Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Bit of Shelley

Here's a verse from 'Peter Bell the Third', quoted by Leavis in his essay on Wordsworth in 'Revaluation'. I reprint it because I love the rhyming of "eunuch" with "tunic". It seems so cheeky and modern. PBS, by the way, is referring to Wordsworth himself - rather unfairly I think.

But from the first 'twas Peter's drift
To be a kind of moral eunuch;
He touched the hem of Nature's shift,
Felt faint - and never dared uplift
The closest, all-concealing tunic.

This puts one in mind of Ruskin as well, and of course it could be Byron writing (indeed I can almost see Byron leaning over Percy's shoulder as he wrote - "Wordswords" was Byron's name for Wordsworth.)

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