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 Ode to an Angel Spirit

     In 1839, when Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley were staying in Italy, they heard the song of a skylark. It was a beautiful summer's eve when they heard it carolling while they were wandering lanes with myrtle hedges--bowers to fireflies, as it was described.
     The poem's beginning is said to cast doubt as to whether it's really a bird, but the poet makes references to it as such. He says to the spirit, that it was never a bird, using the archaic word "wert" as we use were.
     He heard a bird, but whatever was in Shelley's poetic fancy and thought, I've called to mind from    somewhere out there, a joyous and happy spirit, calling it a Blithe Angel, one tasked to help us, to reach our created and everlasting goal.

     Like the lark that springs up, and quoting Shelley's first lines, I spring from that.


      * * * *

"Hail to thee, Blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert..."
Thou "from Heaven, or near it
,"
Fly down to us, on dirt...

Be thou, O Spirit, an angel being
And see thou, as angels seeing.
Thou aren't a being corporeal,
Nor singest not like lark
nor oriole.

From an angel's lofty choir,
Fly down to us from higher:
Down to us, here made of dust,
To us, upon the earthen crust.

Aid us upon our earthly ground,
Where we were human born.
Created here, yet heaven bound,
To awaken some
eternal, glorious morn!

By the sin of Adam and Eve,
Was heaven shut
ter'd and grace was gone;
From Eden's Garden they had to leave
At the human race's very dawn.

They offended the Infinite One:
God the Father, Spirit and Son;
No longer were things all well,
As fallen
in sin, they fell

Now, w
e've falleness in nomenclature,
And must contend with a fallen nature.

O angel, help us not fall any more,
And guide us e'er to holy grace!
Keep us from th
e infernal door,
And guide us to our created place.

O carry us on thy plum
ed wing,
Thy graceful pinions to rise up higher,
To where thy kind
, doth joyously sing...
Beyond the moon and stars of fire.

          
 --John Riedell, with thanks to Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Quoted here is a portion of Shelley's poetic work. I've set in blue
, words and lines I like:

Ode to a Skylark
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art
.

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest

Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest. (I like this reversal)

In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of Heaven,
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight
.

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflow'd.

What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers
a rain of melody.
                             

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