James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

July 8


By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)

  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous young English poet, was drowned in the Bay of Spezia, near Genoa, Italy, July 8, 1822.

  • TO shore the sea-nymphs buoyed their captive dead,

    Touched by a human grief; yes, there lay hand,

    Heart, lip, and brain of that august command,

    All—save the soul that Heaven to music wed.

    Clung curling yet the pale locks round the head;

    Silent and prone upon the drifted sand,

    He clasped her still, his loved Italian land,

    The foster-mother to whose breast he fled.

    We raised him on the pyre—in one great shine

    The body reached the beckoning shade—’twas meet,

    That which had given the flaming soul a shrine

    Should incorrupt as that bright soul retreat;

    Yet, heart of proof, thy substance still divine,

    Lingering in earthly love, lay at our feet!