Shelley Sunday: ‘To Sophia’

TO SOPHIA
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Thou art fair, and few are fairer
Of the Nymphs of earth or ocean;
They are robes that fit the wearer--
Those soft limbs of thine, whose motion
Ever falls and shifts and glances                                    
As the life within them dances.


Thy deep eyes, a double Planet,
Gaze the wisest into madness
With soft clear fire,--the winds that fan it
Are those thoughts of tender gladness                               
Which, like zephyrs on the billow,
Make thy gentle soul their pillow.


If, whatever face thou paintest
In those eyes, grows pale with pleasure,
If the fainting soul is faintest                                     
When it hears thy harp's wild measure,
Wonder not that when thou speakest
Of the weak my heart is weakest.


As dew beneath the wind of morning,
As the sea which whirlwinds waken,                                   
As the birds at thunder's warning,
As aught mute yet deeply shaken,
As one who feels an unseen spirit
Is my heart when thine is near it.

***

Image Credit: Lady with a Harp, Thomas Sully, 1818
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