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LXXXIV. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear That which disfigures it; and they who war With their own hopes, and have been vanquished, bear Silence, but not submission : in his lair Fixed Passion holds his breath, until the hour. Which shall atone for years; none need despair :
It came, it cometh, and will come,--the power
To punish or forgive--in one we shall be slower.
Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction ; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darkened Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep: and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more
He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill,
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes,
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy, for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love instil,
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.
· Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak
Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, (20) and thus take
A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek
The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
Upreared of human hands. Come, and compare
Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek,
With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air,
Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer !
XCII. The sky is changed !--and such a change! Oh night, (21) And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman! Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among. Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud
And this is in the night :-Most glorious night
Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,
A portion of the tempest and of thee!
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black,-and now, the glee
Of the woud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth,
As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.
Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
Heights which appear as lovers who have parted
In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted,
Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted,
Love was the very root of the fond rage
Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed :-
Itself expired, but leaving them an age
Of years all winters, war within themselves to wage.
Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand :
For here, not one, but many, make their play,
And fling their thunder-bolts from hand to hand,
Flashing and cast around: of all the band,
The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
His lightnings,-as if he did understand,
That in such gaps as desolation worked, There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein Jurked.
Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye!
With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul
To make these felt and feeling, well may be
Things that have made me watchful; the far roll
Of your departing voices, is the knoll
Of what in me is sleepless,-if I rest.
But where of ye, oh tempests ! is the goal ?
Are ye like those within the human breast ?
Or do ye find, at length, like eagles some high nest :
Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me,-could I wreak
My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw
Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or weak,
All that I would have sought, and all I seek,
Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe-into one word,
And that one word were Lightning, I would speak;
But as it is, I live and die unheard,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a sword.
The morn is up again, the dewy morn,
With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom,
Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn,
And living as if earth contained no tomb,-
And glowing into day: we may resume
The march of our existence : and thus I,
Still on thy shores, fair Leman! may find room
And food for meditation, nor pass by
Much, that may give us pause, if pondered fittingly.
Clarens ! sweet Clarens, birth-place of deep Love!
Thine air is the young breath of passionate thought;
Thy trees take root in Love: the snows above
The very Glaciers have his colours caught,
And sun-set into rose-hues sees them wrought (22)
By rays which sleep there lovingly: the rocks,
The permanent crags, tell here of Love, who sought
In them a refuge from the worldly shocks, Which stir and sting the soul with hope that woos, then
Clarens ! by heavenly feet thy paths are trod,
Undying Love's, who here ascends a throne
To which the steps are mountains; where the god
Is a pervading life and light,-so shown
Not on those summits solely, nor alone
In the still cave and forest ; o'er the flower
His eye is sparkling, and his breath hath blown,
His soft and summer breath, whose tender power Passes the strength of storms in their most desolate hour
CI. All things are here of him ; from the black pines, Which are his shade on high, and the loud roar Of torrents, where he listeneth, to the vines Which slope his green path downward to the shore, Where the bowed waters meet him, and adore, Kissing his feet with murmurs; and the wood, The covert of old trees, with trunks all hoar,
But light leaves, young as joy, stands where it stood Offering to him, and his, a populous solitude,
A populous solitude of bees and birds,
And fairy-formed and many-coloured things,
Who worship him with notes more sweet than word3,
And innocently open their glad wings,
Fearless and full of life: the gush of springs,
And fall of lofty fountains, and the bend
Of stirring branches, and the bud which brings
The swiftest thought of beauty, here extend,
Mingling, and made by Love, unto one mighty end.
CIII. He who hath loved not, here would learn that lore, And make his heart a spirit; he who knows That tender mystery, will love the more, For this is Love's récess, where vain men's woes, And the world's waste, have driven him far from those, For 'tis his nature to advance or die; He stands not still, but or decays, or grows
Into a boundless blessing, which may vie With the immortal lights, in its eternity!