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In Shelley's famous sonnet, which begins 'Lift not the painted veil', the "turn" is placed - unusually - in the seventh line.

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,—behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it—he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

In this line, the poet mentions 'one who had lifted it', and then goes on to describe some of the miseries of that person's unhappy life. Are there any interesting theories as to who that person might have been? From the little I know of Shelley's life, John Keats seems like a good candidate, but Shelley's descriptions are vague enough that they could be made to fit several figures.


On a side note: Shelley refers to 'the Preacher' in the poem's last line. Is this a reference to Ecclesiastes? (I presume it's not a reference to Poltergeist II: The Other Side!)

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