! SECOND SPIRIT: I see the light, and I hear the sound; _25 I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark With the calm within and the light around Which makes night day: And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark, Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound, _30 My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark On high, far away. ... Some say there is a precipice Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice _35 Mid Alpine mountains; And that the languid storm pursuing That winged shape, for ever flies Round those hoar branches, aye renewing Its aery fountains. _40 Some say when nights are dry and clear, And the death-dews sleep on the morass, Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller, Which make night day: And a silver shape like his early love doth pass _45 Upborne by her wild and glittering hair, And when he awakes on the fragrant grass, He finds night day. NOTES: _2 Wouldst 1839; Would 1824. _31 moon-like 1824; moonlight 1839. _44 make]makes 1824, 1839. *** Image Credit: Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica. USGS.gov.