Extra Poem: Love's Philosophy
P. B. Shelley (17921822) belongs to a group of late 18th and early 19th century poets called the English Romantic poets. In his poetry there is a close connection between nature and peoples emotions. For example, a stormy sea means strong emotions.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law devine
In one another’s being mingle –
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another,
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth;
And the moonbeams kiss the sea –
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
1 Understanding the poem
a) Find the words in the poem that have to do with nature.
b) What do the words mingle, mix and clasp mean? What elements in nature mingle, mix, kiss and clasp?
c) What does the speaker want to do?
Below are a few words mentioned in the poem.
a) Translate the words. Use a dictionary if necessary.
fountain – river – ocean – emotion – law – divine – mountain – wave – sunlight – moonbeam
b) Write a short definition for each word. Use an English-English dictionary to make sure you get your definitions right.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (BBC)