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Ode To Naples
by [?]

(The Author has connected many recollections of his visit to Pompeii and Baiae with the enthusiasm excited by the intelligence of the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples. This has given a tinge of picturesque and descriptive imagery to the introductory Epodes which depicture these scenes, and some of the majestic feelings permanently connected with the scene of this animating event.–[SHELLEY’S NOTE.])


I stood within the City disinterred;
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
The Mountain’s slumberous voice at intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls; 5
The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
I felt that Earth out of her deep heart spoke–
I felt, but heard not:–through white columns glowed
The isle-sustaining ocean-flood, 10
A plane of light between two heavens of azure!
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre
Of whose pure beauty, Time, as if his pleasure
Were to spare Death, had never made erasure;
But every living lineament was clear 15
As in the sculptor’s thought; and there
The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves o’ergrown by moulded snow,
Seemed only not to move and grow
Because the crystal silence of the air 20
Weighed on their life; even as the Power divine
Which then lulled all things, brooded upon mine.

1 Pompeii.–[SHELLEY’S NOTE.]


Then gentle winds arose
With many a mingled close
Of wild Aeolian sound, and mountain-odours keen; 25
And where the Baian ocean
Welters with airlike motion,
Within, above, around its bowers of starry green,
Moving the sea-flowers in those purple caves,
Even as the ever stormless atmosphere 30
Floats o’er the Elysian realm,
It bore me, like an Angel, o’er the waves
Of sunlight, whose swift pinnace of dewy air
No storm can overwhelm.
I sailed, where ever flows 35
Under the calm Serene
A spirit of deep emotion
From the unknown graves
Of the dead Kings of Melody.
Shadowy Aornos darkened o’er the helm 40
The horizontal aether; Heaven stripped bare
Its depth over Elysium, where the prow
Made the invisible water white as snow;
From that Typhaean mount, Inarime,
There streamed a sunbright vapour, like the standard 45
Of some aethereal host;
Whilst from all the coast,
Louder and louder, gathering round, there wandered
Over the oracular woods and divine sea
Prophesyings which grew articulate–
They seize me–I must speak them!–be they fate! 50