Percy Bysshe Shelley


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was an English Romantic poet, dramatist, essayist, and novelist. Shelley wrote and published consistently however most publishers and journals refused to publish his works for fear of being arrested for blasphemy or sedition. His works were highly influential to the following generation of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets and continued to inspire contemporary poets to this day. Source

“Mutability” or “The Flower That Smiles To-day”

The flower that smiles to-day 

      To-morrow dies; 

All that we wish to stay 

      Tempts and then flies. 

What is this world's delight? 

Lightning that mocks the night, 

      Brief even as bright. 


   Virtue, how frail it is! 

      Friendship how rare! 

Love, how it sells poor bliss 

      For proud despair! 

But we, though soon they fall, 

Survive their joy, and all 

      Which ours we call. 


   Whilst skies are blue and bright, 

      Whilst flowers are gay, 

Whilst eyes that change ere night 

      Make glad the day; 

Whilst yet the calm hours creep, 

Dream thou—and from thy sleep 

      Then wake to weep. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Childhood & Coming of Age

Memory & The Past

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


An inversion of typical syntax (word order).

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered


correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry