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Percy Bysshe Shelley: Poor captive bird who from thy narrow cage pourest such music

30 May

Bitter-sweet verses from my favourite Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Epipsychidion”:

Jacob Maris, The Girl feeding her Bird in a Cage, oil on mahagony, 1867

“Poor captive bird! who, from thy narrow cage,
Pourest such music, that it might assuage
The rugged hearts of those who prisoned thee,
Were they not deaf to all sweet melody;
This song shall be thy rose: its petals pale
Are dead, indeed, my adored Nightingale!
But soft and fragrant is the faded blossom,
And it has no thorn left to wound thy bosom.”