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Up from the lake a zigzag path will creep
To reach a small wood-hut hung boldly on the steep.
-Before those thresholds (never can they know
The face of traveller passing to and fro,)
No peasant leans upon his pole, to tell

For whom at morning tolled the funeral bell;
Their watch-dog ne'er his angry bark foregoes,
Touched by the beggar's moan of human woes;
The shady porch ne'er offered a cool seat
To pilgrims overcome by summer's heat.
Yet thither the world's business finds its way
At times, and tales unsought beguile the day,
And there are those fond thoughts which Solitude,
However stern, is powerless to exclude.
There doth the maiden watch her lover's sail
Approaching, and upbraid the tardy gale;
At midnight listens till his parting oar,
And its last echo, can be heard no more.

And what if ospreys, cormorants, herons cry,
Amid tempestuous vapours driving by,
Or hovering over wastes too bleak to rear
That common growth of earth, the foodful ear;
Where the green apple shrivels on the spray,
And pines the unripened pear in summer's kindliest


Contentment shares the desolate domain
With Independence, child of high Disdain.
Exulting 'mid the winter of the skies,
Shy as the jealous chamois, Freedom flies,
And grasps by fits her sword, and often eyes;
And sometimes, as from rock to rock she bounds
The Patriot nymph starts at imagined sounds,
And, wildly pausing, oft she hangs aghast,
Whether some old Swiss air hath checked her haste

Or thrill of Spartan fife is caught between the blast.

Swoln with incessant rains from hour to hour, All day the floods a deepening murmur pour : The sky is veiled, and every cheerful sight: Dark is the region as with coming night; But what a sudden burst of overpowering light! Triumphant on the bosom of the storm, Glances the wheeling eagle's glorious form! Eastward, in long perspective glittering, shine The wood-crowned cliffs that o'er the lake recline; Those lofty cliffs a hundred streams unfold, At once to pillars turned that flame with gold: Behind his sail the peasant shrinks, to shun The west, that burns like one dilated sun, A crucible of mighty compass, felt By mountains, glowing till they seem to melt.

But, lo! the boatman, overawed, before The pictured fane of Tell suspends his oar ;

Confused the Marathonian tale appears,
While his eyes sparkle with heroic tears.
And who, that walks where men of ancient days
Have wrought with godlike arm the deeds of praise
Feels not the spirit of the place control,
Or rouse and agitate his labouring soul?
Say, who, by thinking on Canadian hills,
Or wild Aosta lulled by Alpine rills,
On Zutphen's plain; or on that highland dell,
Through which rough Garry cleaves his way, can tell
What high resolves exalt the tenderest thought
Of him whom passion rivets to the spot,
Where breathed the gale that caught Wolfe's hap-
piest sigh,

And the last sunbeam fell on Bayard's eye;
Where bleeding Sidney from the cup retired,
And glad Dundee in "faint huzzas" expired ?

But now with other mind I stand alone
Upon the summit of this naked cone,
And watch the fearless chamois-hunter chase
His prey, through tracts abrupt of desolate space,
⚫Through vacant worlds where Nature never gave
A brook to murmur or a bough to wave,
Which unsubstantial Phantoms sacred keep;
Thro' worlds where Life, and Voice, and Motion

Where silent Hours their death-like sway extend,
Save when the avalanche breaks loose, to rend
Its way with uproar, till the ruin, drowned
In some dense wood or gulf of snow profound,
Mocks the dull ear of Time with deaf abortive

"Tis his, while wandering on from height to height,

To see a planet's pomp and steady light

In the least star of scarce-appearing night;
While the pale moon moves near him, on the bound
Of ether, shining with diminished round,
And far and wide the icy summits blaze,
Rejoicing in the glory of her rays:
To him the day-star glitters small and bright,
Shorn of its beams, insufferably white,
And he can look beyond the sun, and view
Those fast-receding depths of sable blue
Flying till vision can no more pursue!
-At once bewildering mists around him close,
And cold and hunger are his least of woes;
The Demon of the snow, with angry roar
Descending, shuts for aye his prison door.
Soon with despair's whole weight his spirits sink;

* For most of the images in the next sixteen verses, I am indebted to M. Raymond's interesting observations annexed to his translation of Coxe's Tour in Switzerland.

Bread has he none, the snow must be his drink;
And, ere his eyes can close upon the day,
The eagle of the Alps o'ershades her prey.

Now couch thyself where, heard with fear afar,
Thunders through echoing pines the headlong Aar;
Or rather stay to taste the mild delights
Of pensive Underwalden's* pastoral heights.
-Is there who 'mid these awful wilds has seen
The native Genii walk the mountain green ?
Or heard, while other worlds their charms reveal,
Soft music o'er the aërial summit steal?
While o'er the desert, answering every close,
Rich steam of sweetest perfume comes and goes.
-And sure there is a secret Power that reigns
Here, where no trace of man the spot profanes,
Nought but the chalets +, flat and bare, on high
Suspended 'mid the quiet of the sky;
Or distant herds that pasturing upward creep,
And, not untended, climb the dangerous steep.
How still! no irreligious sound or sight
Rouses the soul from her severe delight.
An idle voice the sabbath region fills
Of Deep that calls to Deep across the hills,
And with that voice accords the soothing sound
Of drowsy bells, for ever tinkling round;
Faint wail of eagle melting into blue
Beneath the cliffs, and pine-woods' steady sugh‡;
The solitary heifer's deepened low;

Or rumbling, heard remote, of falling snow.
All motions, sounds, and voices, far and nigh,
Blend in a music of tranquillity;
Save when, a stranger seen below, the boy
Shouts from the echoing hills with savage joy.

When, from the sunny breast of open seas, And bays with myrtle fringed, the southern breeze Comes on to gladden April with the sight Of green isles widening on each snow-clad height; When shouts and lowing herds the valley fill, And louder torrents stun the noon-tide hill, The pastoral Swiss begin the cliffs to scale, Leaving to silence the deserted vale; And like the Patriarchs in their simple age Move, as the verdure leads, from stage to stage; High and more high in summer's heat they go,

*The people of this Canton are supposed to be of a more melancholy disposition than the other inhabitants of the Alps; this, if true, may proceed from their living more secluded.

This picture is from the middle region of the Alps.

Chalets are summer huts for the Swiss herdsmen.

Sugh, a Scotch word expressive of the sound of the wind through the trees.

And hear the rattling thunder far below;
Or steal beneath the mountains, half-deterred,
Where huge rocks tremble to the bellowing herd.

One I behold who, 'cross the foaming flood, Leaps with a bound of graceful hardihood; Another high on that green ledge ;-he gained The tempting spot with every sinew strained; And downward thence a knot of grass he throws, Food for his beasts in time of winter snows.

-Far different life from what Tradition hoar Transmits of happier lot in times of yore ! Then Summer lingered long; and honey flowed From out the rocks, the wild bees' safe abode : Continual waters welling cheered the waste, And plants were wholesome, now of deadly taste: Nor Winter yet his frozen stores had piled, Usurping where the fairest herbage smiled: Nor Hunger driven the herds from pastures bare, To climb the treacherous cliffs for scanty fare. Then the milk-thistle flourished through the land, And forced the full-swoln udder to demand, Thrice every day, the pail and welcome hand. Thus does the father to his children tell Of banished bliss, by fancy loved too well. Alas! that human guilt provoked the rod Of angry Nature to avenge her God. Still, Nature, ever just, to him imparts Joys only given to uncorrupted hearts.

"Tis morn with gold the verdant mountain glows;

More high, the snowy peaks with hues of rose.
Far-stretched beneath the many-tinted hills,

A mighty waste of mist the valley fills,
A solemn sea! whose billows wide around
Stand motionless, to awful silence bound :
Pines, on the coast, through mist their tops uprear,
That like to leaning masts of stranded ships appear.
A single chasm, a gulf of gloomy blue,
Gapes in the centre of the sea-and through
That dark mysterious gulf ascending, sound
Innumerable streams with roar profound.
Mount through the nearer vapours notes of birds,
And merry flageolet; the low of herds,
The bark of dogs, the heifer's tinkling bell,
Talk, laughter, and perchance a church-tower knell:
Think not, the peasant from aloft has gazed
And heard with heart unmoved, with soul unraised:
Nor is his spirit less enrapt, nor less
Alive to independent happiness,
Then, when he lies, out-stretched, at even-tide
Upon the fragrant mountain's purple side:
For as the pleasures of his simple day

Beyond his native valley seldom stray,
Nought round its darling precincts can he find
But brings some past enjoyment to his mind;
While Hope, reclining upon Pleasure's urn,
Binds her wild wreaths, and whispers his return.

Once, Man entirely free, alone and wild, Was blest as free-for he was Nature's child. He, all superior but his God disdained, Walked none restraining, and by none restrained: Confessed no law but what his reason taught, Did all he wished, and wished but what he ought. As man in his primeval dower arrayed The image of his glorious Sire displayed, Even so, by faithful Nature guarded, here The traces of primeval Man appear; The simple dignity, no forms debase; The eye sublime, and surly lion-grace : The slave of none, of beasts alone the lord, His book he prizes, nor neglects his sword; -Well taught by that to feel his rights, prepared With this "the blessings he enjoys to guard."

And, as his native hills encircle ground For many a marvellous victory renowned, The work of Freedom daring to oppose, With few in arms, innumerable foes, When to those famous fields his steps are led, An unknown power connects him with the dead : For images of other worlds are there; Awful the light, and holy is the air. Fitfully, and in flashes, through his soul, Like sun-lit tempests, troubled transports roll; His bosom heaves, his Spirit towers amain, Beyond the senses and their little reign.

And oft, when that dread vision hath past by, He holds with God himself communion high, There where the peal of swelling torrents fills The sky-roofed temple of the eternal hills ; Or, when upon the mountain's silent brow Reclined, he sees, above him and below, Bright stars of ice and azure fields of snow; While needle peaks of granite shooting bare Tremble in ever-varying tints of air.

*Alluding to several battles which the Swiss in very small numbers have gained over their oppressors, the house of Austria; and, in particular, to one fought at Næffels near Glarus, where three hundred and thirty men are said to have defeated an army of between fifteen and twenty thousand Austrians. Scattered over the valley are to be found eleven stones, with this inscription, 1388, the year the battle was fought, marking out, as I was told upon the spot, the several places where the Austrians, attempting to make a stand, were repulsed anew.

And when a gathering weight of shadows brown
Falls on the valleys as the sun goes down;
And Pikes, of darkness named and fear and
storms *,

Uplift in quiet their illumined forms,

In sea-like reach of prospect round him spread,
Tinged like an angel's smile all rosy red-
Awe in his breast with holiest love unites,
And the near heavens impart their own delights.

When downward to his winter hut he goes, Dear and more dear the lessening circle grows; That hut which on the hills so oft employs His thoughts, the central point of all his joys. And as a swallow, at the hour of rest, Peeps often ere she darts into her nest, So to the homestead, where the grandsire tends A little prattling child, he oft descends, To glance a look upon the well-matched pair; Till storm and driving ice blockade him there. There, safely guarded by the woods behind, He hears the chiding of the baffled wind, Hears Winter calling all his terrors round, And, blest within himself, he shrinks not from the sound.

Through Nature's vale his homely pleasures glide,

Unstained by envy, discontent, and pride;

The bound of all his vanity, to deck,

With one bright bell, a favourite heifer's neck;
Well pleased upon some simple annual feast,
Remembered half the year and hoped the rest,'
If dairy-produce, from his inner hoard,
Of thrice ten summers dignify the board.
-Alas! in every clime a flying ray

Is all we have to cheer our wintry way;
And here the unwilling mind may more than


The general sorrows of the human race :
The churlish gales of penury, that blow
Cold as the north-wind o'er a waste of snow,
To them the gentle groups of bliss deny
That on the noon-day bank of leisure lie.
Yet more; compelled by Powers which only

That solitary man disturb their reign,
Powers that support an unremitting strife
With all the tender charities of life,
Full oft the father, when his sons have grown
To manhood, seems their title to disown;

*As Schreck-Horn, the pike of terror; Wetter-Horn, the pike of storms, &c. &c.

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And from his nest amid the storms of heaven Drives, eagle-like, those sons as he was driven; With stern composure watches to the plainAnd never, eagle-like, beholds again!

When long-familiar joys are all resigned, Why does their sad remembrance haunt the mind? Lo! where through flat Batavia's willowy groves, Or by the lazy Seine, the exile roves; O'er the curled waters Alpine measures swell, And search the affections to their inmost cell ; Sweet poison spreads along the listener's veins, Turning past pleasures into mortal pains; Poison, which not a frame of steel can brave, Bows his young head with sorrow to the grave.*

Gay lark of hope, thy silent song resume! Ye flattering eastern lights, once more the hills illume !

Fresh gales and dews of life's delicious morn,
And thou, lost fragrance of the heart, return!
Alas! the little joy to man allowed,
Fades like the lustre of an evening cloud;
Or like the beauty in a flower installed,
Whose season was, and cannot be recalled.
Yet, when opprest by sickness, grief, or care,
And taught that pain is pleasure's natural heir,
We still confide in more than we can know ;
Death would be else the favourite friend of woe.

'Mid savage rocks, and seas of snow that shine,
Between interminable tracts of pine,
Within a temple stands an awful shrine,
By an uncertain light revealed, that falls
On the mute Image and the troubled walls.
Oh! give not me that eye of hard disdain
That views, undimmed, Ensiedlen's + wretched

While ghastly faces through the gloom appear,
Abortive joy, and hope that works in fear;
While prayer contends with silenced agony,
Surely in other thoughts contempt may die.
If the sad grave of human ignorance bear
One flower of hope-oh, pass and leave it there!

The tall sun, pausing on an Alpine spire, Flings o'er the wilderness a stream of fire : Now meet we other pilgrims ere the day Close on the remnant of their weary way;

The well-known effect of the famous air, called in French Ranz des Vaches, upon the Swiss troops.

This shrine is resorted to, from a hope of relief, by multitudes, from every corner of the Catholic world, labouring under mental or bodily afflictions.

While they are drawing toward the sacred floor Where, so they fondly think, the worm shall gnaw

no more.

How gaily murmur and how sweetly taste

The fountains * reared for them amid the waste! Their thirst they slake :-they wash their toilworn feet,

And some with tears of joy each other greet.
Yes, I must see you when ye first behold
Those holy turrets tipped with evening gold,
In that glad moment will for you a sigh
Be heaved, of charitable sympathy;
In that glad moment when your hands are prest
In mute devotion on the thankful breast!

Last, let us turn to Chamouny that shields With rocks and gloomy woods her fertile fields: Five streams of ice amid her cots descend, And with wild flowers and blooming orchards blend ;

A scene more fair than what the Grecian feigns
Of purple lights and ever-vernal plains ;
Here all the seasons revel hand in hand:
'Mid lawns and shades by breezy rivulets fanned,
They sport beneath that mountain's matchless

That holds no commerce with the summer night.
From age to age, throughout his lonely bounds
The crash of ruin fitfully resounds;
Appalling havoc ! but serene his brow,
Where daylight lingers on perpetual snow;
Glitter the stars above, and all is black below.

What marvel then if many a Wanderer sigh, While roars the sullen Arve in anger by, That not for thy reward, unrivalled Vale! Waves the ripe harvest in the autumnal gale; That thou, the slave of slaves, art doomed to pine And droop, while no Italian arts are thine, To soothe or cheer, to soften or refine.

Hail Freedom! whether it was mine to stray, With shrill winds whistling round my lonely way, On the bleak sides of Cumbria's heath-clad moors, Or where dank sea-weed lashes Scotland's shores ; To scent the sweets of Piedmont's breathing rose, And orange gale that o'er Lugano blows; Still have I found, where Tyranny prevails, That virtue languishes and pleasure fails, While the remotest hamlets blessings share In thy loved presence known, and only there;

*Rude fountains built and covered with sheds for the accommodation of the Pilgrims, in their ascent of the mountain.

Heart-blessings-outward treasures too which the


Of the sun peeping through the clouds can spy,
And every passing breeze will testify.

There, to the porch, belike with jasmine bound
Or woodbine wreaths, a smoother path is wound;
The housewife there a brighter garden sees,
Where hum on busier wing her happy bees;
On infant cheeks there fresher roses blow;
And grey-haired men look up with livelier brow,—
To greet the traveller needing food and rest;
Housed for the night, or but a half-hour's guest.

And oh, fair France! though now the traveller sees
Thy three-striped banner fluctuate on the breeze;
Though martial songs have banished songs of love,
And nightingales desert the village grove,
Scared by the fife and rumbling drum's alarms,
And the short thunder, and the flash of arms;
That cease not till night falls, when far and nigh,
Sole sound, the Sourd * prolongs his mournful cry!
-Yet, hast thou found that Freedom spreads her

Beyond the cottage-hearth, the cottage-door :
All nature smiles, and owns beneath her eyes
Her fields peculiar, and peculiar skies.
Yes, as I roamed where Loiret's waters glide
Through rustling aspens heard from side to side,
When from October clouds a milder light
Fell where the blue flood rippled into white;
Methought from every cot the watchful bird
Crowed with ear-piercing power till then unheard;
Each clacking mill, that broke the murmuring

Rocked the charmed thought in more delightful


Chasing those pleasant dreams, the falling leaf
Awoke a fainter sense of moral grief;
The measured echo of the distant flail
Wound in more welcome cadence down the vale ;
With more majestic course † the water rolled,
And ripening foliage shone with richer gold.
-But foes are gathering-Liberty must raise
Red on the hills her beacon's far-seen blaze;
Must bid the tocsin ring from tower to tower !-
Nearer and nearer comes the trying hour!
Rejoice, brave Land, though pride's perverted ire

* An insect so called, which emits a short, melancholy cry, heard at the close of the summer evenings, on the banks of the Loire.

The duties upon many parts of the French rivers were so exorbitant, that the poorer people, deprived of the benefit of water carriage, were obliged to transport their goods by land:

Rouse hell's own aid, and wrap thy fields in fire:
Lo, from the flames a great and glorious birth;
As if a new-made heaven were hailing a new earth!
-All cannot be the promise is too fair
For creatures doomed to breathe terrestrial air :
Yet not for this will sober reason frown
Upon that promise, nor the hope disown;
She knows that only from high aims ensue
Rich guerdons, and to them alone are due.

Great God! by whom the strifes of men are weighed

In an impartial balance, give thine aid
To the just cause; and, oh! do thou preside
Over the mighty stream now spreading wide :
So shall its waters, from the heavens supplied
In copious showers, from earth by wholesome

Brood o'er the long-parched lands with Nile-like wings!

And grant that every sceptred child of clay
Who cries presumptuous, "Here the flood shall

May in its progress see thy guiding hand,
And cease the acknowledged purpose to withstand;
Or, swept in anger from the insulted shore,
Sink with his servile bands, to rise no more!

To-night, my Friend, within this humble cot Be scorn and fear and hope alike forgot In timely sleep; and when, at break of day, On the tall peaks the glistening sunbeams play, With a light heart our course we may renew, The first whose footsteps print the mountain dew. 1791 & 1792.


Left upon a Seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near the lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the shore, commanding a beautiful prospect.

NAY, Traveller! rest. This lonely Yew-tree stands
Far from all human dwelling: what if here
No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb ?
What if the bee love not these barren boughs?
Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves,
That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind
By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.

-Who he was

That piled these stones and with the mossy sod
First covered, and here taught this aged Tree
With its dark arms to form a circling bower,
I well remember.-He was one who owned

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