Think of our blindness where the water burned!
Are we so certain that those wings, returned
And turning, we had half discerned
Before our dazzled eyes had surely seen
The bird aloft there, did not mean?—
Our hearts so seized upon the sign!
Think how we sailed up-wind, the brine
Tasting of daphne, the enormous wave
Thundering in the water cave—
Thunder in stone. And how we beached the skiff
And climbed the coral of that iron cliff
And found what only in our hearts we’d heard—
The silver screaming of that one, white bird:
The fabulous wings, the crimson beak
That opened, red as blood, to shriek
And clamor in that world of stone,
No voice to answer but its own.
What certainty, hidden in our hearts before,
Found in the bird its metaphor?
"When Shelley’s corpse washed ashore, a friend identified it by a copy of Keats’s 1820 volume in the coat pocket, which he knew Shelley had taken with him. Then, after cremation in which Shelley’s heart, hardened by calcium, did not burn, this same friend snatched it from the embers and presented it to Mary Shelley, who kept it thereafter in her desk, wrapped in a copy of ‘Adonais."
Here’s your morbid literary fact of the day.