There is no hope for the dying sun,

My love declines, burns up, goes,

I skim over the crazy dreams

Like poetry above a volcano.


I imagine a perfect woman,

I make love in ecstatic joy,

I wake up in a hollow crest

Of morning illusion, death of life.


I see your eyes, so black and beautiful,

Wide as owls in swiftest beauty,

You fly as a spirit in the open night,

Naked, like a wild flame.




O, if I must die, let it be in Rome:

Go thou to Rome, if thou would´st join with that

For which all seek, the fire for which all thirst,


Here is the fire of Prometheus.

Here, Shelley stole that fire and wrote

Sublime poetry, the greatest ever


Since Aeschylus, Virgil, Dante, or Shakespeare

And that‘s not bad! Shelley is truly


The most real Poet, the most burning fire

Of words, like music in shamanistic incantation,

Flames of beauty in flowing love.




This is the place

Of blood—oath and virtue

Nobility in duty

Absolute adherence

To Victory or Death

In Republic or Empire

Of unquestioning heroism

Pure and stern purpose

Uncorrupted strength




Nero´s Golden House

He had not long to live

In lakes gardens woods and flowers

Where wild beasts roamed free

Within palace walls of gold and pearl

Perfumes and baths of sulphurous dreams

Debauched parties banquets barges

Lakeside brothels of aristocratic women

Before the monster-emperor killed himself

Here was somewhere to be




I feel so strong a penetration

Of mystical strength, since I was there

In that magical cemetery, awesome and peaceful

With strange power, so Shelleyan:

And Shelley has the supreme place

Below a ruined tower, flat

Upon the ground, yet higher than all

The other graves. The cypresses,

And sense of quiet, ruined Rome

All around, the twittering

Of lively birds, and the beautiful flowers

Everywhere in this perfect place

For dreamy death: all combine

To make one feel that this was where

Shelley should have been.




To think ideas, that are of blooded fire,

Like sunsets flaring across the sky

At fantasy time, and to imagine

A marble pyramid is a splashing flame

Turned into whiteness in a colossal instant

Of Absolute Time, feeding off

The soil of centuries like flowers of beauty

That sing in timeless eternity,

Enjoying millennia like pearls strung along

Infinite necklaces of ecstasy!




Your petty miseries are nothing when you feel

The flaming cypresses in this city of the soul!

My country too, if only for an hour,

Which runs into Eternity when I see

Great Byron gazing, above immortal words,

Burning with power from his majestic heart!

Here are we together, exiles of that island

From where orphaned hearts must come, to this strangers‘ paradise.




And even in my failures, I know I live;

I love too much, and hate, and feel such pangs,

And hope always to join with erudite subtleties,

Or enter the worlds of Mozart, Shelley, or Leonardo;

Too often I feel grand, while in reality I‘m small,

And leap in wild aspirations

Which end in painful falls.




It is in Jacopo Bassano‘s Last Supper,

Where a group of fools in extraordinary colours -

Emerald green and iridescent pinks -

Barefoot fishermen flopping at the crucial moment

When Christ asks them who will betray,-

Represent humanity failing at the moment of truth,

Weak-kneed as always in the moment of need:

That is funny-coloured humanity.




Let us give rapturous glorious songs

To the majesty of Rome!

Imagination‘s Eternal City,

Place of glory in the past

And vibrant wondrous joy today!

Let us praise its magnificence,

Its gorgeous women, its flowing wine,

Be thankful somewhere in the world

Has such amazing beauty!




Rome and Greece rise up to receive

Byron‘s love and words of power;

No miserable criticism, deflating snores

Spoil what they see as a great heart

In love with their countries, their glories their dreams,

And in same spirit of generosity,

They take him into their deepest hearts.


O miserable Britain, why must you take

Every puritan, negative, dreary thought

Unto yourself, to shoot yourself down,

Like a jealous archer bursting balloons

Of your own metaphysics, hope, and love,

With arrows you do not need to shoot:

Why still do Britons love Italy?


If only you could see your real

Might, clearly, without exaggeration

In Union Jack and School History,

Or excessive modesty:

Many know you as a power that thinks

With straight justice and honest force,

A country that acts when it wills it must

And is noble when the hour is dark

Once every century or two: and pulls

Courage out from some mystery.


A country that feels some decency

And tolerance, and though it fails

Often to live up to these ideals

Is shamed by that, and slowly moves

To an ethos it knows in its bones

It should espouse, and can be roused

Occasionally from the troughs of sloth,

Into a dignity and honesty,

Touching through all its ranks —

Though so unequal — thus including all.




There is a star that disappears

And though I think it may be far

I doubt the cloud that now obtrudes


Breaking communion with a light

Against loneliness in the night

Hopelessness until a dawn


Comes, if it does, with new bright

Sun, before freezing winter kills

The small, coloured flowers that sprinkle


Up from the bowls accidentally filled

With soil and moisture, near the sun´s

Light, suffused with strange


Sapphire dreams floating down

In illusion, and blue amazement

Of the beauteous midday sun




And in a haunted glade I came

Cool in shade from the high sun

Where birds sang amid the green

Ferns and tall whispering trees

That hid a tumbling Roman ruin

Of what was once a living arch

Of white stone, with plants and flowers

Growing from it like slow flames;

Though now this dank, mysterious hulk

Was grey and black, quiet as all around

Except for the sweet birds, and the presence here

Of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and me.




When T.S. Eliot and Evelyn Waugh

Sank on their knees at Saint Peter‘s altar

They were wanting to return to a flame

Because their generation‘s souls were hollowed

Out by hell and emptiness.

Bernini‘s sculpture of Pope Alexander

Surrounded by Truth, Justice, Charity,

And Prudence, is not as great as that

Of the Rape of Proserpine, or Apollo chasing

Daphne; there such passion is

In all its tumultuous ugliness,-

You can see Hades sink

His fingers into the girl‘s flesh

As he storms her off, and she is desperate

Yet understands what is occurring,

Though Apollo as he feels Daphne‘s

Heart still beating while she changes

Into a tree sprouting everywhere

In her, on her, all around -

Does he understand this pain

Which is the essence of existence?



I think Keats and Joseph Severn

Were real prudes when they disapproved

Of Pauline Bonaparte‘s flirtatious glances

At their gentleman officer friend,

And when they sneered at Canova´s sculpture

Of her as Venus, decrying this voluptuous

Pose as ‘bad taste‘: I can only hope

It was because poor Keats was dying

And utterly dragged down by pain

And weakness into misery, that

He was now an irritable twit.



Into the massy earth my soul is riven,

Until I see a star, afar,

Beaconing from the dark abode where the eternal are


Tim Cloudsley nació Cambridge, Inglaterra. Es sociologo, escritor y poeta. Trabajó como profesor en la Escuela de Idiomas, de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga en el ámbito de estudios culturales y literatura.

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