Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Percy Bysshe Shelley

Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Blind agony, like a scorpion, stung by his own rage.

Pulseless arteries
Are like the fibres of a cloud instinct
With light.

Awful as silence.

Beams like flowers.

Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendor of its prime.

Black as a cormorant.

Blind as love.

Blue as the overhanging heaven.

Break like a bursting heart.

Bright as all between cloudless skies and windless streams.

Bright as Spring.

Burst like morning on dream, or like heaven on death.

Bursts like one sound from ten thousand streams
Of a tempestuous sea.

Calm as a cradled child in dreamless slumber bound.

Calm as a slumbering babe.

Calm as an angel in the dragon’s den.

Calm as death.

Calm, radiant, like the phantom of the dawn.

Ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no objects worth its constancy.

Circles around it, like the clouds that swim
Round the high moon in a bright sea of air.

Circles round,
Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams.

As clear as when a veil of light is drawn o’er evening hills.

Cold as dew to drooping leaves.

Cold, like a frozen chaos.

As silent lightning leaves the starless night.

Common as light is love, and its familiar voice wearies not ever.

Companionless as the last cloud of an expiring storm.

Countless … as leaves on autumn’s tempest shed.

Cries like the blood of Abel from the dust.

Curling like tendrils of the parasite
Around a marble column.

Dance, Like wingèd stars.

Dance like white plumes upon a hearse.

Dart around, as light from the meridian sun.

As human heart to human heart may be.

As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.

Like corpses in a charnel.

Deep as night and Heaven.

Descending …
Like the spring whose breath is blending
All blasts of fragrance into one.

Sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman’s knell.

Disappear, as if all had vanished through the sky.

Driven, like the alternations of an ever-changing wind over an Æolean lyre, which move it by their motion to ever-changing melody.

Eyes as fair
As star-beams among the twilight trees.

His faint eyes,
Like dew upon a sleeping flower.

Thine eyes are like the deep, blue boundless heaven.

Eyeless as old Destiny.

Fade …
Like stars half quenched in mists of silver dew.

Fade like vapor.

Like a brief dream of unremaining glory.

Failing like an unreplenished stream.

Fail like the trances of the summer air.

Fair as breathing marble.

Eyes as fair as star-beams among twilight trees.

Fair as the fabulous asphodels.

Fairer than any wakened eyes behold.

Fair, like stars when the moon is awakened.

Far as the remotest line
That bounds imagination’s flight.

Burning far, like the light of an unmeasured star.

Feasting like fiends upon the infidel dead.

Feed on us, as worms devour our body.

Fell, like ocean’s feathery spray
Dashed from the boiling surge
Before the vessel’s prow.

Fell, like the unseen blight of a smiling day.

Fine as light.

Fired, as by a spell.

Firm as the world’s centre.

Fixed and indispensable as the majestic laws that rule yon rolling orbs.

Flashed like a strong inspiration.

Fled at will, as in a wingèd chariot.

Like insect tribes before the northern gale.

Like the brief glory which dark Heaven inherits
From the false dawn, which fades ere it is spread
Upon the night’s devouring darkness.

Like vultures frightened from Imus
Before an earthquake’s tread.

Flee like a dream’s dim imagery.

Flee, like mist from the tempest’s might.

Flung as foam from a ship’s swiftness.

Like spendor-winged moths about a taper.

Flowed like light amid the shadows of the sea cast from one cloudless star.

Like a flock of rooks at a farmer’s gun
Night’s dreams and terrors, every one,
Fled from the brains which are their prey.

Foamed like a wounded thing.

Folded like thoughts in a dream.

Free in spirit as the mountain.

Full as a cup with the vine’s burning dew.

Like flocks of clouds in spring’s delightful weather.

Ghastly as a tyrant’s dream.

Like islands on a dark blue sea.

Glows like solid amethyst.

Glowing like the vital morn.

Grey, like a storm-extinguished day.

Green as the forest’s night.

Like a pale flower by some sad maiden cherished.

Grow like weeds on a neglected tomb.

Hung like bees on mountain-flowers.

Hang like night on heaven above me.

Hiss as of a rushing wind.

Horned like the crescent moon.

Howling, like a slaughtered town.

As the majestic laws
That rule yon rolling orbs.

Like sunlight through acacia woods at even.

Joyous as the morning ray.

Keen as the engine
Which tortures and which kills.

Kings are like stars,—they rise and set, they have
The worship of the world, but no repose.

Knotted like water-snakes.

Lay, like winds that die in water.

Leaner than fleshless misery.

Leaves … as silent lightning leaves the starless night.

Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.

Lingering like an unloved guest.

Lone as incarnate death.

Loud as the clank of an ironmonger.

Loud as the voice of nature.

Love is like understanding, that grows bright
Gazing on many truths; ’tis like thy light, Imagination.

Melt away,
Like dissolving spray.

Melt, like cloud to cloud.

Melts away
Like moonlight in the heaven of spreading day.

Mix them up
Like self-destroying poisons in one cup.

Moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane.

Multitudinous as the desert sand
Borne on the storm.

Murmured like a noontide bee.

Murmuring like the ocean roar.

Numerous as leaves that strew the autumnal gale.

My being overflowed, like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.

Pale as yonder waning moon.

Pale—like the white shore
Of Albion.

Passed, like a cloud on the blast.

Peeps like a star o’er ocean’s western edge.

Piercing, like the morn, now it has darted
Its lustre on all hidden things.

Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches.

Powerless as the wind
That passeth idly by.

Pure as speechless infancy.

Pursued like raging hounds.

Quiver …
Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.

Radiant as the air around a star.

Radiant, like the phantoms of the dawn.

Raged within me, like a scorpion’s nest
Built in my entrails.

Rejoicing like a cloud of morn.

Rises as ocean at the enchantment of the moon.

Roar as of an ocean foaming.

Rosy as the morn.

Circles round, like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams.

Scattered like foam on the torrent.

Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden
Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view.

Scattered, like a cloud of summer dust.

Sharp as a bayonet.

Shifted like restless clouds.

Shone like mountains in the morn.

Shine like obelisks of fire.

Shine like pyramids of fire.

Shone like the reflex of a thousand minds.

A deep silence, like the fearful calm
That slumbers in the storm’s portentous pause.

Silent as a corpse.

Sinless as Eden.

Slumbering quietly,
Like forms which sculptors carve.

Smiles, which spread like radiance from the cloud-surrounded moon.

Soft as an Incarnation of the Sun.

Soft as sleep.

Soft as the thoughts of budding love.

Softer than the West wind’s sigh.

Many a speck,
Like the water-snake’s belly and the toad’s back.

Speckled like a toad.

Sped, like some swift cloud that wings the wide air’s wilderness.

Spread like a quenchless fire.

Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.

Springest like a cloud of fire.

Stand like flame transferred to marble.

Still as a brooding dove.

Strange as a dreamer’s mad imagings.

Stream like a comet’s flashing hair.

Strewn … like bridal chamber floors.

Swallowed Persia, as the sand does foam.

Sway, as the calm joy of flowers, and living leaves before the wind.

Like waves before the tempest.

Sweet as a summer night without a breath.

Sweet as if angels sang.

Her looks were sweet as Heaven’s when loveliest in Autumn eves.

Swells like a sail before a favouring breeze.

Swift as a cloud between the sea and sky.

Swift as fire.

Swift as greyhounds.

Swift as leaves on autumn’s tempest shed.

Swift as smoke from a volcano springs.

Swift as twinkling beams.

Swifter than summer’s flight.

Swifter than youth’s delight.

Swim like beams through floating clouds.

Thin as Fraud.

Thunder as of earthquake coming.

Mutual hate tied,
Like two dark serpents tangled in the dust.

Tottering … like lean herds pursued by gadflies.

Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath.

Like ten thousand clouds which flow
With one wide wind.

Twinkling like a dawn out of a speckled cloud.

Universal as the light.

Like a star of Heaven,
In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen.

Uprise, like a tempestuous ocean.

As ocean’s moon looks on the moon in heaven.

Vanish, like smoke before the tempest’s stream.

Voice … is soft like solitude’s.

Like the head and the skin of a dying man.

Like the world’s rejected guest.

Small at first, and weak and frail
Like the vapor of a vale.

White with the whiteness of what is dead,
Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind past.

Worlds on worlds are rolling ever
From creation to decay,
Like the bubbles on a river,
Sparkling, bursting, borne away.