Lines: "When the Lamp Is Shattered"

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When the lamp is shatteredThe light in the dust lies dead-- When the cloud is scatteredThe rainbow's glory is shed. When the lute is broken,Sweet tones are remembered not: When the lips have spoken,Loved accents are soon forgot.

As music and splendourSurvive not the lamp and the lute, The heart's echoes renderNo song when the spirit is mute:-- No song but sad dirges,Like the wind through a ruined cell, Or the mournful surgesThat ring the dead seaman's knell.

When hearts have once mingledLove first leaves the well-built nest; The weak one is singledTo endure what it once possessed. O Love! who bewailestThe frailty of all things here, Why choose you the frailestFor your cradle, your home, and your bier?

Its passions will rock theeAs the storms rock the ravens on high; Bright reason will mock thee,Like the sun from a wintry sky. From thy nest every rafterWill rot, and thine eagle home Leave thee naked to laughter,When leaves fall and cold winds come.

© Percy Bysshe Shelley