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Up from the lake a zigzag path will creep
Confused the Marathonian tale appears, To reach a small wood-hut hung boldly on the steep. While his eyes sparkle with heroic tears. -Before those thresholds (never can they know And who, that walks where men of ancient days The face of traveller passing to and fro,)
Have wrought with godlike arm the deeds of praise No peasant leans upon his pole, to tell
Feels not the spirit of the place control,
On Zutphen's plain ; or on that highland dell, To pilgrims overcome by summer's heat.
Through which rough Garry cleaves his way, can tell Yet thither the world's business finds its way What high resolves exalt the tenderest thought At times, and tales unsought beguile the day, Of him whom passion rivets to the spot, And there are those fond thoughts which Solitude, Where breathed the gale that caught Wolfe's hapHowever stern, is powerless to exclude.
piest sigh, There doth the maiden watch her lover's sail And the last sunbeam fell on Bayard's eye ; Approaching, and upbraid the tardy gale; Where bleeding Sidney from the cup retired, At midnight listens till his parting oar,
And glad Dundee in “ faint huzzas " expired ! And its last echo, can be heard no more.
But now with other mind I stand alone And what if ospreys, cormorants, herons cry,
Upon the summit of this naked cone, Amid tempestuous vapours driving by,
And watch the fearless chamois-hunter chase Or hovering over wastes too bleak to rear
His prey, through tracts abrupt of desolate space, That common growth of earth, the foodful ear;
• Through vacant worlds where Nature never gave Where the green apple shrivels on the spray,
A brook to murmur or a bough to wave, And pines the unripened pear in summer's kindliest
Which unsubstantial Phantoms sacred keep; ray ;
Thro' worlds where Life, and Voice, and Motion Contentment shares the desolate domain
sleep; With Independence, child of high Disdain.
Where silent Hours their death-like sway extend, Exulting ʼmid the winter of the skies,
Save when the avalanche breaks loose, to rend Shy as the jealous chamois, Freedom flies,
Its way with uproar, till the ruin, drowned And grasps by fits her sword, and often eyes ;
In some dense wood or gulf of snow profound, And sometimes, as from rock to rock she bounds
| Mocks the dull ear of Time with deaf abortive The Patriot nymph starts at imagined sounds,
sound. And, wildly pausing, oft she hangs aghast,
_”Tis his, while wandering on from height to Whether some old Swiss air hath checked her haste
height, Or thrill of Spartan fife is caught between the blast.
To see a planet's pomp and steady light Swoln with incessant rains from hour to hour,
In the least star of scarce-appearing night; All day the floods a deepening murmur pour :
While the pale moon moves near him, on the bound The sky is veiled, and every cheerful sight :
Of ether, shining with diminished round, Dark is the region as with coming night;
And far and wide the icy summits blaze, But what a sudden burst of overpowering light !
Rejoicing in the glory of her rays : Triumphant on the bosom of the storm,
To him the day-star glitters small and bright, Glances the wheeling eagle's glorious form!
Shorn of its beams, insufferably white, Eastward, in long perspective glittering, shine
And he can look beyond the sun, and view The wood-crowned cliffs that o'er the lake recline ;
Those fast-receding depths of sable blue
Flying till vision can no more pursue !
-At once bewildering mists around him close, Behind his sail the peasant shrinks, to shun
And cold and hunger are his least of woes ; The west, that burns like one dilated sun,
The Demon of the snow, with angry roar
Descending, shuts for aye his prison door.
Soon with despair's whole weight his spirits sink ;
But, lo! the boatman, overawed, before The pictured fane of Tell suspends his oar ;
* For most of the images in the next sixteen verses, I am indebted to M. Raymond's interesting observations annexed to his translation of Coxe's Tour in Switzerland.
Bread has he none, the snow must be his drink;
And hear the rattling thunder far below;
Now couch thyself where, heard with fear afar, 1 One I behold who, 'cross the foaming flood, Thunders through echoing pines the headlong Aar; Leaps with a bound of graceful hardihood; Or rather stay to taste the mild delights
Another high on that green ledge ;-he gained Of pensive Underwalden'g* pastoral heights. The tempting spot with every sinew strained; -Is there who 'mid these awful wilds has seen And downward thence a knot of grass he throws, The native Genii walk the mountain green! Food for his beasts in time of winter snows. Or heard, while other worlds their charms reveal, -Far different life from what Tradition hoar Soft music o'er the aërial summit steal ?
Transmits of happier lot in times of yore ! While o'er the desert, answering every close, Then Summer lingered long ; and honey flowed Rich steam of sweetest perfume comes and goes. From out the rocks, the wild bees' safe abode :
-And sure there is a secret Power that reigns Continual waters welling cheered the waste,
Usurping where the fairest herbage smiled :
Then the milk-thistle flourished through the land, Rouses the soul from her severe delight.
And forced the full-swoln udder to demand, An idle voice the sabbath region fills
Thrice every day, the pail and welcome hand. Of Deep that calls to Deep across the hills, Thus does the father to his children tell And with that voice accords the soothing sound Of banished bliss, by fancy loved too well. Of drowsy bells, for ever tinkling round;
Alas! that human guilt provoked the rod Faint wail of eagle melting into blue
Of angry Nature to avenge her God. Beneath the cliffs, and pine-woods' steady sugh I'; Still, Nature, ever just, to him imparts The solitary heifer's deepened low;
Joys only given to uncorrupted hearts. Or rumbling, heard remote, of falling snow. All motions, sounds, and voices, far and nigh, 'Tis morn : with gold the verdant mountain Blend in a music of tranquillity ;
glows; Save when, a stranger seen below, the boy
More high, the snowy peaks with hues of rose. Shouts from the echoing hills with savage joy. Far-stretched beneath the many-tinted hills,
A mighty waste of mist the valley fills, When, from the sunny breast of open seas, A solemn sea ! whose billows wide around And bays with myrtle fringed, the southern breeze Stand motionless, to awful silence bound : Comes on to gladden April with the sight
Pines, on the coast, through mist their tops uprear, Of green isles widening on each snow-clad height;
That like to leaning masts of stranded ships appear. When shouts and lowing herds the valley fill, A single chasm, a gulf of gloomy blue, And louder torrents stun the noon-tide hill, Gapes in the centre of the sea and through The pastoral Swiss begin the cliffs to scale,
That dark mysterious gulf ascending, sound Leaving to silence the deserted vale ;
Innumerable streams with roar profound. And like the Patriarchs in their simple age
Mount through the nearer vapours notes of birds, Move, as the verdure leads, from stage to stage ;
And merry flageolet ; the low of herds, High and more high in summer's heat they go, The bark of dogs, the heifer's tinkling bell,
Talk, laughter, and perchance a church-tower knell: * The people of this Canton are supposed to be of a more
Think not, the peasant from aloft has gazed melancholy disposition than the other inhabitants of the
And heard with heart unmoved, with soul unraised: Alps; this, if true, may proceed from their living more Nor is his spirit less enrapt, nor less secluded.
Alive to independent happiness, This picture is from the middle region of the Alps.
Then, when he lies, out-stretched, at even-tide Chalets are summer huts for the Swiss herdsmen. Sugh, a Scotch word expressive of the sound of the
Upon the fragrant mountain's purple side : wind through the trees.
| For as the pleasures of his simple day
Beyond his native valley seldom stray,
And when a gathering weight of shadows brown
Once, Man entirely free, alone and wild, Was blest as free for he was Nature's child. He, all superior but his God disdained, Walked none restraining, and by none restrained: Confessed no law but what his reason taught, Did all he wished, and wished but what he ought. As man in his primeval dower arrayed The image of his glorious Sire displayed, Even so, by faithful Nature guarded, here The traces of primeval Man appear ; The simple dignity, no forms debase ; The eye sublime, and surly lion-grace : The slave of none, of beasts alone the lord, His book he prizes, nor neglects his sword; -Well taught by that to feel his rights, prepared With this “the blessings he enjoys to guard."
When downward to his winter hut he goes, Dear and more dear the lessening circle grows; That hut which on the hills so oft employs His thoughts, the central point of all his joys. And as a swallow, at the hour of rest, Peeps often ere she darts into her nest, So to the homestead, where the grandsire tends A little prattling child, he oft descends, To glance a look upon the well-matched pair; Till storm and driving ice blockade him there. There, safely guarded by the woods behind, He hears the chiding of the baffled wind, Hears Winter calling all his terrors round, And, blest within himself, he shrinks not from the
And, as his native hills encircle ground For many a marvellous victory renowned, The work of Freedom daring to oppose, With few in arms *, innumerable foes, When to those famous fields his steps are led, An unknown power connects him with the dead : For images of other worlds are there ; Awful the light, and holy is the air. Fitfully, and in flashes, through his soul, Like sun-lit tempests, troubled transports roll ; His bosom heaves, his Spirit towers amain, Beyond the senses and their little reign.
And oft, when that dread vision hath past by, He holds with God himself communion high, There where the peal of swelling torrents fills The sky-roofed temple of the eternal hills ; Or, when upon the mountain's silent brow Reclined, he sees, above him and below, Bright stars of ice and azure fields of snow ; While needle peaks of granite shooting bare Tremble in ever-varying tints of air.
Through Nature's vale his homely pleasures
glide, Unstained by envy, discontent, and pride ; The bound of all his vanity, to deck, With one bright bell, a favourite heifer's neck; Well pleased upon some simple annual feast, Remembered half the year and hoped the rest, If dairy-produce, from his inner hoard, Of thrice ten summers dignify the board. -Alas ! in every clime a flying ray Is all we have to cheer our wintry way; And here the unwilling mind may more than
* Alluding to several battles which the Swiss in very small numbers have gained over their oppressors, the house of Austria ; and, in particular, to one fought at Næffels near Glarus, where three hundred and thirty men are said to have defeated an army of between fifteen and twenty thousand Austrians. Scattered over the valley are to be found eleven stones, with this inscription, 1388, the year the battle was fought, marking out, as I was told upon the spot, the several places where the Austrians, attempting to make a stand, were repulsed anew.
And from his nest amid the storms of heaven | While they are drawing toward the sacred floor
no more. And never, eagle-like, beholds again !
How gaily murmur and how sweetly taste
The fountains * reared for them amid the waste !
Yes, I must see you when ye first behold
Last, let us turn to Chamouny that shields
And with wild flowers and blooming orchards Fresh gales and dews of life's delicious morn,
blend; And thou, lost fragrance of the heart, return ! A scene more fair than what the Grecian feigns Alas! the little joy to man allowed,
Of purple lights and ever-vernal plains ; Fades like the lustre of an evening cloud;
Here all the seasons revel hand in hand : Or like the beauty in a flower installed,
'Mid lawns and shades by breezy rivulets fanned, Whose season was, and cannot be recalled.
They sport beneath that mountain's matchless
Appalling havoc ! but serene his brow, 'Mid savage rocks, and seas of snow that shine,
Where daylight lingers on perpetual snow;
Glitter the stars above, and all is black below.
What marvel then if many a Wanderer sigh,
That not for thy reward, unrivalled Vale !
Waves the ripe harvest in the autumnal gale;
That thou, the slave of slaves, art doomed to pine
Hail Freedom ! whether it was mine to stray,
With shrill winds whistling round my lonely way, One flower of hope-oh, pass and leave it there!
On the bleak sides of Cumbria's heath-clad moors,
Or where dank sea-weed lashes Scotland's shores ; The tall sun, pausing on an Alpine spire,
To scent the sweets of Piedmont's breathing rose, Flings o'er the wilderness a stream of fire :
And orange gale that o'er Lugano blows; Now meet we other pilgrims ere the day
Still have I found, where Tyranny prevails, Close on the remnant of their weary way;
That virtue languishes and pleasure fails,
While the remotest hamlets blessings share * The well-known effect of the famous air, called in
In thy loved presence known, and only there ; French Ranz des Vaches, upon the Swiss troops.
+ This shrine is resorted to, from a hope of relief, by * Rude fountains built and covered with sheds for multitudes, from every corner of the Catholic world, the accommodation of the Pilgrims, in their ascent of the labouring under mental or bodily afflictions.
Heart-blessings outward treasures too which the Rouse hell's own aid, and wrap thy fields in fire : eye
Lo, from the flames a great and glorious birth; Of the sun peeping through the clouds can spy, As if a new-made heaven were hailing a new earth! And every passing breeze will testify.
-All cannot be : the promise is too fair There, to the porch, belike with jasmine bound For creatures doomed to breathe terrestrial air : Or woodbine wreaths, a smoother path is wound ; | Yet not for this will sober reason frown The housewife there a brighter garden sees, Upon that promise, nor the hope disown ; Where hum on busier wing her happy bees ; She knows that only from high aims ensue On infant cheeks there fresher roses blow; Rich guerdons, and to them alone are due. And grey-haired men look up with livelier brow,To greet the traveller needing food and rest; Great God! by whom the strifes of men are Housed for the night, or but a half-hour's guest.
In an impartial balance, give thine aid And oh, fair France! though now the traveller sees To the just cause; and, oh! do thou preside Thy three-striped banner fluctuate on the breeze; Over the mighty stream now spreading wide : Though martial songs have banished songs of love, So shall its waters, from the heavens supplied And nightingales desert the village grove,
In copious showers, from earth by wholesome Scared by the fife and rumbling drum’s alarms,
springs, And the short thunder, and the flash of arms; Brood o'er the long-parched lands with Nile-like That cease not till night falls, when far and nigh,
wings! Sole sound, the Sourd * prolongs his mournful cry! And grant that every sceptred child of clay -Yet, hast thou found that Freedom spreads her Who cries presumptuous, “ Here the flood shall power
Or, swept in anger from the insulted shore,
To-night, my Friend, within this humble cot Fell where the blue flood rippled into white; Be scorn and fear and hope alike forgot Methought from every cot the watchful bird In timely sleep ; and when, at break of day, Crowed with ear-piercing power till then unheard ; On the tall peaks the glistening sunbeams play, Each clacking mill, that broke the murmuring With a light heart our course we may renew, streams,
The first whose footsteps print the mountain dew. Rocked the charmed thought in more delightful
1791 & 1792. dreams; Chasing those pleasant dreams, the falling leaf
lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the shore, com
manding a beautiful prospect. And ripening foliage shone with richer gold. -But foes are gathering-Liberty must raise
Nay, Traveller ! rest. This lonely Yew-tree stands Red on the hills her beacon's far-seen blaze;
Far from all human dwelling: what if here Must bid the tocsin ring from tower to tower !
No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb! Nearer and nearer comes the trying hour !
What if the bee love not these barren boughs ? Rejoice, brave Land, though pride's perverted ire
Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves,
That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind * An insect so called, which emits a short, melancholy
By one soft impulse saved from vacancy. cry, heard at the close of the summer evenings, on the
-Who he was banks of the Loire.
That piled these stones and with the mossy sod The duties upon many parts of the French rivers were
First covered, and here taught this aged Tree 50 exorbitant, that the poorer people, deprived of the
With its dark arms to form a circling bower, benefit of water carriage, were obliged to transport their goods by land.
I well remember.- He was one who owned