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Her sense had filed Exhausted by the storm, If thy blest nature now unites above
An angel's pity with a brother's love,
Still o'er my life preserve thy mild control, 'Twas life's last spark-it futter'd and expired! Correct my views, and elevate my soul;
The father strew'd his white hairs in the wind, Grant me thy peace and purity of mind,
Grant me, like thee, whose heart knew no disguise,
For ever would the fond enthusiast rove When thy last breath, ere nature sunk to rest,
A mingled gleam of hope and triumph shed;
From age to age unnumber'd treasures shine! Dear was the grot that shunn'd the blaze of day; Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey, She gave its spars to shoot a trembling ray. And place and time are subject to thy sway! The spring, that bubbled from its inmost cell, Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone; Murmur'd of Julia's virtues as it fell;
The only pleasures we can call our own.
But can the wiles of art, the grasp of power, Say, through what brighter realms she bids it flow: Snatch the rich relics of a well spent hour ? To what pure beings, in a nobler sphere,
These, when the trembling spirit wings her fight She yields delight but faintly imaged here: Pour round her path a stream of living light; All that till now their rapt researches knew; And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest, Not call'd in slow succession to review,
Where virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest! But, as a landscape meets the eye of day, At once presented to their glad survey!
Each scene of bliss reveal'd, since chaos fled,
THE LAKE OF GENEVA There thy bright train, immortal friendship, soar; Day glimmer'd in the east, and the white moon No more to part, to mingle tears no more !
Hung like a vapour in the cloudless sky, And, as the softening hand of time endears
Yet visible, when on my way I went, The joys and sorrows of our infant years,
Glad to be gone-a pilgrim from the north, So there the soul, released from human strife, Now more and more attracted as I drew Smiles at the little cares and ills of life;
Nearer and nearer. Ere the artisan, Its lights and shades, its sunshine and its showers; ! Drowsy, half-clad, had from his window leant, As at a dream that charm'd her vacant hours ! With folded arms and listless look, to snuff Oft may the spirits of the dead descend
The morning air, or the caged sky-lark sung, To watch the silent slumbers of a friend ;
From his green sod up springing—but in vain, To hover round his evening walk unseen,
His tuneful bill o’erflowing with a song And hold sweet converse on the dusky green; Old in the days of Homer, and his wings To hail the spot where first their friendship grew, With transport quivering, on my way I went, And heaven and nature opend to their view!
Thy gates, Geneva, swinging heavily, Oft, when he trims his cheerful hearth, and sees
Thy gates so slow to open, swift to shut ; A smiling circle emulous to please ;
As on that Sabbath eve when he arrived,"
O thou! with whom my heart was wont to share in those small syllables) the narrow street,
He sate him down and wept—wept till the morning; Across the ocean—to a rock so small
'Tis not a tale that every hour brings with it. That ships have gone and sought it, and return'd, Yet at a city gate, from time to time,
Saying it was not ! Much might be learnt; and most of all at thine,
Still along the shore, London—thy hive the busiest, greatest, still Among the trees, I went for many a mile, Gathering, enlarging still. Let us stand by, Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets, And note who passes. Here comes one, a youth, Singing some national song by the way-side. Glowing with pride, the pride of conscious power, But now 'twas dusk, and journeying by the Rhone, A Chatterton-in thought admired, caress'd, That there came down, a torrent from the Alps, And crown'd like Petrarch in the capitol;
I enter'd where a key unlocks a kingdom,* Ere long to die-to fall by his own hand,
The mountains closing, and the road, the river, And fester with the vilest. Here come two, Filling the narrow pass. There, till a ray Less feverish, less exalted-soon to part,
Glanced through my lattice, and the household stir A Garrick and a Johnson ; wealth and fame Warn'd me to rise, to rise and to depart, Awaiting one-e'en at the gate, neglect
A stir unusual and accompanied And want the other. But what multitudes, With many a tuning of rude instruments, Urged by the love of change, and, like myself, And many a laugh that argued coming pleasure, Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare, Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite, Press on-though but a rill entering the sea, And nuptial feast attiring—there I slept, Entering and lost! Our task would never end. And in my dreams wanderd once more, well pleased.
Day glimmer'd and I went, a gentle breeze But now a charm was on the rocks, and woods,
THE GREAT ST. BERNARD.
Night was again descending, when my mule, Lay with his circular and dotted line,
That all day long had climb'd among the clouds, Fishing in silence. When the heart is light Higher and higher still, as by a stair With hope, all pleases, nothing comes amiss;
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me, And soon a passage boat swept gayly by,
Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door Laden with peasant girls, and fruits and flowers, So near the summit of the great St. Bernard; And many a chanticleer and partlet caged
That door which ever on its hinges moved For Vevay's market-place-a motley group
To them that knock’d, and nightly sends abroad Seen through the silvery haze. But soon 'twas gone. Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch, The shifting sail Alapp'd idly for an instant, Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me, Then bore them off.
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb; I am not one of those
And a lay brother of the hospital, So dead to all things in this visible world,
Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits So wondrously profound—as to move on
The distant echoes gaining on his ear, In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old,
Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand, (His name is justly in the calendar,)
While I alighted. Who through the day pursued this pleasant path
Long could I have stood, That winds beside the mirror of all beauty,
With a religious awe contemplating And, when at eve his fellow pilgrims sate,
That house, the highest in the ancient world, Discoursing of the lake, ask'd where it was. And placed there for the noblest purposes. They marvell’d, as they might; and so must all, 'Twas a rude pile of simplest masonry, Seeing what now I saw; for now 'twas day,
With narrow windows and vast buttresses, And the bright sun was in the firmament,
Built to endure the shocks of time and chance; A thousand shadows of a thousand hues
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might, Checkering the clear expanse. A while his orb
Warr'd on for ever by the elements, Hung o'er thy trackless fields of snow, Mont Blanc, And in an evil day, nor long ago, Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories,
By violent men—when on the mountain top That change their shapes for ever as in sport;
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict. Then travellid onward, and went down behind On the same rock beside it stood the church, The pine-clad heights of Jura, lighting up
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity; The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe
The vesper bell, for 'twas the vesper hour, Borne homeward through the forest in his hand; Duly proclaiming through the wilderness, And, in some deep and melancholy glen,
“ All ye who hear, whatever be your work, That dungeon fortress never to be named,
Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer !" Where, like a lion taken in the toils,
And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale,
A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,
* St. Maurice.
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow ;
All, all observant of the sacred law A star, the only one in that small sky,
Of silence. Nor is that sequester'd spot, On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene Once call'd “Sweet Waters,” now “The Shady Resembling nothing I had left behind,
Vale,"* As though all worldly ties were now dissolved ; To me unknown; that house so rich of old, And to incline the mind still more to thought, So courteous, and by two, that pass'd that way,t To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore, Amply requited with immortal verse, Under a beetling cliff stood, half in shadow, The poet's payment. A lonely chapel destined for the dead,
But, among them all, For such as, having wander'd from the way, None can with this compare, the dangerous seat Had perish'd miserably. Side by side,
Of generous, active virtue. What though frost Within they lie, a mournful company,
Reign everlastingly, and ice and snow
Which, where it comes, makes summer; and in In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
Their garden plot, where all that vegetates
Is but some scanty lettuce, to observe
Those from the south ascending, every step I sate among the holy brotherhood
As though it were their last—and instantly
Soon as they see, turning a lofty crag,
THE DESCENT. Its partial light on apostolic heads,
My mule refresh'd-and, let the truth be told, And sheds a grace on all. Theirs time as yet He was not of that vile, that scurvy race, Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime; From sire to son lovers of controversy, Nor was a brow o'ercast. Seen as I saw them, But patient, diligent, and sure of foot, Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour Shunning the loose stone on the precipice, Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile, Snorting suspicion while with sight, smell, touch, As children; answering, and at once, to all Examining the wet and spongy moss, The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth;
And on his haunches sitting to slide down Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk,
The steep, the smooth—my mule refresh'd, his bells Music; and gathering news from them that came, Jingled once more, the signal to depart, As of some other world. But when the storm And we set out in the gray light of dawn, Rose, and the snow rollid on ocean billows, Descending rapidly-by waterfalls When on his face th' experienced traveller fell,
Fast frozen, and among huge blocks of ice Sheltering his lips and nostrils with his hands, That in their long career had stopt midway, Then all was changed; and, sallying with their pack At length, uncheck’d, unbidden, he stood still; Into that blank of nature, they became
And all his bells were muffled. Then my guide, Unearthly beings. “ Anselm, higher up,
Lowering his voice, address'd me: “ Through this Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long,
The horse and foot that, night and day, defiled
Well I remember how I met them here, Homeward he drags an old man and a boy, As the light died away, and how Napoleon, Faltering and falling, and but half awaken'd, Wrapt in his cloak-I could not be deceivedAsking to sleep again.” Such their discourse. Rein'd in his horse, and ask'd me, as I pass'd, Oft has a venerable roof received me;
How far 'twas to St. Remi. Where the rock St. Bruno's once*—where, when the winds were Juts forward, and the road, crumbling away, hushid,
Narrows almost to nothing at its base. Nor from the cataract the voice came up,
'Twas there; and down along the brink he led You might have heard the mole work underground, To victory !-Dessaix, who turn’d the scale, So great the stillness of that place; none seen, Leaving his life-blood in that famous field, Save when from rock to rock a hermit cross'd (When the clouds break, we may discern the spot By some rude bridge-or one at midnight toll'd In the blue haze,) sleeps, as you saw at dawn, To matins, and white habits, issuing forth, Just as you enter’d, in the hospital church." Glided along those aisles interminable,
* Vallombrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella. * The Grande Chartreuse.
Ariosto and Milion.
So saying, for a while he held his peace,
Travell'd incessantly, the craggy roof
Lashing him on. At last the water slept
In a dead lake at the third step he took,
Unfathomable and the roof, that long
Had threaten'd, suddenly descending, lay Graceful and active as a stag just roused;
Flat on the surface. Statue-like he stood, Gentle withal, and pleasant in his speech,
His journey ended; when a ray divine Yet seldom seen to smile. He had grown up
Shot through his soul. Breathing a prayer to her Among the hunters of the higher Alps ;
Whose ears are never shut, the blessed virgin, Had caught their starts and fits of thoughtfulness,
He plunged, he swam-and in an instant rose, Their haggard looks, and strange soliloquies, The barrier past, in light, in sunshine! Through Said to arise, by those who dwell below,
smiling valley, full of cottages, From frequent dealings with the mountain spirits. Glittering the river ran; and on the bank But other ways had taught him better things; The young were dancing ('twas a festival-day) And now he number'd, marching by my side,
All in their best attire. There first he saw The savans, princes, who with him had cross'd His Madelaine. In the crowd she stood to hear, The frozen tract, with him familiarly
When all drew round, inquiring; and her face, Through the rough day and rougher night conversed Seen behind all, and, varying, as he spoke, In many a chalêt round the Peak of Terror,* With hope, and fear, and generous sympathy, Round Tacol, Tour, Well-horn and Rosenlau,
Subdued him. From that very hour he loved. And her, whose throne is inaccessible,t
The tale was long, but coming to a close, Who sits, withdrawn, in virgin majesty,
When his dark eyes flash'd fire, and, stopping short, Nor oft unveils. Anon an avalanche
He listen'd and look'd up. I look'd up too ; Roll'd its long thunder; and a sudden crash, And twice there came a hiss that through me thrill'd! Sharp and metallic, to the startled ear
'Twas heard no more. A chamois on the cliff Told that far down a continent of ice
Had roused his fellows with that cry of fear, Had burst in twain. But he had now begun ;
And all were gone. And with what transport he recall’d the hour
But now the thread was broken; When to deserve, to win his blooming bride,
Love and its joys had vanish'd from his mind; Madelaine of Annecy, to his feet he bound
And he recounted his hair-breadth escapes The iron crampons, and, ascending, trod
When with his friend, Hubert of Bionnay, The upper realms of frost; then, by a cord (His ancient carbine from his shoulder slung, Let halfway down, enter'd a grot star-bright, His axe to hew a staircase in the ice,) And gather'd from above, below, around,
He track'd their footsteps. By a cloud surprised, The pointed crystals !
Upon a crag among the precipices, Once, nor long before, Where the next step had hurld them fifty fathoms, (Thus did his tongue run on, fast as his fect, Oft had they stood, lock'd in each other's arms, And with an eloquence that nature gives
All the long night under a freezing sky, To all her children-breaking off by starts Each guarding each the while from sleeping, falling. Into the harsh and rude, oft as the mule
0, 'twas a sport he loved dearer than life, Drew his displeasure,) once, nor long before, And only would with life itself relinquish! Alone at daybreak on the Mettenberg,
“My sire, my grandsire died among these wilds. He slipp'd, he fell; and through a fearful cleft As for myself,” he cried, and he held forth Gliding from ledge to ledge, from deep to deeper, His wallet in his hand, “ this do I call Went to the under world! Long while he lay My winding sheet-for I shall have no other !" Upon his rugged bed—then waked like one
And he spoke truth. Within a little month Wishing to sleep again and sleep for ever! He lay among these awful solitudes, For, looking round, he saw or thought he saw ('Twas on a glacier-halfway up to heaven,) Innumerable branches of a cavern,
Taking his final rest. Long did his wife, Winding beneath a solid crust of ice;
Suckling her babe, her only one, look out With here and there a rent that show'd the stars ! The way he went at parting, but he came not ! What then, alas, was left him but to die?
Long fear to close her eyes, lest in her sleep What else in those immeasurable chambers, (Such their belief) he should appear before her, Strewn with the bones of miserable men,
Frozen and ghastly pale, or crush'd and bleeding, Lost like himself? Yet must he wander on, To tell her where he lay, and supplicate Till cold and hunger set his spirit free!
For the last rite! At length the dismal news And, rising, he began his dreary round;
Came to her ears, and to her eyes his corse.
MARGUERITE DE TOURS.
* The Schrekhorn.
+ The Jung-frau.
* Lichen Geographicus.
That to the pilgrim resting on his staff
Still where they were, steadfast, immovable ; Shadows out capes and islands; and ere long Who first beholds the Alps—that mighty chain Numberless flowers, such as disdain to live Of mountains, stretching on from east to west, In lower regions, and delighted drink
So massive, yet so shadowy, so ethereal, The clouds before they fall, flowers of all hues, As to belong rather to heaven than to earthWith their diminutive leaves cover'd the ground. But instantly receives into his soul Twas then, that, turning by an ancient larch, A se, a feeling that he loses not, Shiver'd in two, yet most majestical
A something that informs him 'tis a moment With its long level branches, we observed
Whence he may date henceforward and for ever? A human figure sitting on a stone
To me they seem'd the barriers of a world, Far down by the way-side-just where the rock Saying, Thus far, no farther ! and as o'er Is riven asunder, and the Evil One
The level plain I travellid silently, Has bridged the gulf, a wondrous monument Nearing them more and more, day after day, Built in one night, from which the flood beneath, My wandering thoughts my only company, Raging along, all foam, is seen, not heard,
And they before me still, oft as I look'd, And seen as motionless!
A strange delight, mingled with fear, came o'er me, Nearer we drew, A wonder as at things I had not heard of ! And 'twas a woman young and delicate,
Oft as I look’d, I felt as though it were Wrapt in a russet cloak from head to foot,
For the first time! Her eyes cast down, her cheek upon her hand
Great was the tumult there, In deepest thought. Young as she was, she wore Deafening the din, when in barbaric pomp The matron cap; and from her shape we judged, The Carthaginian on his march to Rome As well we might, that it would not be long
Entered their fastnesses. Trampling the snows, Ere she became a mother. Pale she look'd, The war-horse reared ; and the tower'd elephant Yet cheerful; though, methought, once, if not twice, Upturn'd his trunk into the murky sky, She wiped away a tear that would be coming: Then tumbled headlong, swallow'd up and lost, And in those moments her small hat of straw,
He and his rider. Worn on one side, and garnish'd with a riband
Now the scene is changed ; Glittering with gold, but ill conceal'd a face And o'er Mont Cenis, o'er the Simplon winds Not soon to be forgotten. Rising up
A path of pleasure. Like a silver zone On our approach, she journey'd slowly on;
Flung about carelessly, it shines afar, And my companion, long before we met,
Catching the eye in many a broken link,
In many a turn and traverse as it glides ;
And oft above and oft below appears, (Such was her artless tale, told with fresh tears)
Seen o'er the wall by him who journeys up, In Val d'Aosta ; and an Alpine stream,
As though it were another, not the same, Leaping from crag to crag in its short course Leading along he knows not whence or whither To join the Dora, turn'd her father's mill.
Yet through its fairy course, go where it will, There did she blossom till a Valaisan,
The torrent stops it not, the rugged rock A townsman of Martigny, won her heart,
Opens and lets it in; and on it runs. Much to the old man's grief. Long he held out,
Winning its easy way from clime to clime Unwilling to resign her; and at length,
Through glens lock'd up before. When the third summer came, they stole a match
Not such my path! And fled. The act was sudden; and when far
Mine but for those, who, like Jean Jacques, delight Away, her spirit had misgivings. Then
In dizziness, gazing and shuddering on She pictured to herself that aged face
Till fascination comes and the brain turns ! Sickly and wan, in sorrow, not in anger ;
Mine, though I judge but from my ague-fits
Over the Drance, just where the abbot feel,
But now 'tis past,
That turbulent chaos ; and the promised land
To him who starts up from a terrible dream,
At the first glimpses of fair Italy.
I love to sail along the Larian Lake
Under the shore-though not to visit Pliny,
To catch him musing in his plane tree walk,
Or fishing, as he might be, from his window : Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night,
And, to deal plainly, (may his shade forgive me!) * La Cygne.
Could I recall the ages past, and play