HYMN TO APOLLO

SHELLY

"The sleepless hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes.
Waken me when their mother, the grey Dawn,
Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

"Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;
My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
Are filled with my bright presence, and the air
Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.

"The sunbeams are my shafts with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might
Until diminished by the reign of night.

"I feel the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers
With their ethereal colors; the moon's globe
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine
Are portions of one power, which is mine.

"I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven,
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
For grief that I depart they weep and frown.
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the Western isle?

"I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself and knows itself divine;
All harmony, all medicine are mine,
All light of Art or Nature; to my song
Victory and praise in their own right belong."


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