| Quote #1
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
Freedom is one of the most important objects of desire for the speaker of this poem, but ironically his idea of near-freedom is the state of a leaf or cloud carried at the mercy of the wind. Treasure this: Shelley’s not big on irony.
| Quote #2
Like the speakers in poems by other Romantic poets (William Wordsworth comes to mind), the speaker here recalls that he had a different relationship to the natural world when he was young. For the Romantics, youth is a privileged time, when Man and Nature are mysteriously (and mystically) close.
| Quote #3
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
The literal "lift" of the wind is juxtaposed with the metaphorical "fall" onto the "thorns of life."