Shelley’s Elegy

“Poets,” said Percy Bysshe Shelley, “are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” I’m not sure I could agree with that much more than I do.

Unfortunately, he led an all too brief (though beautiful) life. At thirty, he went down with his sailboat off the coast of Italy.

This song is my tribute to him.

The Words:

There is so much
you have yet to conquer
so many visions and
dreams left uncaressed
so many arrows
in your quiver

Lay them down
ever unconfessed

So very near to that
final secret
within grasp of your
young tireless hand
within sight of that
final harbor

Why so soon
I don’t understand

Promethean, your fire
will ever be my light
although the human heart expires
into this stormy night

Muses weep as sails go down
tender tears to mourn the passing
and to forever move the hearts
and tongues that appear

Now you are lost
to a hungry darkness
'neath a shattering truth
as yet unproclaimed
though in the flight
of your final arrow

You leave us a path
carefully notched and aimed

Promethean, your fire
will ever be my light
although a human heart expired
into that stormy night

Ulf Wolf
Spring 1992/Spring 2015
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