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Thou fortunate region! whose greatness inurned,
Awoke to new life from its ashes and dust;
Twice-glorified fields ! if in sadness I turned
From your infinite marvels, the sadness was just.
Now, risen ere the light-footed chamois retires
From dew-sprinkled grass to heights guarded with snow,
Toward the mists that hang over the land of my sires,
From the climate of myrtles contented I go.
My thoughts become bright like yon edging of pines,
How black was its hue in the region of air!
But, touched from behind by the sun, it now shines
With threads that seem part of his own silver hair.
Though the burthen of toil with dear friends we divide,
Though by the same zephyr our temples are fanned
As we rest in the cool orange-bower side by side,
A yearning survives which few hearts shall withstand:
Each step hath its value while homeward we move ;--
Oh, joy, when the girdle of England appears !
What moment in life is so conscious of love,
So rich in the tenderest sweetness of tears?
ECHO UPON THE GEMMI. What beast of chase hath broken from the cover? Stern Gemmi listens to as full a cry, As multitudinous a harmony, As e'er did ring the heights of Latmos over, When, from the soft couch of her sleeping lover, Up-starting, Cynthia skimmed the mountain dew In keen pursuit--and gave, where'er she flew, Impetuous motion to the stars above her. A solitary wolf-dog, ranging on Through the bleak concave, wakes this wondrous chime
Of airy voices locked in unison,-
Faint-far off-near-deep-solemn and sublime!
So, from the body of one guilty deed,
A thousand ghostly fears, and haunting thoughts,
SUGGESTED ON A SABBATH MORNING IN THE VALE
To appease the gods; or public thanks to yield;
Or to solicit knowledge of events,
Which in her breast futurity concealed;
And that the past might have its true intents
Feelingly told by living monuments;
Mankind of yore were prompted to devise
Rites such as yet Persepolis presents
Graven on her cankered walls,-solemnities
That moved in long array before admiring eyes.
The Hebrews thus, carrying in joyful state
Thick boughs of palm, and willows from the brook,
Marched round the altar-to commemorate
How, when their course they through the desert took,
Guided by signs which ne'er the sky forsook,
They lodged in leafy tents and cabins low;
Green boughs were borne, while for the blast that shook
Down to the earth the walls of Jericho,
These shout hosannas, those the startling trumpets blow!
And thus, in order, mid the sacred grove
Fed in Libyan waste by gushing wells,
The priests and damsels of Ammonian Jove
Provoked responses with shrill canticles;
While in a ship begirt with silver bells,
They round the altar bore the hornèd god,
Old Cham, the solar deity, who dwells
Aloft, yet in a tilting vessel rode,
When universal sea the mountains overflowed.
Why speak of Roman pomps? the haughty claims
Of chiefs triumphant after ruthless wars;
The feast of Neptune—and the cereal games,
With images, and crowns, and empty cars ;
The dancing Salii-on the shields of Mars
Smiting with fury: and the deeper dread
Scattered on all sides by the hideous jars
Of Corybantian cymbals, while the head
Of Cybele was seen, sublimely turreted!
At length a spirit more subdued and soft
Appeared to govern Christian pageantries:
The cross, in calm processions, borne aloft
Moved to the chant of sober litanies.
Even such, this day, came wafted on the breeze
From a long train-in hooded vestments fair
Enwrapped—and winding, between Alpine trees
Spiry and dark, around their house of prayer
Below the icy bed of bright Argentiere.
Still, in the vivid freshness of a dream,
The pageant haunts me as it met our eyes !
Still, with those white-robed shapes-a living stream,
The glacier pillars join in solemn guise.
For the same service by mysterious ties;
Numbers exceeding credible account
Of number, pure and silent votaries
Issuing or issued from a wintry fount;
The impenetrable heart of that exalted mount !
They too, who send so far a holy gleam
While they the church engird with motion slow,
A product of that awful mountain seem,
Poured from its vaults of everlasting snow;
Not virgin-lilies marshalled in bright row,
Not swans descending with the stealthy tide,
A livelier sisterly resemblance show
Than the fair forms that in long order glide,
Bear to the glacier band-those shapes aloft descried !
Trembling, I look upon the secret springs
Of that licentious craving in the mind
To act the god among external things,
To bind, on apt suggestion, or unbind;
And marvel not that antique faith inclined
To crowd the world with metamorphosis,
Vouchsafed in pity or in wrath assigned:
Such insolent temptations wouldst thou miss,
Avoid these sights; nor brood o'er fable's dark abyss !
SKY-PROSPECT. FROM THE PLAIN OF
Lo! in the burning west, the craggy nape
Of a proud Ararat! and, thereupon,
The ark, her melancholy voyage done!
Yon rampant cloud mimics a lion's shape;
There--combats a huge crocodile-agape
A golden spear to swallow! and that brown
And massy grove, so near yon blazing town,
Stirs-and recedes-destruction to escape!
Yet all is harmless as the Elysian shades
Where spirits dwell in undisturbed repose,
Silently disappears, or quickly fades;
Meek Nature's evening comment on the shows
That for oblivion take their daily birth,
From all the fuming vanities of earth!
WHERE be the noisy followers of the game
Which faction breeds ? the turmoil where? that passed
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
rapt 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.
Is then the final page before me spread,
Nor further outlet left to mind or heart?
Presumptuous book! too forward to be read-
How can I give thee licence to depart?
One tribute more ; unbidden feelings start
Forth from their coverts—slighted objects rise-
My spirit is the scene of such wild art
As on Parnassus rules, when lightning flies,
Visibly leading on the thunder's harmonies.
All that I saw returns upon my view,
All that I heard comes back upon my ear,
All that I felt this moment doth renew;
And where the foot with no unmanly fear
Recoiled—and wings alone could travel-there