[Published by Mrs. Shelley, “Posthumous Poems”, 1824; dated March, 1822. There is a transcript of Scene 1 among the Hunt manuscripts, which has been collated by Mr. Buxton Forman.]
ENTER CYPRIAN, DRESSED AS A STUDENT;
CLARIN AND MOSCON AS POOR SCHOLARS, WITH BOOKS.
In the sweet solitude of this calm place,
This intricate wild wilderness of trees
And flowers and undergrowth of odorous plants,
Leave me; the books you brought out of the house
To me are ever best society. 5
And while with glorious festival and song,
Antioch now celebrates the consecration
Of a proud temple to great Jupiter,
And bears his image in loud jubilee
To its new shrine, I would consume what still 10
Lives of the dying day in studious thought,
Far from the throng and turmoil. You, my friends,
Go, and enjoy the festival; it will
Be worth your pains. You may return for me
When the sun seeks its grave among the billows 15
Which, among dim gray clouds on the horizon,
Dance like white plumes upon a hearse;– and here
I shall expect you.
14 So transcr.; Be worth the labour, and return for me 1824.
16, 17 So 1824;
Hid among dim gray clouds on the horizon
Which dance like plumes–transcr., Forman.
I cannot bring my mind,
Great as my haste to see the festival
Certainly is, to leave you, Sir, without 20
Just saying some three or four thousand words.
How is it possible that on a day
Of such festivity, you can be content
To come forth to a solitary country
With three or four old books, and turn your back 25
On all this mirth?
21 thousand transcr.; hundred 1824.
23 be content transcr.; bring your mind 1824.
My master’s in the right;
There is not anything more tiresome
Than a procession day, with troops, and priests,
And dances, and all that.
28 and priests transcr.; of men 1824.
From first to last,
Clarin, you are a temporizing flatterer; 30
You praise not what you feel but what he does;–
You lie–under a mistake–
For this is the most civil sort of lie
That can be given to a man’s face. I now
Say what I think.
Enough, you foolish fellows! 35
Puffed up with your own doting ignorance,
You always take the two sides of one question.
Now go; and as I said, return for me
When night falls, veiling in its shadows wide
This glorious fabric of the universe. 40
36 doting ignorance transcr.; ignorance and pride 1824.
How happens it, although you can maintain
The folly of enjoying festivals,
That yet you go there?
Nay, the consequence
Is clear:–who ever did what he advises
Others to do?–