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Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
The spectre Death, had he substantial power to
XCI. Not vainly did the early Persian make His altar the high places and the peak Of earth-o'ergazing mountains ('), and thus take A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seek The Spirit in whose honour shrines are weak, Uprear'd of human hands. Come, and compare Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek, With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air, Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy pray'rs
the lake. Nine o'clock—going to bed. Have to get up at five to. morrow.”— After Lord Byron quitted the Campagne-Diodati, Sir Egerton Brydges tells us, that the doors of the house were beset by travellers, anxious to get a sight of the room in which the poet slept. – E.]
(1) It is to be recollected, that the most beautiful and impressive doctrines of the divine Founder of Christianity were delivered, not in the Temple, but on the Mount. To wave the question of devotion, and turn to human eloquence, — the most effectual and splendid specimens were not pronounced within walls. Demosthenes addressed the public and po. pular assemblies. Cicero spoke in the forum. That this added to their effect on the mind of both orator and hearers, may be conceived from the
XCII. Thy sky is changed!—and such a change! Oh night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder l Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue, And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud 1
difference between what we read of the emotions then and there produced
and those we ourselves experience in the perusal in the closet. It is one thing to read the Iliad at Sigaeum and on the tumuli, or by the springs with Mount Ida above, and the plain and rivers and Archipelago around you; and another to trim your taper over it in a snug library—this I know. Were the early and rapid progress of what is called Methodism to be attributed to any cause beyond the enthusiasm excited by its vehement faith and doctrines (the truth or error of which I presume neither to canvass nor to question), I should venture to ascribe it to the practice of preaching in the ‘ields, and the unstudied and extemporaneous effusions of its teachers.— The Mussulmans, whose erroneous devotion (at least in the lower orders) is most sincere, and therefore impressive, are accustomed to repeat their prescribed orisons and prayers, wherever they may be, at the stated hoursof course, frequently in the open air, kneeling upon a light mat (which they carry for the purpose of a bed or cushion as required): the ceremony lasts some minutes, during which they are totally absorbed, and only living in their supplication: nothing can disturb them. On me the simple and entire sincerity of these men, and the spirit which appeared to be within and upon them, made a far greater impression than any general rite which was ever performed in places of worship, of which I have seen those of almost every persuasion under the sun; including most of our own sectaries, and the Greek, the Catholic, the Armenian, the Lutheran, the Jewish, and the Mahometan. Many of the negroes, of whom there are numbers in the Turkish empire, are idolaters, and have free exercise of their belief and its rites: some of these I had a distant view of at Patras; and, from what I could make out of them, they appeared to be of a truly Pagan description, and not very agreeable to a spectator.
And this is in the night:—Most glorious night! Thou wert not sent for slumber 1 let me be A sharer in thy fierce and far delight, A portion of the tempest and of thee! () How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea, And the big rain comes dancing to the earth! / And now again 'tis black,-and now, the glee
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's
XCIV. [tween Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way beHeights which appear as lovers who have parted In hate, whose mining depths so intervene, . That they can meet no more, though brokenhearted [thwarted, Though in their souls, which thus each other Love was the very root of the fond rage Which blighted their life's bloom, and then deItself expired, but leaving them an age [parted: Of years all winters, war within themselves towage.
(1) The thunder-storm to which these lines refer occurred on the 13th of June, 1816, at midnight. I have seen, among the Acroceraunian mountains of Chimari, several more terrible, but none more beautiful. [A facsimile of the first draught of these remarkable stanzas is given in vol. ix.-E.
(2) [“This is one of the most beautiful passages of the poem. The “fierce and far delight” of a thunder-storm is here described in verse almost as vivid as its lightnings. The live thunder “ leaping among the rattling crags”— the voice of mountains, as if shouting to each pther — the plashing of the big rain — the gleaming of the wide lake, lighted like a phosphoric sea – present a picture of sublime terror, yet of enjoyment, often attempted, but never so well, certainly never better brought out in poetry.”—SIR WALTER Scott.]
XCV. Now, where the quick Rhonethushath clefthis way, The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand: For here, not one, but many, make their play, And fling their thunder-bolts from hand to hand, Flashing and cast around: of all the band,
The brightestthrough these partedhills hath fork'd
His lightnings, –as if he did understand, That in such gaps as desolation work'd, There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurk'd.
XCVI. Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings!ye! With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul To make these felt and feeling, well may be Things that have made me watchful; the far roll Of your departing voices, is the knoll Of what in me is sleepless, -if I rest. () But where of ye, oh tempests 1 is the goal? Are ye like those within the human breast? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest ?
(1) The Journal of his Swiss tour, which Lord Byron kept for his sister, closes with the following mournful passage:– “In the weather, for this tour, of thirteen days, I have been very fortunate—fortunate in a companion” (Mr. Hobhouse)—“fortunate in our prospects, and exempt from even the little petty accidents and delays which often render journeys in a less wild country disappointing. I was disposed to be pleased. I am a lover of nature, and an admirer of beauty. I can bear fatigue, and welcome privation, and have seen some of the noblest views in the world. But in all this, – the recollection of bitterness, and more especially of recent and more home desolation, which must accompany me through life, has preyed upon me here; and neither the music of the shepherd, the crashing of the avalanche, nor the torrent, the mountain, the glacier, the forest, nor the cloud, have for one moment lightened the weight upon my heart, nor enabled me to lose my own wretched identity, in the majesty, and the power, and the glory, around, above, and beneath me.”- El
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing itasasword.
Much, that may give us pause, if ponder'd fittingly.
Which stir and sting the soul with hope that woos,
(1) [Stanzas xcix, to cxv. are exquisite. They have every thing which WOL. VIII. N