Page images

And what behind it lay, all earth shall view.
But good with ill they also overthrew,
Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild
Upon the same foundation, and renew
Dungeons and thrones, which the same hour re-

As heretofore, because ambition was self-will'd.


But this will not endure, nor be endured! Mankind have felt their strength, and made it


They might have used it better, but, allured,
By their new vigour, sternly have they dealt
On one another; pity ceased to melt

With her once natural charities. But they, Who in oppression's darkness caved had dwelt, They were not eagles nourished with the day; What marvel then, at times, if they mistook their prey?


What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear That which disfigures it; and they who war With their own hopes, and have been vanquish'd, bear

Silence, but not submission in his lair

Fix'd Passion holds his breath, until the hour Which shall atone for years; none need despair: It came, it cometh, and will come,-the power To punish or forgive-in one we shall be slower.


Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me with its stillness, to forsake

Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing

To waft me from distraction; once I loved Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved, That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.


It is the hush of night, and all between Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear, Mellow'd and mingling, yet distinctly seen Save darken'd Jura, whose capt heights appear Precipitously steep; and drawing near, There breathes a living fragrance from the shore, Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol



He as an evening reveller, who makes His life an infancy, and sings his fill; At intervals, some bird from out the brakes, Starts into voice a moment, then is still. There seems a floating whisper on the hill, But that is fancy, for the starlight dews All silently their tears of love instil, Weeping themselves away, till they infuse Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.


Ye stars! that are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires,-'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,

And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create

In us such love and reverence from afar, That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.


All heaven and earth are still-though not in


But breathless, as we grow when feeling most; And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:All heaven and earth are still: From the high host

Of stars, to the lull'd lake and mountain-coast,
All is concenter'd in a life intense,

Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and defence


Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
In solitude where we are least alone;

A truth, which through our being then doth melt
And purifies from self: it is a tone,

The soul and source of music, which makes known

Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm,
Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,

Binding all things with beauty;-'twould disarm The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm.


Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak

Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, (20) and thus


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'r!


The sky is changed!--and such a change! Oh night, (21)

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! 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!


And this is in the night :-Most glorious night! Thou wert not sent for slumber! 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 birth.


Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way be


Heights which appear as lovers who have parted In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,

That they can meet no more, though broken hearted;

Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted,

Love was the very root of the fond rage

Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed:

Itself expired, but leaving them an age Of years all winters,-war within themselves to



Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his


The mightiest of the storm 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 brightest through these parted hills 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.


Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings


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! is the goal? Are ye like those within the human breast? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high


« PreviousContinue »