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Urged by the love of change, and, like myself,
Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare,
Press on-tho' but a rill entering the Sea, Entering and lost! Our task would never end.
Day glimmered and I went, a gentle breeze Ruffling the LEMAN Lake. Wave after wave, If such they might be called, dashed as in sport, Not anger, with the pebbles on the beach
Making wild music, and far westward caught
The sun-beam-save where, as entranced, a skiff
Lay with its circular and dotted line,
Fishing in silence. When the heart is light
With hope, all pleases, nothing comes amiss;
And soon a passage-boat swept gaily by,
Laden with peasant-girls and fruits and flowers,
And many a chanticleer and partlet caged
For VEVAY'S market-place-a motley group
Seen thro' the silvery haze. But soon 'twas gone.
The shifting sail flapped idly for an instant,
Then bore them off.
I am not one of those
So dead to all things in this visible world,
So wondrously profound-as to move on
In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old*
(His name is justly in the Calendar)
Who thro' the day pursued this pleasant path
That winds beside the mirror of all beauty,
And, when at length he heard his fellow-pilgrims
Discoursing of the lake, asked where it was.
They marvelled, as they might; and so must all,
Seeing what now I saw; for now 'twas day,
* See Note.
And the bright Sun was in the firmament,
A thousand shadows of a thousand hues
Chequering the clear expanse. Awhile his Orb Hung o'er thy trackless fields of snow, MONT BLANC,
Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories,
That change their shapes for ever as in sport;
Then travelled onward and went down behind
The pine-clad heights of JURA, lighting up
The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe
Borne homeward thro' the forest in his hand;
And, in some deep and melancholy glen,
That dungeon-fortress never to be named,
Where, like a lion taken in the toils,
Toussaint breathed out his brave and generous spirit.
Ah, little did He think, who sent him there,
That he himself, then greatest among men,
Should in like manner be so soon conveyed
Across the ocean-to a rock so small
Amid the countless multitude of waves,
That ships have gone and sought it, and returned,
Saying it was not!
Still along the shore,
Among the trees I went for many a mile,
Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets,
Singing some national song by the way-side.
But now'twas dusk; and, journeying by the RHONE,
That there came down, a torrent from the Alps,
I entered where a key unlocks a kingdom,*
The mountains closing, and the road, the river
NIGHT was again descending, when my mule,
That all day long had climbed among the clouds, Higher and higher still, as by a stair
Let down from Heaven itself, transporting me,
Stopped, to the joy of both, at that low door
So near the summit of the GREAT ST. BERNARD;
That door which ever on its hinges moved
To them that knocked, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering Spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me,