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This funeral poem was written by Shelley in 1821 as an elegy for fellow romantic poet John Keats. These two stanzas were read by Mick Jagger at a concert in Hyde Park, after the death of his friend and former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones. The poem speaks of death as an awakening, an escape from the ‘dream of life’.


Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep —
He hath awakened from the dream of life —
‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings. — We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. — Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled!—Rome's azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.

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