When the Lamp is Shattered

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

     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 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.