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He sate him down and wept-wept till the morning; Then rose to go-a wanderer through the world.
'Tis not a tale that every hour brings with it. Yet at a city gate, from time to time, Much might be learnt; and most of all at thine, London-thy hive the busiest, greatest, still Gathering, enlarging still. Let us stand by, And note who passes. Here comes one, a youth, Glowing with pride, the pride of conscious power, A Chatterton-in thought admired, caress'd, And crown'd like Petrarch in the capitol; Ere long to die-to fall by his own hand, And fester with the vilest. Here come two, Less feverish, less exalted-soon to part, A Garrick and a Johnson; wealth and fame Awaiting one-e'en at the gate, neglect And want the other. But what multitudes, Urged by the love of change, and, like myself, Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare, Press on though but a rill entering the sea, Entering and lost! Our task would never end.
Day glimmer'd and I went, a gentle breeze Ruffling the Leman lake. Wave after wave, If such they might be call'd, dash'd as in sport, Not anger, with the pebbles on the beach, Making wild music, and far westward caught The sunbeam-where, alone and as entranced, Counting the hours, the fisher in his skiff Lay with his circular and dotted line, Fishing in silence. When the heart is light With hope, all pleases, nothing comes amiss; And soon a passage boat swept gayly by, Laden with peasant girls, and fruits and flowers, And many a chanticleer and partlet caged For Vevay's market-place-a motley group Seen through the silvery haze. But soon 'twas gone. The shifting sail flapp'd idly for an instant, Then bore them off.
I am not one of those So dead to all things in this visible world, So wondrously profound-as to move on In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old, (His name is justly in the calendar,) Who through the day pursued this pleasant path That winds beside the mirror of all beauty, And, when at eve his fellow pilgrims sate, Discoursing of the lake, ask'd where it was. They marvell'd, as they might; and so must all, Seeing what now I saw; for now 'twas day, And the bright sun was in the firmament, A thousand shadows of a thousand hues Checkering the clear expanse. A while his orb Hung o'er thy trackless fields of snow, Mont Blanc, Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories, That change their shapes for ever as in sport; Then travell'd onward, and went down behind The pine-clad heights of Jura, lighting up The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe Borne homeward through the forest in his hand; And, in some deep and melancholy glen, That dungeon fortress never to be named, Where, like a lion taken in the toils, Toussaint breathed out his brave and generous spirit. Ah, little did he think, who sent him there, That he himself, then greatest among men, Should in like manner be so soon convey'd
Across the ocean-to a rock so small
Still along the shore, Among the trees, I went for many a mile, Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets, Singing some national song by the way-side. But now 'twas dusk, and journeying by the Rhone, That there came down, a torrent from the Alps, I enter'd where a key unlocks a kingdom,* The mountains closing, and the road, the river, Filling the narrow pass. There, till a ray Glanced through my lattice, and the household stir Warn'd me to rise, to rise and to depart, A stir unusual and accompanied With many a tuning of rude instruments, And many a laugh that argued coming pleasure, Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite, And nuptial feast attiring-there I slept, And in my dreams wander'd once more, well pleased. But now a charm was on the rocks, and woods, And waters; for, methought, I was with those I had at morn, at even, wish'd for there.
THE GREAT ST. BERNARD.
NIGHT was again descending, when my mule, That all day long had climb'd among the clouds, Higher and higher still, as by a stair
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me,
Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits The distant echoes gaining on his ear, Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand, While I alighted.
Long could I have stood,
By violent men-when on the mountain top
On the same rock beside it stood the church, Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity; The vesper bell, for 'twas the vesper hour, Duly proclaiming through the wilderness, "All ye who hear, whatever be your work, Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer!" And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale, If dale it might be call'd, so near to heaven, A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,
* St. Maurice.
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow;
Their garden plot, where all that vegetates
Nor from the cataract the voice came up,
*The Grande Chartreuse.
But the Bise blew cold;
But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine;
A lamp hung flickering, such as loves to fling
And sheds a grace on all. Theirs time as yet
On and say nothing-for a word, a breath,
Oft has a venerable roof received me ;
St. Bruno's once-where, when the winds were Juts forward, and the road, crumbling away,
All, all observant of the sacred law
Once call'd "Sweet Waters," now "The Shady
To me unknown; that house so rich of old,
But, among them all,
Thaw not, but gather-there is that within,
My mule refresh'd-and, let the truth be told,
Narrows almost to nothing at its base.
* Vallombrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella.
So saying, for a while he held his peace,
JORASSE was in his three-and-twentieth year; Graceful and active as a stag just roused; Gentle withal, and pleasant in his speech, Yet seldom seen to smile. He had grown up Among the hunters of the higher Alps; Had caught their starts and fits of thoughtfulness, Their haggard looks, and strange soliloquies, Said to arise, by those who dwell below, From frequent dealings with the mountain spirits. But other ways had taught him better things; And now he number'd, marching by my side, The savans, princes, who with him had cross'd The frozen tract, with him familiarly Through the rough day and rougher night conversed In many a chalêt round the Peak of Terror,* Round Tacol, Tour, Well-horn and Rosenlau, And her, whose throne is inaccessible,t Who sits, withdrawn, in virgin majesty, Nor oft unveils. Anon an avalanche Roll'd its long thunder; and a sudden crash, Sharp and metallic, to the startled ear Told that far down a continent of ice Had burst in twain. But he had now begun ; And with what transport he recall'd the hour When to deserve, to win his blooming bride, Madelaine of Annecy, to his feet he bound The iron crampons, and, ascending, trod The upper realms of frost; then, by a cord Let halfway down, enter'd a grot star-bright, And gather'd from above, below, around, The pointed crystals!
Once, nor long before, (Thus did his tongue run on, fast as his feet, And with an eloquence that nature gives To all her children-breaking off by starts Into the harsh and rude, oft as the mule Drew his displeasure,) once, nor long before, Alone at daybreak on the Mettenberg, He slipp'd, he fell; and through a fearful cleft Gliding from ledge to ledge, from deep to deeper, Went to the under world! Long while he lay Upon his rugged bed-then waked like one Wishing to sleep again and sleep for ever! For, looking round, he saw or thought he saw Innumerable branches of a cavern,
Winding beneath a solid crust of ice;
Travell'd incessantly, the craggy roof
But now the thread was broken;
He track'd their footsteps. By a cloud surprised,
MARGUERITE DE TOURS.
Now the gray granite, starting through the snow, Discover'd many a variegated moss*
* Lichen Geographicus.
That to the pilgrim resting on his staff
The clouds before they fall, flowers of all hues,
With its long level branches, we observed
Far down by the way-side-just where the rock
Has bridged the gulf, a wondrous monument
Built in one night, from which the flood beneath,
Nearer we drew, And 'twas a woman young and delicate, Wrapt in a russet cloak from head to foot, Her eyes cast down, her cheek upon her hand In deepest thought. Young as she was, she wore The matron cap; and from her shape we judged, As well we might, that it would not be long Ere she became a mother. Pale she look'd, Yet cheerful; though, methought, once, if not twice, She wiped away a tear that would be coming: And in those moments her small hat of straw, Worn on one side, and garnish'd with a riband Glittering with gold, but ill conceal'd a face Not soon to be forgotten. Rising up On our approach, she journey'd slowly on; And my companion, long before we met, Knew, and ran down to greet her.
She was born
WHO first beholds those everlasting clouds, Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night, * La Cygne.
Still where they were, steadfast, immovable;
As to belong rather to heaven than to earth-
A sense, a feeling that he loses not,
A something that informs him 'tis a moment
Nearing them more and more, day after day,
A strange delight, mingled with fear, came o'er me,
Great was the tumult there, Deafening the din, when in barbaric pomp The Carthaginian on his march to Rome Entered their fastnesses. Trampling the snows, The war-horse reared; and the tower'd elephant Upturn'd his trunk into the murky sky, Then tumbled headlong, swallow'd up and lost, He and his rider.
Now the scene is changed; And o'er Mont Cenis, o'er the Simplon winds A path of pleasure. Like a silver zone Flung about carelessly, it shines afar, Catching the eye in many a broken link, In many a turn and traverse as it glides; And oft above and oft below appears, Seen o'er the wall by him who journeys up, As though it were another, not the same, Leading along he knows not whence or whither Yet through its fairy course, go where it will, The torrent stops it not, the rugged rock Opens and lets it in; and on it runs. Winning its easy way from clime to clime Through glens lock'd up before.
Not such my path! Mine but for those, who, like Jean Jacques, delight In dizziness, gazing and shuddering on Till fascination comes and the brain turns! Mine, though I judge but from my ague-fits Over the Drance, just where the abbot feel, The same as Hannibal's.
But now 'tis past, That turbulent chaos; and the promised land Lies at my feet in all its loveliness!
To him who starts up from a terrible dream,
I LOVE to sail along the Larian Lake
The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve
What delight, After so long a sojourn in the wild, To hear once more the sounds of cheerful labour ! -But in a clime like this where are they not? Along the shores, among the hills 'tis now The heyday of the vintage; all abroad, But most the young and of the gentler sex, Busy in gathering; all among the vines, Some on the ladder, and some underneath, Filling their baskets of green wickerwork, While many a canzonet and frolic laugh Come through the leaves; the vines in light festoons From tree to tree, the trees in avenues, And every avenue a cover'd walk,
Hung with black clusters. 'Tis enough to make
Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori,
May thy vats O'erflow, and he, thy willing gift-bearer, Live to become ere long himself a giver ; And in due time, when thou art full of honour, The staff of thine old age! In a strange land Such things, however trifling, reach the heart, And through the heart the head, clearing away The narrow notions that grow up at home, And in their place grafting good-will to all. At least I found it so; nor less at eve, When, bidden as an English traveller, ('Twas by a little boat that gave me chase With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I cross'd The bay of Tramezzine,) right readily
I turn'd my prow and follow'd, landing soon Where steps of purest marble met the wave; Where, through the trellises and corridors,
Soft music came as from Armida's palace,
Can I forget-no, never, such a scene So full of witchery! Night linger'd still, When, with a dying breeze, I left Bellaggio; But the strain follow'd me; and still I saw Thy smile, Angelica; and still I heard Thy voice once and again bidding adieu.
THE Song was one that I had heard before,
Had from her apron just roll'd out before me,
They were, and poorly clad, but not unskill'd;
But soon they changed the measure, entering on
A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures,
When 'twas done, Their dark eyes flash'd no longer, yet, methought, In many a glance as from the soul, express'd More than enough to serve them. Far or near, Few let them pass unnoticed; and there was not A mother round about for many a league, But could repeat their story. Twins they were, And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world; The parents lost in the old ferry-boat
That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down Crossing the rough Penacus.*
May they live Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be, Like him who, in the days of minstrelsy, Came in a beggar's weeds to Petrarch's door, Crying without, "Give me a lay to sing!" And soon in silk (such then the power of song) Return'd to thank him; or like him wayworn And lost, who, by the foaming Adigè Descending from the Tyrol, as night fell, Knock'd at a city gate near the hill foot, The gate that bore so long, sculptured in stone, An eagle on a ladder, and at once
Found welcome-nightly in the banner'd hall Tuning his harp to tales of chivalry
*Lago di Garda.