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    When the Lamp is Shattered

    by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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    When the lamp is shattered
    The light in the dust lies dead -
    When the cloud is scattered,
    The 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 splendour
    Survive not the lamp and the lute,
    The heart's echoes render
    No song when the spirit is mute -
    No song but sad dirges,
    Like the wind through a ruined cell,
    Or the mournful surges
    That ring the dead seaman's knell.

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

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