Percy Bysshe Shelley

Aug. 4, 1792 - July 8, 1822


An Allegory

by Percy Bysshe Shelley


A portal as of shadowy adamant
Stands yawning on the highway of the life
Which we all tread, a cavern huge and gaunt;
Around it rages on unceasing strife
Of shadows, like the restless clouds that haunt
The gap of some cleft mountain, lifted high
Into the whirlwinds of the upper sky.


And many pass it by with careless tread,
Not knowing that a shadowy ...
Tracks every traveller even to where the dead
Wait peacefully for their companion new;
But others, by more curious humour led,
Pause to examine; -- these are very few,
And they learn little there, except to know
That shadows follow them where'er they go.

Published 1824.


The Lyrics and Shorter Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Copyright 1907, reprinted 1913
London: J.M. Dent and Sons, Ltd.
New York: E.P. Dutton and Co.
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