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Seasonal Poetry & Prose: 'The Cold Earth Slept Below' by Percy Bysshe Shelley



The cold earth slept below; Above the cold sky shone; And all around, With a chilling sound, From caves of ice and fields of snow The breath of night like death did flow Beneath the sinking moon. The wintry hedge was black; The green grass was not seen; The birds did rest On the bare thorn’s breast, Whose roots, beside the pathway track, Had bound their folds o’er many a crack Which the frost had made between. Thine eyes glow’d in the glare Of the moon’s dying light; As a fen-fire’s beam On a sluggish stream Gleams dimly—so the moon shone there, And it yellow’d the strings of thy tangled hair, That shook in the wind of night. The moon made thy lips pale, beloved; The wind made thy bosom chill; The night did shed On thy dear head Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie Where the bitter breath of the naked sky Might visit thee at will.


'The Cold Earth Slept Below' by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Artist Virginia Lee