Quotations by Shelley, Percy Bysshe


First our pleasures die — and then
Our hopes, and then our fears — and when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust — and we die too.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
“Death,” st. 3 (1820)
Added on 18-Mar-09 | Last updated 18-Mar-09
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I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
“Ozymandias” (1818)

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Added on 9-Oct-08 | Last updated 9-Oct-08
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Love withers under constraint: its very essence is liberty: it is compatible neither with obedience, jealousy, nor fear.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
“Queen Mab” (1813)

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs
Are those that tell of saddest thought.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
“To a Skylark” (1821)

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Falsehood is a scorpion that will sting itself to death.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
A Declaration of Rights, ch. 12 (1812)
Added on 1-Mar-10 | Last updated 4-Mar-10
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A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.

Shelley - greatly good - wist_info quote

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
A Defence of Poetry (1821) [ed. Albert S. Cook (1890)]
Added on 26-Jan-16 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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If a person’s religious ideas correspond not with your own, love him nevertheless. How different would yours have been, had the chance of birth placed you in Tartary or India!

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
Declaration of Rights, article 25 (1812)
Added on 28-Aug-08 | Last updated 28-Aug-08
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Hell is a city much like London —
A populous and smoky city.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
Peter Bell the Third, Pt. III, st. 1 (1819)

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Added on 9-Sep-08 | Last updated 9-Sep-08
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Familiar acts are beautiful through love.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
Prometheus Unbound, “The Earth,” Act IV, l. 403 (1819)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest?

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
The Necessity of Atheism (1811)

Full text, 1813 ed. The text is followed by a citation of "Systeme de la Nature (1781)" (by Baron d'Holbach), but it's unclear whether, or what part of, this is being quoted by Shelley.
Added on 9-Aug-07 | Last updated 9-Aug-07
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