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A Lament by Percy Bysshe Shelley


"A Lament" is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. "Lament" means to grieve about something. It's unclear exactly what he is grieving. Is he grieving death or something he had done? "On whose last steps I climb" would suggest that he is grieving the death of someone. However, he also states, "where I had stood before".

"A Lament" is a poem consisting of two stanzas of five lines in each. The poem is rhymed as AABAB. The poem is written in iambic foot.


A Lament

O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more -Oh, never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more -Oh, never more.

Next: Bereavement
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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 18th Century

Grief, Life, Time

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