Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night-
When the winds are breathing low
And the stars are burning bright.
I arise from dreams of thee-
And a spirit in my feet
Hath borne me—Who knows how?
To thy chamber window, sweet!-

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream—
And the champak's odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint-
It dies upon her heart,
As I must die on thine,
O belovèd 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.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast.
O press it to thine own again
Where it will break at last!



Shelley called this poem "The Indian Girl’s Song", though it’s usually called "The Indian Serenade". It’s a dramatic poem from the point of view of an imaginary girl of India, imitative of extravagant Eastern love poetry.

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