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No wreck of all the pageantry remains.
Unheeded night has overcome the vales:
On the dark earth the wearied vision fails;
The latest lingerer of the forest train,
I see her now, denied to lay her head, On cold blue nights, in hut or straw-built shed, Turn to a silent smile their sleepy cry, By pointing to the gliding moon on high. --When low-hung clouds each star of summer hide, The lone black fir, forsakes the faded plain ; And fireless are the vallies far and wide, Where the brook brawls along the public road Dark with bat-haunted ashes stretching broad, Oft has she taught them on her lap to lay The shining glow-worm; or, in heedless play, Toss it from hand to hand, disquieted; While others, not unseen, are free to shed Green unmolested light upon their mossy bed.
Oh! when the sleety showers her path assail,
And like a torrent roars the headstrong gale;
No more her breath can thaw their fingers cold,
Their frozen arms her neck no more can fold;
Weak roof a cowering form two babes to shield,
And faint the fire a dying heart can yield!
Press the sad kiss, fond mother! vainly fears
Thy flooded cheek to wet them with its tears;
No tears can chill them, and no bosom warms,
Thy breast their death-bed, coffined in thine arms!
Sweet are the sounds that mingle from afar,
Heard by calm lakes, as peeps the folding star,
Where the duck dabbles 'mid the rustling sedge,
And feeding pike starts from the water's edge,
Or the swan stirs the reeds, his neck and bill
Wetting, that drip upon the water still;
And heron, as resounds the trodden shore,
Shoots upward, darting his long neck before.
Now, with religious awe, the farewell light Blends with the solemn colouring of night; 'Mid groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow, And round the west's proud lodge their shadows throw,
Like Una shining on her gloomy way,
The half-seen form of Twilight roams astray;
Shedding, through paly loop-holes mild and small,
Gleams that upon the lake's still bosom fall;
Soft o'er the surface creep those lustres pale
Tracking the motions of the fitful gale.
With restless interchange at once the bright
Wins on the shade, the shade upon the light.
No favoured eye was e'er allowed to gaze
On lovelier spectacle in faery days;
When gentle Spirits urged a sportive chase,
Brushing with lucid wands the water's face;
While music, stealing round the glimmering deeps,
Charmed the tall circle of the enchanted steeps.
-The lights are vanished from the watery plains:
Last evening sight, the cottage smoke, no more,
Lost in the thickened darkness, glimmers hoar;
And, towering from the sullen dark-brown mere,
Like a black wall, the mountain-steeps appear.
-Now o'er the soothed accordant heart we feel
A sympathetic twilight slowly steal,
And ever, as we fondly muse, we find
The soft gloom deepening on the tranquil mind.
Stay! pensive, sadly-pleasing visions, stay!
Ah no! as fades the vale, they fade away :
Yet still the tender, vacant gloom remains ;
Still the cold cheek its shuddering tear retains.
The bird, who ceased, with fading light, to thread
Silent the hedge or steamy rivulet's bed,
From his grey re-appearing tower shall soon
Salute with gladsome note the rising moon,
While with a hoary light she frosts the ground,
And pours a deeper blue to Æther's bound;
Pleased, as she moves, her pomp of clouds to fold
In robes of azure, fleecy-white, and gold.
Above yon eastern hill, where darkness broods
O'er all its vanished dells, and lawns, and woods;
Where but a mass of shade the sight can trace,
Even now she shews, half-veiled, her lovely face:
Across the gloomy valley flings her light,
Far to the western slopes with hamlets white;
And gives, where woods the chequered upland strew,
To the green corn of summer, autumn's hue.
Thus Hope, first pouring from her blessed horn Her dawn, far lovelier than the moon's own morn,
"Till higher mounted, strives in vain to cheer
The weary hills, impervious, blackening near;
Yet does she still, undaunted, throw the while
On darling spots remote her tempting smile.
Even now she decks for me a distant scene, (For dark and broad the gulf of time between) Gilding that cottage with her fondest ray, (Sole bourn, sole wish, sole object of my way; How fair its lawns and sheltering woods appear! How sweet its streamlet murmurs in mine ear!) Where we, my Friend, to happy days shall rise, "Till our small share of hardly-paining sighs (For sighs will ever trouble human breath) Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death.
But now the clear bright Moon her zenith gains,
And, rimy without speck, extend the plains :
The deepest cleft the mountain's front displays
Scarce hides a shadow from her searching rays;
From the dark-blue faint silvery threads divide
The hills, while gleams below the azure tide;
Time softly treads; throughout the landscape
A peace enlivened, not disturbed, by wreaths
Of charcoal-smoke, that o'er the fallen wood,
Steal down the hill, and spread along the flood.
The song of mountain-streams, unheard by day, Now hardly heard, beguiles my homeward way. Air listens, like the sleeping water, still, To catch the spiritual music of the hill, Broke only by the slow clock tolling deep, Or shout that wakes the ferry-man from sleep, The echoed hoof nearing the distant shore, The boat's first motion-made with dashing oar; Sound of closed gate, across the water borne, Hurrying the timid hare through rustling corn; The sportive outcry of the mocking owl ; And at long intervals the mill-dog's howl; The distant forge's swinging thump profound; Or yell, in the deep woods, of lonely hound.
COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND.
GLIDE gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other bards may see
As lovely visions by thy side
As now, fair river! come to me.
O glide, fair stream! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow
As thy deep waters now are flowing.
Vain thought!-Yet be as now thou art,
That in thy waters may be seen
The image of a poet's heart,
How bright, how solemn, how serene !
Such as did once the Poet bless,
Who murmuring here a later ditty,
Could find no refuge from distress
But in the milder grief of pity.
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar;
And pray that never child of song
May know that Poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound,
The dripping of the oar suspended!
-The evening darkness gathers round
By virtue's holiest Powers attended.
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
How richly glows the water's breast
Before us, tinged with evening hues,
While, facing thus the crimson west,
The boat her silent course pursues !
And see how dark the backward stream!
A little moment past so smiling!
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,
Some other loiterers beguiling.
Such views the youthful Bard allure;
But, heedless of the following gloom,
He deems their colours shall endure
Till peace go with him to the tomb.
-And let him nurse his fond deceit,
And what if he must die in sorrow!
Who would not cherish dreams so sweet,
Though grief and pain may come to-morrow?
DURING A PEDESTRIAN TOUR AMONG THE ALPS.
THE REV. ROBERT JONES,
FELLOW OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
HOWEVER desirous I might have been of giving you proofs of the high place you hold in my esteem, I should have been cautious of wounding your delicacy by thus publicly addressing you, had not the circumstance of our having been companions among the Alps, seemed to give this dedication a propriety sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty might otherwise have suggested.
* Collins's Ode on the death of Thomson, the last written, I believe, of the poems which were published during his life-time. This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.
In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well how great is the difference between two companions lolling in a post-chaise, and two travellers plodding slowly along the road, side by side, each with his little knapsack of necessaries upon his shoulders. How much more of heart between the two latter!
I am happy in being conscious that I shall have one reader who will approach the conclusion of these few pages with regret. You they must certainly interest, in reminding you of moments to which you can hardly look back without a pleasure not the less dear from a shade of melancholy. You will meet with few images without recollecting the spot where we observed them together; consequently, whatever is feeble in my design, or spiritless in my colouring, will be amply supplied by your own memory.
With still greater propriety I might have inscribed to
And plods through some wide realm o'er vale and
Though seeking only holiday delight;
At least, not owning to himself an aim
To which the sage would give a prouder name.
No gains too cheaply earned his fancy cloy,
Though every passing zephyr whispers joy ;
Brisk toil, alternating with ready ease,
Feeds the clear current of his sympathies.
For him sod-seats the cottage-door adorn ;
And peeps the far-off spire, his evening bourn!
Dear is the forest frowning o'er his head,
And dear the velvet green-sward to his tread :
Moves there a cloud o'er mid-day's flaming eye?
you a description of some of the features of your native Upward he looks-" and calls it luxury :"
mountains, through which we have wandered together, in the same manner, with so much pleasure. But the seasunsets, which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethgelert, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine steeps of the Conway,
NG ROOM 7. READERS NAME (block letters)
Kind Nature's charities his steps attend ;
In every babbling brook he finds a friend;
While chastening thoughts of sweetest use, bestowed
By wisdom, moralise his pensive road.
st of his welcome inn, the noon-tide bower,
his spare meal he calls the passing poor;
views the sun uplift his golden fire,
sink, with heart alive like Memnon's lyre * ;
esses the moon that comes with kindly ray,
light him shaken by his rugged way.
ck from his sight no bashful children steal;
sits a brother at the cottage-meal;
humble looks no shy restraint impart ;
found him plays at will the virgin heart.
hile unsuspended wheels the village dance,
e maidens eye him with enquiring glance,
ach wondering by what fit of crazing care,
desperate love, bewildered, he came there.
A hope, that prudence could not then approve,
at clung to Nature with a truant's love,
er Gallia's wastes of corn my footsteps led;
er files of road-elms, high above my head
long-drawn vista, rustling in the breeze;
where her pathways straggle as they please
lonely farms and secret villages.
t lo! the Alps ascending white in air,
y with the sun and glitter from afar.
And now, emerging from the forest's gloom,
reet thee, Chartreuse, while I mourn thy doom.
hither is fled that Power whose frown severe
ved sober Reason till she crouched in fear?
at Silence, once in deathlike fetters bound,
ains that were loosened only by the sound
holy rites chanted in measured round?
The lyre of Memnon is reported to have emitted lancholy or cheerful tones, as it was touched by the i's evening or morning rays.
-The voice of blasphemy the fane alarms, The cloister startles at the gleam of arms. The thundering tube the aged angler hears,
Slow glides the sail along the illumined shore,
And steals into the shade the lazy oar;
Soft bosoms breathe around contagious sighs,
Bent o'er the groaning flood that sweeps away his And amorous music on the water dies.
Cloud-piercing pine-trees nod their troubled heads, Spires, rocks, and lawns a browner night o'er
Strong terror checks the female peasant's sighs,
And start the astonished shades at female eyes.
From Bruno's forest screams the affrighted jay,
And slow the insulted eagle wheels away.
A viewless flight of laughing Demons mock
The Cross, by angels planted * on the aërial rock.
The "parting Genius" sighs with hollow breath
Along the mystic streams of Life and Death +.
Swelling the outcry dull, that long resounds
Portentous through her old woods' trackless
Vallombre +, 'mid her falling fanes, deplores,
For ever broke, the sabbath of her bowers.
More pleased, my foot the hidden margin roves
Of Como, bosomed deep in chestnut groves.
No meadows thrown between, the giddy steeps
Tower, bare or sylvan, from the narrow deeps.
-To towns, whose shades of no rude noise com-
From ringing team apart and grating wain—
To flat-roofed towns, that touch the water's bound,
Or lurk in woody sunless glens profound,
Or, from the bending rocks, obtrusive cling,
And o'er the whitened wave their shadows fling
The pathway leads, as round the steeps it twines;
And Silence loves its purple roof of vines.
The loitering traveller hence, at evening, sees
From rock-hewn steps the sail between the trees;
Or marks, 'mid opening cliffs, fair dark-eyed maids
Tend the small harvest of their garden glades;
Or stops the solemn mountain-shades to view
Stretch o'er the pictured mirror broad and blue,
And track the yellow lights from steep to steep,
As up the opposing hills they slowly creep.
Aloft, here, half a village shines, arrayed
In golden light; half hides itself in shade :
While, from amid the darkened roofs, the spire,
Restlessly flashing, seems to mount like fire:
There, all unshaded, blazing forests throw
Rich golden verdure on the lake below.
How blest, delicious scene! the eye that greets
Thy open beauties, or thy lone retreats;
Beholds the unwearied sweep of wood that scales
Thy cliffs; the endless waters of thy vales;
Thy lowly cots that sprinkle all the shore,
Each with its household boat beside the door;
Thy torrents shooting from the clear-blue sky;
Thy towns, that cleave, like swallows' nests, on
That glimmer hoar in eve's last light, descried
Dim from the twilight water's shaggy side,
Whence lutes and voices down the enchanted
Steal, and compose the oar-forgotten floods;
-Thy lake, that, streaked or dappled, blue or
'Mid smoking woods gleams hid from morning's ray
Slow-travelling down the western hills, to' enfold
Its green-tinged margin in a blaze of gold;
Thy glittering steeples, whence the matin bell
Calls forth the woodman from his desert cell,
And quickens the blithe sound of oars that pass
Along the steaming lake, to early mass.
But now farewell to each and all--adieu
To every charm, and last and chief to you,
Ye lovely maidens that in noontide shade
Rest near your little plots of wheaten glade;
To all that binds the soul in powerless trance,
Lip-dewing song, and ringlet-tossing dance;
Where sparkling eyes and breaking smiles illume
The sylvan cabin's lute-enlivened gloom.
Alas! the very murmur of the streams Breathes o'er the failing soul voluptuous dreams, While Slavery, forcing the sunk mind to dwell On joys that might disgrace the captive's cell, Her shameless timbrel shakes on Como's marge, And lures from bay to bay the vocal barge.
Yet are thy softer arts with power indued To soothe and cheer the poor man's solitude. By silent cottage-doors, the peasant's home Left vacant for the day, I loved to roam. But once I pierced the mazes of a wood In which a cabin undeserted stood; There an old man an olden measure scanned On a rude viol touched with withered hand. As lambs or fawns in April clustering lie Under a hoary oak's thin canopy, Stretched at his feet, with stedfast upward eye,
His children's children listened to the sound; -A Hermit with his family around!
But let us hence; for fair Locarno smiles Embowered in walnut slopes and citron isles: Or seek at eve the banks of Tusa's stream, Where, 'mid dim towers and woods, her waters gleam.
Or on her fingers counts the distant clock,
Or, to the drowsy crow of midnight cock,
Listens, or quakes while from the forest's gulf
Howls near and nearer yet the famished wolf.
From the green vale of Urseren smooth and wide
Descend we now, the maddened Reuss our guide;
By rocks that, shutting out the blessed day,
Cling tremblingly to rocks as loose as they ;
By cells upon whose image, while he prays,
The kneeling peasant scarcely dares to gaze;
From the bright wave, in solemn gloom, retire
The dull-red steeps, and, darkening still, aspire
To where afar rich orange lustres glow
Round undistinguished clouds, and rocks, and By many a votive death-cross + planted near,
Or, led where Via Mala's chasms confine
The indignant waters of the infant Rhine,
Hang o'er the abyss, whose else impervious gloom
His burning eyes with fearful light illume.
The mind condemned, without reprieve, to go
O'er life's long deserts with its charge of woe,
With sad congratulation joins the train
Where beasts and men together o'er the plain
Move on a mighty caravan of pain:
Hope, strength, and courage, social suffering
Freshening the wilderness with shades and springs.
-There be whose lot far otherwise is cast:
Sole human tenant of the piny waste,
By choice or doom a gipsy wanders here,
A nursling babe her only comforter;
Lo, where she sits beneath yon shaggy rock,
A cowering shape half hid in curling smoke!
When lightning among clouds and mountain
Predominates, and darkness comes and goes,
And the fierce torrent, at the flashes broad
Starts, like a horse, beside the glaring road-
She seeks a covert from the battering shower
In the roofed bridge +; the bridge, in that dread
Itself all trembling at the torrent's power.
Nor is she more at ease on some still night, When not a star supplies the comfort of its light; Only the waning moon hangs dull and red Above a melancholy mountain's head, Then sets. In total gloom the Vagrant sighs, Stoops her sick head, and shuts her weary eyes;
*The river along whose banks you descend in crossing the Alps by the Simplon Pass.
† Most of the bridges among the Alps are of wood, and covered these bridges have a heavy appearance, and rather injure the effect of the scenery in some places.
And watered duly with the pious tear,
That faded silent from the upward eye
Unmoved with each rude form of peril nigh;
Fixed on the anchor left by Him who saves
Alike in whelming snows, and roaring waves.
But soon a peopled region on the sight Opens a little world of calm delight; Where mists, suspended on the expiring gale, Spread rooflike o'er the deep secluded vale, And beams of evening slipping in between, Gently illuminate a sober scene :— Here, on the brown wood-cottages they sleep, There, over rock or sloping pasture creep. On as we journey, in clear view displayed, The still vale lengthens underneath its shade Of low-hung vapour : on the freshened mead The green light sparkles;-the dim bowers recede. While pastoral pipes and streams the landscape lull, And bells of passing mules that tinkle dull, In solemn shapes before the admiring eye Dilated hang the misty pines on high, Huge convent domes with pinnacles and towers, And antique castles seen through gleamy showers.
From such romantic dreams, my soul, awake! To sterner pleasure, where, by Uri's lake In Nature's pristine majesty outspread, Winds neither road nor path for foot to tread : The rocks rise naked as a wall, or stretch, Far o'er the water, hung with groves of beech; Aerial pines from loftier steeps ascend, Nor stop but where creation seems to end. Yet here and there, if mid the savage scene Appears a scanty plot of smiling green,
The Catholic religion prevails here: these cells are, as is well known, very common in the Catholic countries, planted, like the Roman tombs, along the road side.
† Crosses, commemorative of the deaths of travellers by the fall of snow, and other accidents, are very common along this dreadful road.
The houses in the more retired Swiss valleys are all built of wood.