Study Guide

Adonais Stanza 54

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Stanza 54

Lines 478-486

That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst; now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

  • The "force" that the speaker spoke of earlier now focuses its beams on him. He gives it several more names: "Light," "Beauty", "Benediction" (blessing), and "Love." These are all positive things, so we can assume (even if we don't consider his earlier stanzas) that he thinks of the immortal force as something positive. 
  • This force outwits the "Curse" of birth and burns no matter what. It focuses its gaze, or beams, on the speaker now, and takes away his fear of death ("consumes the last clouds of cold mortality"). 
  • Our speaker's not scared to die; in fact, he seems to be welcoming it as something positive. This is quite a shift in tone from the beginning of the poem, which was sad, angry, and vengeful.