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THE SOURCE OF THE DANUBE. Not, like his great compeers, indignantly Doth Danube spring to life! The wandering stream (Who loves the cross, yet to the crescent's gleam Unfolds a willing breast) with infant glee Slips from his prison walls: and fancy, free To follow in his track of silver light, Reaches, with one brief moment's rapid flight, The vast encincture of that gloomy sea Whose waves the Orphean lyre forbad to meet In conflict; whose rough winds forgot their jars" To the heroic progeny of Greece, When the first ship sailed for the golden fleece, Argo, exalted for that daring feat To bear in heaven a shape distinct with stars.
IN ONE OF THE CATHOLIC CANTONS OF
DOOMED as we are our native dust
To wet with many a bitter shower,
It ill befits us to disdain
The altar, to deride the fane,
Where patient sufferers bend, in trust
To win a happier hour.
I love, where spreads the village lawn,
Upon some knee-worn cell to gaze;
Hail to the firm unmoving cross,
Aloft, where pines their branches toss!
And to the chapel far withdrawn,
That lurks by lonely ways !
Where'er we roam-along the brink
Of Rhine-or by the sweeping Po,
Through Alpine vale, or champain wide,
Whate'er we look on, at our side
Be Charity, to bid us think,
And feel, if we would know.
APPROACHING THE STAUBBACH. TRACKS let me follow far from human kind Which these illusive greetings may not reach; Where only Nature tunes her voice to teach Careless pursuits, and raptures unconfined. No mermaid warbles (to allay the wind That drives some vessel toward a dangerous beach) More thrilling melodies ! no caverned witch, Chanting a love-spell, ever intertwined Notes shrill and wild with art more musical! Alas! that from the lips of abject want And idleness in tatters mendicant The strain should flow-enjoyment to enthrall And with regret and useless pity haunt This bold, this pure, this sky-born waterfall!
THE FALL OF THE AAR. FROM the fierce aspect of this river throwing His giant body o'er the steep rock's brink, Back in astonishment and fear we shrink: But gradually a calmer look bestowing, Flowers we espy beside the torrent growing ; Flowers that peep forth from many a cleft and chink And, from the whirlwind of his anger drink Hues ever fresh, in rocky fortress blowing: They suck, from breath that threatening to destroy Is more benignant than the dewy eve, Beauty, and life, and motions as of joy:
Nor doubt but he to whom yon pine-trees nod
Their heads in sign of worship, nature's God,
These humbler adorations will receive.
THE LAKE OF BRIENTZ.
“WHAT know we of the blest above
But that they sing and that they love?"
Yet, if they ever did inspire
A mortal hymn, or shaped the choir,
Now, where those harvest damsels float
Homeward in their rugged boat,-
While all the ruffling winds are fled,
Each slumbering on some mountain's head,
Now, surely, hath that gracious aid
Been felt, that influence is displayed.
Pupils of Heaven, in order stand
The rustic maidens, every hand
Upon a sister's shoulder laid, -
To chant, as glides the boat along,
A simple, but a touching, song;
To chant, as angels do above,
The melodies of peace in love!
ENGELBERG, THE HILL OF ANGELS. For gentlest uses, ofttimes Nature takes The work of Fancy from her willing hands; And such a beautiful creation makes As renders needless spells and magic wands, And for the boldest tale belief commands. When first mine eyes beheld that famous hill, The sacred Engelberg; celestial bands, With intermingling motions soft and still, Hung round its top, on wings that changed their hues
Clouds do not name those visitants; they were
The very angels whose authentic lays,
Sung from that heavenly ground in middle air,
Made known the spot where piety should raise
A holy structure to the Almighty's praise.
Resplendent apparition! if in vain
My ears did listen, 'twas enough to gaze;
And watch the slow departure of the train,
Whose skirts the glowing mountain thirsted to detain!
OUR LADY OF THE SNOW.
MEEK Virgin mother, more benign
Than fairest star upon the height
Of thy own mountain set to keep
Lone vigils through the hours of sleep,
What eye can look upon thy shrine
Untroubled at the sight?
These crowded offerings as they hang
In sign of misery relieved,
Even these, without intent of theirs,
Report of comfortless despairs,
Of many a deep and cureless pang
And confidence deceived.
To thee, in this aërial cleft,
As to a common centre, tend
All sufferings that no longer rest
On mortal succour, all distressed,
That pine of human hope bereft,
Nor wish for earthly friend.
And hence, O Virgin mother mild!
Though plenteous flowers around thee blow,
Not only from the dreary strife
Of winter, but the storms of life,
Thee have thy votaries aptly styled
Our Lady of the Snow,
Even for the man who stops not here,
But down the irriguous valley hies,
Thy very name, O lady! flings,
O'er blooming fields and gushing springs:
A holy shadow soft and dear
Of chastening sympathies !
Nor falls that intermingling shade
To summer gladsomeness unkind;
It chastens only to requite
With gleams of fresher, purer light;
While, o'er the flower-enamelled glade,
More sweetly breathes the wind.
But on!-a tempting downward way,
A verdant path before us lies;
Clear shines the glorious sun above;
Then give free course to joy and love,
Deeming the evil of the day
Sufficient for the wise.
THE PAINTED TOWER OF TELL, ALTORF.
What though the Italian pencil wrought not here,
Nor such fine skill as did the meed bestow
On Marathonian valour, yet the tear
Springs forth in presence of this gaudy show,
While narrow cares their limits overflow.
Thrice happy, burghers, peasants, warriors old,
Infants in arms, and ye, that as ye go
Homeward or schoolward, ape what ye behold;
Heroes before your time, in frolic fancy bold !