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"Final Stanza" for Shelley's "Medusa"

Part of
the Romantic Circles Electronic Edition of Shelley's "Medusa"

This final stanza was first published by Neville Rogers in "Shelley and the Visual Arts," KSMB 12 (1961). Our copy-text is from Irving Massey's facsimile edition of Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. d. 7 (BSM ii), one of the notebooks used by Mary W. Shelley when she made her transcripts of P. B. Shelley's works. The first four lines are found at the bottom of adds. d.7, f. 97; the final five lines are found at the top of f. 100.

It is a woman's countenance divine
With everlasting beauty breathing there
Which from a stormy mountain's peak, supine
Gazes into the nights trembling air.
It is a trunkless head, and on its feature
Death has met life, but there is life in death,
The blood is frozen--but unconquered Nature
Seems struggling to the last--without a breath
The fragment of an uncreated creature

Romantic Circles / Electronic Editions / On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci / "Final Stanza"

Published @ RC

February 1997