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 splendor
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 mournful surges
That ring the dead seamen’s knell.
When hearts have mingled
Love first leave 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 the bier?
Its passion will rock thee
As 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.
Percy Bysshe Shelley