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His project crowned, his pleasant travel o'er ?!
Well-let him pace this noted beach once more,
That gave the Roman his triumphal shells;
That saw the Corsican his cap and bells
Haughtily shake, a dreaming Conqueror !
Enough; my Country's Cliffs I can behold,
And proudly think, beside the murmuring sea,
Of checked ambition, tyranny controlled,
And folly cursed with endless memory:
These local recollections ne'er can cloy;
Such ground I from my very heart enjoy!
AFTER LANDING-THE VALLEY OF DOVER.NOV. 1820.
WHERE be the noisy followers of the game
Which Faction breeds; the turmoil where? that past
Through Europe, echoing from the Newsman's blast,
And filled our hearts with grief for England's shame.
Peace greets us;- rambling on without an aim
We mark majestic herds of cattle free
To ruminate*- couched on the grassy lea,
And hear far-off the mellow horn proclaim
The Season's harmless pastime. Ruder sound
Stirs not; enrapt I gaze with strange delight,
While consciousnesses, not to be disowned,
Here only serve a feeling to invite
That lifts the Spirit to a calmer height,
And makes the rural stillness more profound.
I move at ease, and meet contending themes
That press upon me, crossing the career
Of recollections vivid as the dreams
Of midnight,-cities- plains-forests and mightv
Where Mortal never breathed I dare to sit
Among the interior Alps, gigantic crew,
Who triumphed o'er diluvian power! - and yet
What are they but a wreck and residue,
Whose only business is to perish? — true
To which sad course, these wrinkled Sons of Time
Labour their proper greatness to subdue;
Speaking of death alone, beneath a clime
Where life and rapture flow in plenitude sublime.
Fancy hath flung for me an airy bridge
Across thy long deep Valley, furious Rhone!
Arch that here rests upon the granite ridge
Of Monte Rosa-there on frailer stone
Of secondary birth - the Jung-frau's cone;
And, from that arch, down-looking on the Vale
The aspect I behold of every zone;
A sea of foliage tossing with the gale,
Blithe Autumn's purple crown, and Winter's icy mail!
Far as ST. MAURICE, from yon eastern FoRкst,
Down the main avenue my sight can range:
And all its branchy vales, and all that lurks
Within them, church, and town, and hut, and grange,
For my enjoyment meet in vision strange;
Snowstorrents;· to the region's utmost bound,
Life, Death, in amicable interchange-
But list! the avalanche - the hush profound
That follows, yet more awful than that awful sound!
Is not the Chamois suited to his place?
The Eagle worthy of her ancestry?
- Let Empires fall; but ne'er shall Ye disgrace
Your noble birthright, Ye that occupy
Your Council-seats beneath the open sky,
On Sarnen's Mount, there judge of fit and right,
† At the head of the Valais. LES FOURCHES, the point at which the two chains of mountains part, that enclose the Vallais, which terminates at ST. MAURICE.
Sarnen, one of the two Capitals of the Canton of Underwalden: the spot here alluded to is close to the town, and is called the Landenberg, from the tyrant of that name, whose château formerly stood there. On the 1st of January, 1308, the great day which the confederated Heroes had chosen for the deliverance of their Country, all the Castles of the Governors were taken by force or stratagem; and the Tyrant themselves conducted, with their creatures, to the frontiers, after having witnessed the destruction of their Strong-holds From that time the Landenberg has been the place where the Legislators of this division of the Canton assemble. The site, which is well described by Ebel, is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland.
The Bridges of Lucerne are roofed, and open at the sides, so that the Passenger has, at the same time, the benefit of shade, and a view of the magnificent country. The pictures are attached to the rafters; those from Scripture History, on the Cathedral-bridge, amount, according to my notes, to 240. Subjects from the Old Testament face the Passenger as he goes towards the Cathedral, and those from the New as he returns. The Pictures on these Bridges, as well as those in most other parts of Switzerland, are not to be spoken of as works of art; but they are instruments admirably answering the purpose for which they were designed.
KEEP for the Young the impassioned smile
Shed from thy countenance, as I see thee stand
High on a chalky cliff of Britain's Isle,
A slender Volume grasping in thy hand-
(Perchance the pages that relate
The various turns of Crusoe's fate)-
Ah, spare the exulting smile,
And drop thy pointing finger bright
As the first flash of beacon light;
But neither veil thy head in shadows dim,
Nor turn thy face away
From One who, in the evening of his day,
To thee would offer no presumptuous hymn!
BOLD Spirit! who art free to rove
Among the starry courts of Jove,
And oft in splendour dost appear
Embodied to poetic eyes,
While traversing this nether sphere,
Where Mortals call thee ENTERPRISE.
Daughter of Hope! her favourite Child,
Whom she to young Ambition bore,
When Hunter's arrow first defiled
The Grove, and stained the turf with gore;:
Thee winged Fancy took, and nursed
On broad Euphrates' palmy shore,
Or where the mightier Waters burst
From caves of Indian mountains hoar!
She wrapped thee in a panther's skin;
And thou, whose earliest thoughts held dear
Allurements that were edged with fear,
(The food that pleased thee best, to win)
With infant shout wouldst often scare
From her rock-fortress in mid air
The flame-eyed Eagle-often sweep,
Paired with the Ostrich, o'er the plain;
And, tired with sport, wouldst sink asleep
Upon the couchant Lion's mane !
With rolling years thy strength increased;
And, far beyond thy native East,
To thee, by varying titles known,
As variously thy power was shown,
Did incense-bearing Altars rise,
Which caught the blaze of sacrifice,
From Suppliants panting for the skies!
2. What though this ancient Earth be trod No more by step of Demi-god Mounting from glorious deed to deed As thou from clime to clime didst lead,
+ This Poem having risen out of the "Italian Itinerant." &e is here annexed.
Yet still, the bosom beating high,
And the hushed farewell of an eye
Where no procrastinating gaze
A last infirmity betrays,
Prove that thy heaven-descended sway
Shall ne'er submit to cold decay.
By thy divinity impelled,
The stripling seeks the tented field;
The aspiring Virgin kneels; and, pale
With awe, receives the hallowed veil,
A soft and tender Heroine
Vowed to severer discipline
Inflamed by thee, the blooming Boy
Makes of the whistling shrouds a toy,
And of the Ocean's dismal breast
A play-ground and a couch of rest;
'Mid the blank world of snow and ice,
Thou to his dangers dost enchain
The Chamois-chaser awed in vain
By chasm or dizzy precipice;
And hast Thou not with triumph seen
How soaring Mortals glide serene
From cloud to cloud, and brave the light
With bolder than Icarian flight?
How they in bells of crystal dive,
Where winds and waters cease to strive,
For no unholy visitings,
Among the monsters of the deep,
And all the sad and precious things
Which there in ghastly silence sleep?
Or, adverse tides and currents headed,
And breathless calms no longer dreaded,
In never slackening voyage go
Straight as an arrow from the bow;
And, slighting sails and scorning oars,
Keep faith with Time on distant shores.
- Within our fearless reach are placed
The secrets of the burning Waste, -
Egyptian Tombs unlock their Dead,
Nile trembles at his fountain head;
Thou speak'st- and lo! the polar Seas
Unbosom their last mysteries.
- But oh! what transports, what sublime reward, Won from the world of mind, dost thou prepare For philosophic Sage, or high-souled Bard, Who, for thy service trained in lonely woods, Hath fed on pageants floating through the air, Or calentured in depth of limpid floods; Nor grieves- tho' doomed thro' silent night to bear The domination of his glorious themes,
Or struggle in the net-work of thy dreams!
If there be movements in the Patriot's soul, From source still deeper, and of higher worth, "T is thine the quickening impulse to control,
And cheerful songs, and suns that shine
On busy days, with thankful nights, be mine.
But thou, O Goddess! in thy favourite Isle (Freedom's impregnable redoubt, The wide Earth's store-house fenced about
THE RIVER DUDDON rises upon Wrynose Fell, on the confines of Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Lancashire; and, serving as a boundary to the two last counties, for the space of about twenty-five miles, enters the Irish Sea, between the Isle of Walney and the Lordship of Millum.
TO THE REV. DR. WORDSWORTH. (WITH THE SONNETS TO the river duDDON, AND OTHER POEMS IN THIS COLLECTION.) THE Minstrels played their Christmas tune To-night beneath my cottage eaves; While, smitten by a lofty moon, The encircling laurels, thick with leaves, Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen, That overpowered their natural green. Through hill and valley every breeze Had sunk to rest with folded wings: Keen was the air, but could not freeze Nor check the music of the strings; So stout and hardy were the band That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.
With breakers roaring to the gales
That stretch a thousand thousand sails)
Quicken the Slothful, and exalt the Vile!
Thy impulse is the life of Fame;
Glad Hope would almost cease to be
If torn from thy society;
And Love, when worthiest of the name,
Is proud to walk the Earth with thee!
And who but listened?-till was paid
Respect to every Inmate's claim;
The greeting given, the music played,
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call.
And "merry Christmas" wished to all!
O Brother! I revere the choice
That took thee from thy native hills;
And it is given thee to rejoice:
Though public care full often tills
(Heaven only witness of the toil)
A barren and ungrateful soil.
Yet, would that Thou, with me and mine, Hadst heard this never-failing rite;
And seen on other faces shine
A true revival of the light
Yes, they can make, who fail to find,
Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,
And profit by those kindly rays
That through the clouds do sometimes steal,
And all the far-off past reveal.
Hence, while the imperial City's din
Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
A pleased attention I may win
To agitations less severe,
That neither overwhelm nor cloy,
But fill the hollow vale with joy!
Nor envying shades which haply yet may throw
A grateful coolness round that rocky spring,
Bandusia, once responsive to the string
Of the Horatian lyre with babbling flow;
Careless of flowers that in perennial blow
Round the moist marge of Persian fountains cling;
Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering
Through icy portals radiant as heaven's bow;
I seek the birth-place of a native Stream. -
All hail, ye mountains! hail, thou morning light!
Better to breathe upon this aery height
Than pass in needless sleep from dream to dream:
Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, and bright,
For Duddon, long-loved Duddon, is my theme!
But as of all those tripping lambs not one
Outruns his fellows, so hath Nature lent
To thy beginning nought that doth present
Peculiar grounds for hope to build upon.
To dignify the spot that gives thee birth,
No sign of hoar Antiquity's esteem
Appears, and none of modern Fortune's care;-
Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a gleam
Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare;
Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth!
CHILD of the clouds! remote from every taint
Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;
Thine are the honours of the lofty waste;
Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
Thy handmaid Frost with spangled tissue quaint
Thy cradle decks; - to chant thy birth, thou hast
No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast,
SOLE listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played
With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful sound
Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound,
Unfruitful solitudes, that seemed to upbraid
The sun in heaven! - but now, to form a shade
For Thee, green alders have together wound
Their foliage; ashes flung their arms around;
And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade.
And thou hast also tempted here to rise,
And Desolation is thy Patron-saint!
She guards thee, ruthless Power! who would not spare 'Mid sheltering pines, this Cottage rude and gray,
Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,
Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair*
Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre green,
Thousands of years before the silent air
Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen!
Whose ruddy Children, by the mother's eyes
Carelessly watched, sport through the summer day
Thy pleased associates: - light as endless May
On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.
How shall I paint thee? - Be this naked stone
My seat while I give way to such intent;
Pleased could my verse, a speaking monument,
Make to the eyes of men thy features known.
TAKE, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take
This parting glance, no negligent adieu!
A Protean change seems wrought while I pursu
The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth make;
Or rather thou appear'st a glistering snake,
Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue,
Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, through
Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake..
Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill
Robed instantly in garb of snow-white foam;
And laughing dares the Adventurer, who hath clomb
So high, a rival purpose to fulfil;
Else let the Dastard backward wend, and roam,
Seeking less bold achievement, where he will!
ERE yet our course was graced with social trees
It lacked not old remains of hawthorn oowers,
Where small birds warbled to their paramours
*The deer alluded to is the Leigh, a gigantic species long And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;
I saw them ply their harmless robberies,