Percy Bysshe Shelley Quotes

Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Last words of A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840). In his History of Rasselas, ch. 10 (1759), Samuel Johnson similarly wrote that the poet "must write as the interpreter of nature, and the legislator of mankind, and consider himself as presiding over the thoughts and manners of future generations." In our own century, W.H. Auden wrote—in The Dyer's Hand—"'The unacknowledged legislators of the world' describes the secret police, not the poets."
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When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo, His best friends hear no more of him.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. "Letter to Maria Gisborne."
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You will see Coleridge—he who sits obscure In the exceeding lustre and the pure Intense irradiation of a mind, Which, with its own internal lightning blind, Flags wearily through darkness and despair— A cloud-encircled meteor of the air, A hooded eagle among blinking owls.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Letter to Maria Gisborne, l. 202-8 (1820).
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You are now In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more. Yet in its depth what treasures!
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Letter to Maria Gisborne, l. 192-6 (1820).
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Many a green isle needs must be In the deep wide sea of Misery, Or the mariner, worn and wan, Never thus could voyage on
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. Lines Written among the Euganean Hills (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary Shelley, ed. (1994) The Modern Library/Random House.
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