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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
Amid the countless multitude of waves,
That ships have gone and sought it, and return'd,
Saying it was not!

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.

IL

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,
Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door
So near the summit of the great St. Bernard;
That door which ever on its hinges moved
To them that knock'd, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me,
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb;
And a lay brother of the hospital,

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,
With a religious awe contemplating
That house, the highest in the ancient world,
And placed there for the noblest purposes.
'Twas a rude pile of simplest masonry,
With narrow windows and vast buttresses,
Built to endure the shocks of time and chance;
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might,
Warr❜d on for ever by the elements,
And in an evil day, nor long ago,

By violent men-when on the mountain top
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict.

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.

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Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow;
A star, the only one in that small sky,
On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene
Resembling nothing I had left behind,
As though all worldly ties were now dissolved ;-
And to incline the mind still more to thought,
To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore,
Under a beetling cliff stood, half in shadow,
A lonely chapel destined for the dead,
For such as, having wander'd from the way,
Had perish'd miserably. Side by side,
Within they lie, a mournful company,
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them;
Their features full of life, yet motionless
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
Though the barr'd windows, barr'd against the wolf, Oft am I sitting on the bench beneath
Are always open!

Their garden plot, where all that vegetates
Is but some scanty lettuce, to observe
Those from the south ascending, every step
As though it were their last-and instantly
Restored, renew'd, advancing as with songs,
Soon as they see, turning a lofty crag,
That plain, that modest structure, promising
Bread to the hungry, to the weary rest.

III.

hush'd,

Nor from the cataract the voice came up,
You might have heard the mole work underground,
So great the stillness of that place; none seen,
Save when from rock to rock a hermit cross'd
By some rude bridge-or one at midnight toll'd
To matins, and white habits, issuing forth,
Glided along those aisles interminable,

*The Grande Chartreuse.

But the Bise blew cold;
And, bidden to a spare but cheerful meal,
I sate among the holy brotherhood
At their long board. The fare, indeed, was such
As is prescribed on days of abstinence,

But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine;
And through the floor came up, an ancient matron
Serving unseen below; while from the roof
(The roof, the floor, the walls of native fir)

A lamp hung flickering, such as loves to fling
Its partial light on apostolic heads,

And sheds a grace on all. Theirs time as yet
Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime;
Nor was a brow o'ercast. Seen as I saw them,
Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour
Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile,
As children; answering, and at once, to all
The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth;
Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk,
Music; and gathering news from them that came,
As of some other world. But when the storm
Rose, and the snow roll'd on in ocean billows,
When on his face th' experienced traveller fell,
Sheltering his lips and nostrils with his hands,
Then all was changed; and, sallying with their pack
Into that blank of nature, they became
Unearthly beings. "Anselm, higher up,
Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long,
And now, as guided by a voice from heaven,
Digs with his feet. That noble vehemence,
Whose can it be, but his who never err'd?
Let us to work! there is no time to lose!—
But who descends Mont Velan? "Tis La Croix.
Away, away! if not, alas, too late.
Homeward he drags an old man and a boy,
Faltering and falling, and but half awaken'd,
Asking to sleep again." Such their discourse.

On and say nothing-for a word, a breath,
Stirring the air, may loosen and bring down
A winter's snow-enough to overwhelm
The horse and foot that, night and day, defiled
Along this path to conquer at Marengo.
Well I remember how I met them here,
As the light died away, and how Napoleon,
Wrapt in his cloak-I could not be deceived-
Rein'd in his horse, and ask'd me, as I pass'd,
How far 'twas to St. Remi. Where the rock

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
Of silence. Nor is that sequester'd spot,

Once call'd "Sweet Waters," now "The Shady
Vale,"*

To me unknown; that house so rich of old,
So courteous, and by two, that pass'd that way,t
Amply requited with immortal verse,
The poet's payment.

But, among them all,
None can with this compare, the dangerous seat
Of generous, active virtue. What though frost
Reign everlastingly, and ice and snow

Thaw not, but gather-there is that within,
Which, where it comes, makes summer; and in
thought,

THE DESCENT.

My mule refresh'd-and, let the truth be told,
He was not of that vile, that scurvy race,
From sire to son lovers of controversy,
But patient, diligent, and sure of foot,
Shunning the loose stone on the precipice,
Snorting suspicion while with sight, smell, touch,
Examining the wet and spongy moss,
And on his haunches sitting to slide down
The steep, the smooth-my mule refresh'd, his bells
Jingled once more, the signal to depart,
And we set out in the gray light of dawn,
Descending rapidly-by waterfalls
Fast frozen, and among huge blocks of ice
That in their long career had stopt midway,
At length, uncheck'd, unbidden, he stood still;
And all his bells were muffled. Then my guide,
Lowering his voice, address'd me: "Through this
chasm

Narrows almost to nothing at its base.
'Twas there; and down along the brink he led
To victory!-Dessaix, who turn'd the scale,
Leaving his life-blood in that famous field,
(When the clouds break, we may discern the spot
In the blue haze,) sleeps, as you saw at dawn,
Just as you enter'd, in the hospital church."

* Vallombrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella.
† Ariosto and Milton.

So saying, for a while he held his peace,
Awe-struck beneath that dreadful canopy;
But soon, the danger pass'd, launch'd forth again.

IV. JORASSE.

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,

*The Schrekhorn.

Winding beneath a solid crust of ice;
With here and there a rent that show'd the stars!
What then, alas, was left him but to die?
What else in those immeasurable chambers.
Strewn with the bones of miserable men,
Lost like himself? Yet must he wander on,
Till cold and hunger set his spirit free!
And, rising, he began his dreary round;
When hark, the noise as of some mighty river
Working its way to light! Back he withdrew,
But soon return'd, and, fearless from despair,
Dash'd down the dismal channel; and all day.
If day could be where utter darkness was,

The Jung-frau.

Travell'd incessantly, the craggy roof
Just over head, and the impetuous waves,
Nor broad nor deep, yet with a giant's strength
Lashing him on. At last the water slept
In a dead lake-at the third step he took,
Unfathomable--and the roof, that long
Had threaten'd, suddenly descending, lay
Flat on the surface. Statue-like he stood,
His journey ended; when a ray divine
Shot through his soul. Breathing a prayer to her
Whose ears are never shut, the blessed virgin,
He plunged, he swam-and in an instant rose,
The barrier past, in light, in sunshine! Through
A smiling valley, full of cottages,
Glittering the river ran; and on the bank
The young were dancing ('twas a festival-day)
All in their best attire. There first he saw
His Madelaine. In the crowd she stood to hear,
When all drew round, inquiring; and her face,
Seen behind all, and, varying, as he spoke,
With hope, and fear, and generous sympathy,
Subdued him. From that very hour he loved.
The tale was long, but coming to a close,
When his dark eyes flash'd fire, and, stopping short,
He listen'd and look'd up. I look'd up too;
And twice there came a hiss that through me thrill'd!
'Twas heard no more. A chamois on the cliff
Had roused his fellows with that cry of fear,
And all were gone.

But now the thread was broken;
Love and its joys had vanish'd from his mind;
And he recounted his hair-breadth escapes
When with his friend, Hubert of Bionnay,
(His ancient carbine from his shoulder slung,
His axe to hew a staircase in the ice,)

He track'd their footsteps. By a cloud surprised,
Upon a crag among the precipices,
Where the next step had hurl'd them fifty fathoms,
Oft had they stood, lock'd in each other's arms,
All the long night under a freezing sky,
Each guarding each the while from sleeping, falling.
O, 'twas a sport he loved dearer than life,
And only would with life itself relinquish !
"My sire, my grandsire died among these wilds.
As for myself," he cried, and he held forth
His wallet in his hand, "this do I call
My winding sheet-for I shall have no other !"
And he spoke truth. Within a little month
He lay among these awful solitudes,
('Twas on a glacier-halfway up to heaven,)
Taking his final rest. Long did his wife,
Suckling her babe, her only one, look out
The way he went at parting, but he came not!
Long fear to close her eyes, lest in her sleep
(Such their belief) he should appear before her,
Frozen and ghastly pale, or crush'd and bleeding,
To tell her where he lay, and supplicate
For the last rite! At length the dismal news
Came to her ears, and to her eyes his corse.

V.

MARGUERITE DE TOURS.

Now the gray granite, starting through the snow, Discover'd many a variegated moss*

* Lichen Geographicus.

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That to the pilgrim resting on his staff
Shadows out capes and islands; and ere long
Numberless flowers, such as disdain to live
In lower regions, and delighted drink

The clouds before they fall, flowers of all hues,
With their diminutive leaves cover'd the ground.
'Twas then, that, turning by an ancient larch,
Shiver'd in two, yet most majestical

With its long level branches, we observed
A human figure sitting on a stone

Far down by the way-side-just where the rock
Is riven asunder, and the Evil One.

Has bridged the gulf, a wondrous monument

Built in one night, from which the flood beneath,
Raging along, all foam, is seen, not heard,
And seen as motionless!

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
(Such was her artless tale, told with fresh tears)
In Val d'Aosta; and an Alpine stream,
Leaping from crag to crag in its short course
To join the Dora, turn'd her father's mill.
There did she blossom till a Valaisan,
A townsman of Martigny, won her heart,
Much to the old man's grief. Long he held out,
Unwilling to resign her; and at length,
When the third summer came, they stole a match
And fled. The act was sudden; and when far
Away, her spirit had misgivings. Then
She pictured to herself that aged face
Sickly and wan, in sorrow, not in anger;
And, when at last she heard his hour was near,
Went forth unseen, and, burden'd as she was,
Cross'd the high Alps on foot to ask forgiveness,
And hold him to her heart before he died.
Her task was done. She had fulfill'd her wish,
And now was on her way, rejoicing, weeping.
A frame like hers had suffer'd; but her love
Was strong within her; and right on she went,
Fearing no ill. May all good angels guard her!
And should I once again, as once I may,
Visit Martigny, I will not forget
Thy hospitable roof, Marguerite de Tours ;
Thy sign the silver swan.* Heaven prosper thee!

VI.
THE ALPS.

WHO first beholds those everlasting clouds, Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night, * La Cygne.

Still where they were, steadfast, immovable;
Who first beholds the Alps-that mighty chain
Of mountains, stretching on from east to west,
So massive, yet so shadowy, so ethereal,

As to belong rather to heaven than to earth-
But instantly receives into his soul

A sense, a feeling that he loses not,

A something that informs him 'tis a moment
Whence he may date henceforward and for ever?
To me they seem'd the barriers of a world,
Saying, Thus far, no farther! and as o'er
The level plain I travell'd silently,

Nearing them more and more, day after day,
My wandering thoughts my only company,
And they before me still, oft as I look'd,

A strange delight, mingled with fear, came o'er me,
A wonder as at things I had not heard of!
Oft as I look'd, I felt as though it were
For the first time!

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,
And lo the sun is shining, and the lark
Singing aloud for joy, to him is not
Such sudden ravishment as now I feel
At the first glimpses of fair Italy.

VII.
COMO.

I LOVE to sail along the Larian Lake
Under the shore-though not to visit Pliny,
To catch him musing in his plane tree walk,
Or fishing, as he might be, from his window:
And, to deal plainly, (may his shade forgive me!)
Could I recall the ages past, and play

The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve
My leisure for Catullus on his lake,
Though to fare worse, or Virgil at his farm
A little further on the way to Mantua.
But such things cannot be. So I sit still,
And let the boatman shift his little sail,
His sail so forked and so swallow-like,
Well pleased with all that comes. The morning air
Plays on my cheek how gently, flinging round
A silvery gleam: and now the purple mists
Rise like a curtain; now the sun looks out,
Filling, o'erflowing with his glorious light
This noble amphitheatre of mountains;
And now appear as on a phosphor sea
Numberless barks, from Milan, from Pavia;
Some sailing up, some down, and some at anchor,
Lading, unlading at that small port-town
Under the promontory-its tall tower
And long flat roofs, just such as Poussin drew,
Caught by a sunbeam slanting through a cloud;
A quay-like scene, glittering and full of life,
And doubled by reflection.

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
The sad man merry, the benevolent one
Melt into tears-so general is the joy!
While up and down the cliffs, over the lake,
Wains oxen-drawn, and pannier'd mules are seen,
Laden with grapes, and dropping rosy wine.

Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori,
One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare!
When, as I rambled through thy vineyard ground
On the hill-side, thou sent'st thy little son,
Charged with a bunch almost as big as he,
To press it on the stranger.

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,
Breathing enchantment o'er the woods, the waters;
And through a bright pavilion, bright as day,
Forms such as hers were flitting, lost among
Such as of old in sober pomp swept by,
Such as adorn the triumphs and the feasts
Painted by Cagliari; where the world danced
Under the starry sky, while I look'd on,
Admiring, listening, quaffing gramolata,
And reading, in the eyes that sparkled round,
The thousand love adventures written there.

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.

VIII.
BERGAMO.

THE Song was one that I had heard before,
But where I knew not. It inclined to sadness;
And, turning round from the delicious fare
My landlord's little daughter, Barbara,

Had from her apron just roll'd out before me,
Figs and rock-melons-at the door I saw
Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like

They were, and poorly clad, but not unskill'd;
With their small voices and an old guitar
Winning their mazy progress to my heart
In that, the only universal language.

But soon they changed the measure, entering on
A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour,

A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures,
Between Trappanti and his ancient dame,
Mona Lucilia. To and fro it went;
While many a titter on the stairs was heard,
And Barbara's among them.

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.

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