The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (ed. Hutchinson, 1914)/The Indian Serenade

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For other versions of this work, see The Indian Serenade.


[Published, with the title, Song written for an Indian Air, in The Liberal, ii, 1822. Reprinted (Lines to an Indian Air) by Mrs. Shelley, Posthumous Poems, 1824. The poem is included in the Harvard MS. book, and there is a description by Robert Browning of an autograph copy presenting some variations from the text of 1824. See Leigh Hunt's Correspondence, ii, pp. 264-8.]

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night.
When[1] the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining[2] bright:
I arise from dreams of thee, 5
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led[3] me—who knows how?
To thy chamber window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream— 10
The Champak[4] odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart;—
As I must on[5] thine, 15
Oh, belovèd[6] as thou art!

O lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale. 20
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast;—
Oh! press it to thine own[7] again,
Where it will break at last.

[Published by W. M. Rossetti,
Complete P. W., 1870.]

O pillow cold and wet with tears!
Thou breathest sleep no more!

  1. Indian Serenade.—3 Harvard MS. omits When.
  2. 4 shining] burning Harvard MS., 1822.
  3. 7 Hath led Browning MS., 1822; Has borne Harvard MS. ; Has led 1824.
  4. 11 The Champak Harvard MS., 1822, 1824; And the Champak's Browning MS.
  5. 15 As I must on 1822, 1824; As I must die on Harvard MS., 1839. 1st ed.
  6. 16 Oh, belovèd Browning MS., Harvard MS., 1839, 1st ed.; Belovèd 1822, 1824.
  7. 23 press it to thine own Browning MS.; press it close to thine Harvard MS., 1824, 1839, 1st ed.; press me to thine own, 1822.