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The patron on the shoulders of his Priests,
Once more parading through her crowded streets;
Now simply guarded by the sober powers
Of Science, and Philosophy, and Sense.
This answer followed. You have turned my thoughts
Upon our brave Progenitors, who rose
Against Idolatry with warlike mind,
And shrunk from vain observances to lurk
In caves, and woods, and under dismal rocks,
Deprived of shelter, covering, fire, and food:
Why?-for this very reason that they felt,
And did acknowledge, wheresoe'er they moved
A spiritual presence, oft-times misconceived;
But still a high dependence, a divine
Bounty and government, that filled their hearts
With joy, and gratitude, and fear, and love;
And from their fervent lips drew hymns of praise
With which the deserts rang. Though favoured less,
Far less, than these, yet such, in their degree,
Were those bewildered Pagans of old time.
Beyond their own poor natures and above
They looked; were humbly thankful for the good
Which the warm sun solicited,—and earth
Bestowed; were gladsome,—and their moral sense
They fortified with reverence for the Gods;
And they had hopes that overstepped the grave.
OFT have I remarked him, at some leisure hour, Stretched on the grass or seated in the shade Among his fellows, while an ample map Before their eyes lay carefully outspread, From which the gallant teacher would discourse, Now pointing this way and now that." Here flows," Thus would he say, "the Rhine, that famous stream! "Eastward, the Danube towards this inland sea, "A mightier river, winds from realm to realm; "And, like a serpent, shows his glittering back Bespotted with innumerable isles.
"Here reigns the Russian, there the Turk, observe
His Capital City !"-Thence-along a tract
Of livelier interest to his hopes and fears,
His finger mov'd, distinguishing the spots
Where wide-spread conflict then most fiercely raged;
Nor left unstigmatized those fatal fields
On which the sons of mighty Germany
Were taught a base submission.-" Here behold
"A nobler race, the Switzers, and their land;
"Vales deeper far than these of ours, huge woods,
"And mountains white with everlasting snow!"
And, surely, he that spake with kindling brow,
Was a true Patriot, hopeful as the best
Of that young peasantry, who, in our days
Have fought and perished for Helvetia's rights,—
Ah! not in vain !-or those who, in old time,
For work of happier issue, to the side
Of Tell came trooping from a thousand huts,
When he had risen alone! No braver youth
Descended from Judea's heights, to march
With righteous Joshua; or appeared in arms
When grove was felled, and altar was cast down,
And Gideon blew the trumpet, soul-inflamed,
And strong in hatred of Idolatry.
How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh,
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear,
Were discord to the speaking quietude
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love had spread
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow;
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend,
So stainless, that their white and glittering spires
Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace;-all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness;
Where silence undisturbed might watch alone,
So cold, so bright, so still.—
Ah! whence yon glare
That fires the arch of heaven-that dark red smoke
Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched
In darkness, and the pure spangling snow
Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round.
Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals
In countless echoes through the mountains ring,
Startling pale midnight on her starry throne!
Now swells the intermingling din; the jar,
Frequent and frightful, of the bursting bomb;
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout,
The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men
Inebriate with rage :-loud, and more loud
The discord grows; till pale death shuts the scene,
And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws
His cold and bloody shroud. Of all the men
Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,
In proud and vigorous health; of all the hearts
That beat with anxious life at sunset there,
How few survive,-how few are beating now!
All is deep silence, like the fearful calm
That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause;
Save where the frantic wail of widow'd love
Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan,
With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay
Wrapt round its struggling powers.
Dawns on the mournful scene; the suphurous smoke
Before the icy winds slow rolls away,
And the bright beams of frosty morning dance
Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood
Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms,
And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments
Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path
Of the outsallying victors: far behind,
Black ashes note where their proud city stood.
Within yon forest is a gloomy glen
Each tree which guards its darkness from the day
Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.
XXVI.-Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of
HAST thou a charm to stay the Morning-Star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranc'd in prayer I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty Vision passing-there,
As in her natural form, swell'd vast to Heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink ;
Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald wake, O wake, and utter praise.
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns call'd you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks
For ever shattered and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?
Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown ravines enormous slope amain—
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge.
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?-
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
Ye livery flowers that skirt th' eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!
Once more, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the Avalanche, unheard,