THE SUSSEX MUSE. 249
years, perhaps even for generations, be referred to for their prophetic utterances. Instead of being a rash revolutionist, he was himself quite conscious, sadly conscious, of the slowness with which the destiny of our race is accomplished, and was quite ready to accept such instalments as could be obtained towards the realisation of his social ideals.
These are mere indications of the spirit and method of Shelley the reformer. But side by side with these documents of revolutionary propaganda we have his contributions to literature. There is, perhaps, no more remarkable literary phenomenon than the rapid maturing of his powers from the weak style of " Zastrozzi " to the tender pathos of "Adonais," the gloomy grandeur of " The Cenci,"—the most remarkable drama written since the days of the great Elizabethans,—the lofty ideality of " Prometheus Unbound," the lyric glory of " The Skylark," the stern power of the sonnet on " Ozymandias," —to name but a few of many. He is intensely spiritual, and penetrates to the very heart of nature, as when he sings—
" I love all that thou lovest, Spirit of delight!