Page images
PDF

'The high, the mountain-majesty of worth Should be, and shall, survivor of its wo, And from its immortality look forth

In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow, (17) Imperishably pure beyond all things below.

LXVIII. Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face, The mirror where the stars and mountains view The stillness of their aspect in each trace Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue : There is too much of man here, to look through With a fit mind the might which I behold; But soon in me shall loneliness renew

Thoughts hid, but not less cherish'd than of old, Ere mingling with the herd had penn'd me in their

fold.

LXIX. To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind; All are not fit with them to stir and toil, Nor is it discontent to keep the mind Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil In the hot throng, where we become the spoil Of our infection, till too late and long We may deplore, and struggle with the coil,

In wretched interchange of wrong for wrong 'Midst a contentious world, striving where none

are strong.

LXX. There, in a moment, we may plunge our years In fatal penitence, and in the blight Of our own soul, turn all our blood to tears, And colour things to come with hues of Night; The race of life become a hopeless flight To those that walk in darkness : on the sea, The boldest steer but where their ports invite,

But there are wanderers o'er Eternity Whose bark drives on and on, and anchor'd ne'er

shall be.

LSXI. Is it not better, then, to be alone, And love Earth only for its earthly sake? By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone, (18) Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake, Which feeds it as a mother who doth make A fair but froward infant her own care, Kissing its cries away as these awake;

Is it not better thus our lives to wear, Than, join the crushing crowd, doom'd to inflict

or bear?

LXXII. I live not in myself, but I become Portion of that around me; and to me, High mountains are a feeling, but the hum Of human cities torture : I can see Nothing to loath in nature, save to be A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, Class'd among creatures, when the soul can flee,

And with the sky, the peak, the heaving plain Of oceán, or the stars, mingle, and not in vain.

LXXIII. And thus I am absorb’d, and this is life : I look upon the peopled desert past, As on a place of agony and strife, Where, for some sin, to Sorrow I was cast, To act and suffer, but remount at last With a fresh pinion; which I feel to spring, Though young, yet waxing vigorous, as the blast

Which it would cope with, on delighted wing, Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round our be

. ing cling.

LXXIV. And when, at length, the mind shall be all free From what it hates in this degraded form, Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be Existent happier in the fly and worm, When elements to elements conform, And dust is as it should be, shall I not Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more warm?

The bodiless thought ? the Spirit of each spot? Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal

lot

LXXV. Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part Of me and of my soul, as I of them? Is not the love of these deep in my heart With a pure passion? should I not contemn All objects, if compared with these ? and stem A tide of suffering, rather than forego Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm

of those whose eyes are only turn'd below, Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare

not glow?

LXXVI.
But this is not my theme; and I return
To that which is immediate, and require
Those who find contemplation in the urn,
To look on One, whose dust was once all fire,
A native of the land where I respire
The clear air for a while-a passing guest,
Where he became a being, --whose desire

Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest, The which to gain and keep, he sacrificed all rest:

LXXVII. Here the self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau, The apostle of affliction, be who threw Encbantment over passion, and from wo Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew The breath wbich made him wretched ; yet he

knew How to make madness beautiful, and cast O'er erring deeds and thoughts, a heavenly hue Of words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past The eyes, which o'er them shed tears feelingly

and fast.

LXXVII.
His love was passion's essence as a tree
On fire by lightning ; with ethereal flame
Kindled he was, and blasted; for to be
Thus, and enamour'd, were in him the same.
But his was not the love of living dame,
Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams,
But of ideal beauty, which became

In him existence, and o'erflowing teems
Along bis burning page, distemper'd though it

seems.

LXXIX. This breathed itself to life in Julie, this Invested her with all that's wild and sweet; This hallow'd, too, the memorable kiss Which every morn his fever'd lip would greet, From hers, who but with friendship his would

meet; But to that gentle touch, through brain and

breast

Flash'd the thrilld spirit's love-devouring heat ;

In that absorbing sigh perchance more blest, Than vulgar minds may be with all they seek pos

sest. (19)

Lxxx. His life was one long war with self-sought foes, Or friends by him self-banish’d; for his mind Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind, 'Gainst whom he raged with fury strange and

blind. But he was phrensied—wherefore, who may

know? Since cause might be which skill might never

find ;

But he was phrensied by disease of wo, To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reason

ing show.

LXXXI. For then he was inspired, and from him came, As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore, Those oracles which set the world in flame, Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more: Did he not this for France ? which lay before Bow'd to the inborn tyranny of years? Broken and trembling, to the yoke she bore,

Till by the voice of him and his compeers, Roused up to too much wrath which follows o'er

grown fears?

LXXXII. They made themselves a fearful monument ! The wreck of old opinions-things that grew Breathed from the birth of time ; tbe veil they.

rent, VOL. 1,-K

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »