Hymn To Intellectual Beauty: Stanza 3 - Summary & Analysis

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Stanza 3
Line 25-36
No voice from some sublimer world hath ever
To sage or poet these responses given—
Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavor,
Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever
From all we hear and all we see,
Doubt, chance and mutability.
Thy light alone—like mist o'er mountains driven,
Or music by the night-wind sent
Through strings of some still instrument,
Or moonlight on a midnight stream,
Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.


      No philosopher and no poet have ever found an answer to these questions. Religion with its false dogmas hardly ever tries to remove man's doubts. It is only the contemplation of the Beautiful that gives grace and truth to life.


      LI. 25-36. No voice.....life's unquiet dream. The question of life still remains a mystery and no answer to these baffling problems of life and death have ever been given to poets and philosophers from the higher world. Hence their attempts to find a solution results in the invention of such myths as Demon, Ghost, and Heaven. But this solution is unsatisfactory for even religions which Shelley calls "frail spells" (futile charms or incantations) cannot secure human life against the operation of chance, doubt and change. Only Intellectual Beauty, which appears fitfully can impart the grace of beauty and truth to lives full of fever and fret. But the Spirit makes a fleeting appearance like mist spread over the mountains, or like music produced by the night wind blowing upon the strings of some still instrument and awakening it into a thrilling music throbbing through the mystic silence of the night, or like moonlight sleeping quietly upon a stream at midnight.

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