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Percy Shelley's "Ode to Heaven"
Percy Shelly's "Ode to Heaven"

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                     CHORUS OF SPIRITS
 
Palace-roof of cloudless nights,
Paradise of golden lights,
   Deep, Immeasurable, Vast,
       Which art now, and which wert then;
   Of the eternal Where and When,
           Presence chamber, Temple, Home,
           Ever-canopying Dome
           Of acts and ages yet to come!
 
Glorious shapes have life in thee--
Earth and all Earth's company,
    Living globes which ever throng
       Thy deep chasms and wildernesses,
    And green worlds that glide along,
        And swift stars with flashing tresses,
            And icy moons most cold and bright,
            And mighty suns, beyond the Night,
            Atoms of intensest light!
 
Even thy name is as a God,
Heaven! for thou art the abode
    Of that Power which is the glass
       Wherein man his nature sees;--
    Generations as they pass
        Worship thee with bended knees--
            Their unremaining Gods and they
             Like a river roll away--
             Thou remainest such--alway!--
 
                        A REMOTER VOICE
 
Thou art but the Mind's first chamber,
Round which its young fancies clamber
    Like weak insects in a cave
        Lighted up by stalactites;
    But the portal of the grave,
        Where a world of new delights
           Will make thy best glories seem
           But a dim and noonday gleam
           From the shadow of a dream.
 
                       A LOUDER AND STILL REMOTER VOICE
 
Peace! the abyss is wreathed with scorn
At your presumption, Atom-born!
    What is Heaven? and what are ye
       Who its brief expanse inherit?
     What are suns and spheres which flee
        With the instinct of that spirit
           Of which ye are but a part?
           Drops which Nature's mighty heart
           Drives through thinnest veins. Depart!
 
What is Heaven? a globe of dew
Filling in the morning new
    Some eyed flower whose young leaves waken
       On an unimagined world.
    Constellated suns unshaken,
       Orbits measurless, are furled
          In that frail and fading sphere
          With ten million gathered there
          To tremble, gleam, and disappear!

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