Page images
PDF
EPUB

view contrasted with sea-like extent of TIIE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, 1820. plain fading into the sky; and this again, in an opposite quarter, with an horizon High on her speculative tower of the loftiest and boldest Alps - unite Stood Science, waiting for the hour in composing a prospect more diversi- When Sol was destined to endure fied by magnificence, beauty, and sub limity, than perhaps any other point in That darkening of his radiant face Europe, of so inconsiderable an eleva- Which Superstition etrove to chase, tion, commands.

Erewhile, with rites impure. THOU sacred Pile! whose turrets rise

Afloat beneath Italian skies, From yon steep mountain's loftiest stage. Through regions fair as Paradise Guarded by lone San Salvador; Sink (if thou must) as heretofore,

We gaily pass'd, till Nature wrought

A silent and unlook'd-for change, To sulphurous bolts a sacrifice,

That check'd the desultory range But ne'er to human rage!

Of joy and sprightly thought. On Horeb's top, on Sinai, deign'd

Where'er was dipp'd the toiling oar, To rest the universal Lord :

The waves danced round us as before, Why leap the fountains from their cells

As lightly, though of alter'd hue, Where everlasting Bounty dwells ?- 'Mid recent coolness, such as falls That, while the Creature is sustain'd,

At noontide from umbrageous walls His God may be adored.

That screen the morning dew.

Cliffs, fountains, rivers, seasons, times, - No vaponr stretch'd its wings; no cloud
Let all remind the sonl of Heaven; Cast far or near a murky shroud;
Our slack devotion needs them all; The sky an azure field display'd;
And Faith - 80 oft of sense the thrall, 'Twas sunlight sheath'd and gently
While she, by aid of Nature, climbs -

charm'd, May hope to be forgiven.

Of all its sparkling rays disarm'd,

And as in slumber laid;Glory, and patriotic Love, And all the Pomps of this frail “spot Or something night and day between, Which men call Earth,” have yearn’d to Like moonshine,-but the hue was green; Associate with the simply meek, (seek, Still moonshine, without shadow, spread Religion in the sainted grove,

On jutting rock, and curved shore, And in the hallow'd grot.

Where gazed the peasant from his door,

And on the mountain's head.
Thither, in time of adverse shocks,
Of fainting hopes and backward wills,

It tinged the Julian steeps, -it lay,
Did mighty Tell repair of old, -

Lugano! on thy ample bay; A Hero cast in Nature's mould,

The solemnizing veil was drawn Deliverer of the steadfast rocks

O'er villas, terraces, and towers; And of the ancient hills!

To Albogasio's olive bowers,

Porlezza's verdant lawn, Be, too, of battle-martyrs chief!

But Fancy with the speed of fire Who, to recall his daunted peers,

Hath past to Milan's loftiest spire, For victory shaped an open space,

And there alights 'mid that aërial host By gathering with a wide embrace,

Of Figures human and divine,
Into his single breast, a sheaf
Of fatal Austrian spears.3

4. The Statues ranged round the spire

and along the roof of the Cathedral of 3 Arnold Winkelried, at the battle of Milan, have been found fault with by perSempach, broke an Austrian phalanx in sons whose exclusive taste is unfortunato this manner. The event is one of the most for themselves. It is true that the same famous in the annals of Swiss heroism; expense and labour, judiciously (lirected anil pictures and prints of it are frequent to purposes more strictly architectural, throughout the country.

might have much heightened the general

White as the snows of Apennine

Or was it given you to behold Indúrated by frost.

Like vision, pensive though not cold,

From the smooth breast of gay Winan. Awe stricken she beholds th' array Saw ye the soft yet awful veil (dermere? That guards the Temple night and day; Spread over Grasmere's lovely dale, Angels she sees, that might from Heaven Helvellyn's brow severe?

have flown, And Virgin-saints, who not in vain I ask in vain, - and know far less Have striven by purity to gain

If sickness, sorrow, or distress The beatific crown;

Have spared my dwelling to this hour;

Sad blindness! but ordain'd to prove See long-drawn files, concentric rings Our faith in Heaven's unfailing love Each narrowing above each;— the wings, and all-controlling power.6 Th’uplifted palms, the silent marble lips, The starry zone 5 of sovereign height;All steep'd in this portentous light!

THE THREE COTTAGE GIRLS. All suffering dim eclipse!

How blest the Maid whose heart, yet free Thus, after Man had fallen, (if aught

From Love's uneasy sovereignty, These perishable spheres have wrought

Beats with a fancy running high, May with that issue be compared,)

Her simple cares to magnify;

Whom Labour, never urged to toil, Throngs of celestial visages,

Hath cherish'l on a healthful soil; Darkening like water in the breeze,

Who knows not pomp, who heeds not pelf; A holy sadness shared.

Whose heaviest sin it is to look

Askance upon her pretty Self Lo! while I speak, the labouring Sun

Reflected in some crystal brook; His glad deliverance has begun:

(tear

Whom grief hath spared; who sheds no The cypress waves her sombre plume More cheerily; and town and tower,

But in sweet pity; and can hear The vineyard and the olive-bower,

Another's praise from envy clear. Their lustre re-assume!

Such (but, О lavish Nature! why

That dark unfathomable eye, 0 Ye, who guard and grace my home

Where lurks a Spirit that replies While in far-distant lands we roam,

To stillest mood of softest skies, What countenance hath this Day put on

Yet hints at peace to be o'erthrown,
for you?

Another's first, and then her own?)—
While we look'd round with favour'd eyes, Such, haply, yon ITALIAN Maid,
Did sullen mists hide lake and skies

Our Lady's laggard Votaress,
And mountains from your view?

Halting beneath the chestnut shade

To accomplish there her loveliness: effect of the building; for, seen from the Nice aid maternal fingers lend; ground, the Statues appear diminutive. A Sister serves with slacker hand; But the coup-d'ocil, from the best point of Then, glittering like a star, she joins the view, which is half way up the spire,

festal band. must strike an unprejudiced person with admiration. It was with great pleasure that I saw, during the two ascents which How blest (if truth may entertain we made, several children, of different Coy fancy with a bolder strain) ages, tripping up and down the slender spire, and pausing to look around them, with feelings much more animated than could have been derived from these or 6 This poem is, I believe, a favourite the finest works of art, if placed within with all lovers of Wordsworth. Profes. easy reach. – Remember also that you sor Wilson says of it, in The Recreations have the Alps on one side, and on the of Christopher North, "we do not hesitate other the Apennines, with the plain of to pronounce The Eclipse of the Sun one of Lombardy between!

the finest lyrical effusions of combined 5 Above the highest circle of ligures is thought, passion, sentiment, anıl imagery a zone of metallic stars,

within the whole compass of poetry.”

Th' HELVETIAN Girl, who daily braves, The Votaress by Lugano's side;
In her light skiff, the tossing waves, And that intrepid Nymph on Uri's steep
And quits the bosom of the deep

descried !
Only to climb the rugged steep!-
Say whence that modulated shout!
From Wood-nymph of Diana's throng?

ELEGIAC STANZAS.
Or does the greeting to a rout

The Youth whose death gave occasion Of giddy Bacchanals belong ?

to these elegiac verses was Frederick Wil.

liam Goddard, from Boston in North Jubilant outcry! rock and glade

America. He was in his twentieth year, Resounded, — but the voice obey'd and had resided for some time with The breath of an Helvetian Maid. a clergyman in the neighbourhood of

Geneva for the completion of his educa

tion. Accompaniet by a fellow-pupil, a Her beauty dazzles the thick wood; native of Scotland, he had just set out on Her courage animates the flool;

a Swiss tour when it was his misfortune

to fall in with a friend of mine who was Her steps th' elastic green-sward mects

hastening to join our party. The travel. Returning unreluctant sweets;

lers, after spending a day together on the The mountains (as ye heard) rejoice

road from Berne and Soleure, took leave

of each other at night, the young men Aloud, saluted by her voice!

having intended to proceed directly to Blithe paragon of Alpine grace,

Zurich. We ascended the Righi together; Be as thou art; for through thy veins

and separated at an hour and on a spot The blood of Heroes runs its race!

well suited to the parting of those who

were to meet no more. We had hoped to And nobly wilt thou brook the chains meet in a few weeks at Geneva; but on That, for the virtuous, Life prepares;

the third succeeding day (the 21st of Ang.

ust) Mr. Goodard perished, being overset The fetters which the Matron wears; in a boat while crossing the lake of Zu. The patriot Mother's weight of anxious rich. cares!

LULL'D by the sound of pastoral bells,

Rude Nature's Pilgrims did we go, “Sweet HIGHLAND Girl! a very shower From the dread summit of the Queen Of beauty was thy earthly dower," Of mountains, through a deep ravine, When thou didst flit before mine eyes, Where, in her holy chapel, dwells Gay Vision under sullen skies,

“Our Lady of the Snow.” While Hope and Love around thee play'd, Near the rough falls of Inversneydi? The sky was blue, the air was milil; Have they, who nursed the blossom, seen Free were the streams and green the bow. No breach of promise in the fruit? As if, to rough assaults unknown, [ers; Was joy, in following joy, as keen The genial spot had ever shown As grief can be in grief's pursuit? A countenance that as sweetly smiled, When youth had flown did hope still bless The face of summer-hours. Thy goings,- or the cheerfulness Of innocence survive to mitigate distress? And we were gay, our hearts at ease;

With pleasure dancing through the frame

We journey'd; all we knew of care, But from our course why turn, to tread

Our path that straggled here and there; A way with shadows overspread;

Of trouble, - but the fluttering breeze; Where what we gladliest would believe

Of Winter, - but a name. Is fear'as what may most deceive? Bright Spirit, not with amaranth crown'a If foresight could have rent the veil But heath-bells from thy native ground, of three short days,—but hush—no more! Time cannot thin thy flowing hair, Calm is the grave, and calmer none Nor take one ray of light from Thee; Than that to which thy cares are gone, For in my Fancy thou dost share Thou victim of the stormy gale; The gift of immortality;

Asleep on ZURICH'S shore ! Anıl there shall bloom, with Thee allied,

8 The Latin name, Regina Montium, in 7 See the poem To a Highland Girl, Italian Mount Righi, signifies Queen of page 160.

mountains.

O GODDARD! what art thou ?-a name, Not vain is sadly-utter'd praise ;
A sunbeam follow'd by a shade!

The words of truth's memorial vow
Nor more,

for aught that time supplies, Are sweet as morning fragrance shed The great, th' experienced, and the wise: From flowers 'mid GOLDAU's ruins' bred; Too much from this frail Earth we claim, As evening's fondly-lingering rays, And therefore are betray'd.

On Righi's silent brow.

We met, while festive mirth ran wild,

Lamented Youth! to thy cold clay Where, from a deep lake's mighty urn,

Fit obsequies the Stranger paid; Forth slips, like an enfranchised slave,

And piety shall guard the Stone A sea-green river, proud to lave,

Which hath not left the spot unknown With current swift and undefiled,

Where the wild waves resign'd their prey, The towers of old LUCERNE.

And that which marks thy bed.10
We parted upon solemn ground
Far-lifted towards th’unfading sky;

And, when thy Mother weeps for Thee,
But all our thoughts were then of Earth, Lost Youth! a solitary Mother;
That gives to common pleasures birth;

This tribute from a casual Friend And nothing in our hearts we found

A not unwelcome aid may lend, That prompted even a sigh.

To feed the tender luxury,

The rising pang to smother.11
Fetch, sympathising Powers of air,
Fetch, ye that post o’er seas and lands,
Herbs moisten’d by Virginian dew,

9 Goldau is one of the villages deso

lated by the fall of part of the mountain A most untimely grave to strew,

Rossberg. Whose turf may never know the care

10 The corpse of poor Goddard was Of kindred human hands!

cast ashore on the estate of a Swiss gentleman, Mr. Keller, who performed all

the rites of hospitality which could be Belov'd by every gentle Muse

rendered to the dead as well as to the liv. He left his Transatlantic home:

ing. He had a handsome mural monuEurope, a realised romance,

ment erected in the church of Küsnacht,

recording the death of the young Ameri. Had opend on his eager glance;

can, and also set an inscription on the What present bliss! what golden views! shore of the lake, pointing out the spot What stores for years to come!

where the body was deposited by the

waves. Tho'lodged within no vigorous frame,

11 The persuasion here expressed was

not groundless. The first human consoHis soul her daily tasks renew'd,

lation that the afflicted Mother felt was Blithe as the lark on sun-gilt wings derived from this tribute to her son's High poised, - or as the wren that sings memory; a fact which the author learned,

at his own residence, from her Daughter, In shady places, to proclaim

who visited Europe some years after. Her modest gratitude.

Wards.

ELEGIAC PIECES.

ADDRESS TO THE SCHOLARS OF THE

VILLAGE SCHOOL OF
I COME, ye little noisy Crew,
Not long your pastime to prevent;
I heard the blessing which to you
Our common Friend and Father sent.
I kiss'd his cheek before he died;
And, when his breath was fled,
I raised, while kneeling by his side,
His hand:

:- it dropp'd like lead.

Your hands, dear Little-ones, do all
That can be done, will never fall
Like his till they are dead.
By night or day blow foul or fair,
Ne'er will the best of all your train
Play with the locks of his white hair,
Or stand between his knees again.

Here did he sit confined for hours;
But he could see the woods and plains,
Could hear thewind and mark the showers

Come streaming down the streaming|To stately Hall and Cottage rude panes.

[mound Flow'd from his life what still they hold, Now stretch'd beneath his grass-green Light pleasures, every day, renew'd; He rests a prisoner of the ground. And blessings half a century old. He loved the breathing air, He loved the Sun, but if it rise

O true of heart, of spirit gay! Or set, to him where now he lies,

Thy faults, where not already gone Brings not a moment's care.

From memory, prolong their stay Alas! what idle words; but take

For charity's sweet sake alone. The Dirge which, for our Master's sake

Such solace find we for our loss; And yours, love prompted me to make.

And what beyond this thought we crave The rhymes so homely in attire With learned ears may ill agree,

Comes in the promise from the Cross,

Shining upon thy happy grave.'
But chanted by your Orphan Quire
Will make a touching melody..

IN MEMORY OF MY BROTHER, JOHN DIRGE.

WORDSWORTH, MOURN,Shepherd,near thy old grey stone; Commander of the East India Company's Thou Angler, by the silent flood;

Ship the Earl of Abergavenny, in which he

perished by calamitous shipwreck, Feb. And mourn when thou art all alone,

1805. Thou Woodman, in the distant wood!

THE Sheep-boy whistled loud, and, lo!

That instant, startled by the shock, Thou one blind Sailor, rich in joy

The Buzzard mounted from the rock Though blind, thy tunes in sadness hum;

Deliberate and slow: And mourn, thou poor half-witted Boy!

Lord of the air, he took his flight; Born deaf, and living deaf and dumb.

O, could he on that woful night Thou drooping sick Man, bless the Guide Have lent his wing, my Brother dear, Who check’d or turn'd thy headstrong For one poor moment's space to Thee, As he before had sanctified [youth,

And all who struggled with the Sea, Thy infancy with heavenly truth.

When safety was so near!

Thus in the weakness of my heart
Ye Striplings, Jight of heart and gay,
Bold settlers on some foreign shore,

I spoke, (but let that pang be still,)

When rising from the rock at will,
Give, when your thoughts are turn'd this

I saw the Bird depart.
A sigh to him whom we deplore. (way, And let me calmly bless the Power

That meets me in this unknown Flower, For us who here in funeral strain

Affecting type of him I mourn! With one accord our voices raise,

With calmness suffer and believe, Let sorrow overcharged with pain

And grieve, and know that I must grieve, Be lost in thankfulness and praise.

Not cheerless, though forlorn. And when our hearts shall feel a sting

Here did we stop; and here look'd round From ill we meet or good we miss, While each into himself descends, May touches of his memory bring For that last thought of parting Friends Fond healing, like a mother's kiss. [1798. That is not to be found.

BY THE SIDE OF THE GRAVE SOME 1 The subject of this piece is the same

as of The Two April Mornings and The YEARS AFTER.

Fruntain. See pages 146 and 147.

2 The point is two or three yards beLONG time his pulse hath ceased to beat; low the outlet of Grisdale tarn on a footBut benefits, his gift, we trace,

road by which a horse may pass to Pater.

dale; a ridge of Helvellyn on the left, Express'd in every eye we meet

and the summit of Fairfield on the right. Round this dear Vale, his native place. - Author's Notes, 1843.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »