Fragment, or The Triumph Of Conscience
XVII. The Triumph of Conscience
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
'Twas dead of the night when I sate in my dwelling,
One glimmering lamp was expiring and low, --
Around the dark tide of the tempest was swelling,
Along the wild mountains night-ravens were yelling,
They bodingly presaged destruction and woe!
'Twas then that I started, the wild storm was howling,
Nought was seen, save the lightning that danced on the sky
Above me the crash of the thunder was rolling,
And low, chilling murmurs the blast wafted by. --
My heart sank within me, unheeded the jar
Of the battling clouds on the mountain-tops broke,
Unheeded the thunder-peal crashed in mine ear,
This heart hard as iron was stranger to fear,
But conscience in low noiseless whispering spoke.
'Twas then that her form on the whirlwind uprearing,
The dark ghost of the murdered Victoria strode,
Her right hand a blood-reeking dagger was bearing,
She swiftly advanced to my lonesome abode. --
I wildly then called on the tempest to bear me!
Source: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.