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I see her now, denied to lay her head,
No wreck of all the pageantry remains. On cold blue nights, in hut or straw-built shed, Unheeded night has overcome the vales : Turn to a silent smile their sleepy cry,
On the dark earth the wearied vision fails; By pointing to the gliding moon on high.
The latest lingerer of the forest train, -When low-hung clouds each star of summer hide, The lone black fir, forsakes the faded plain ; And fireless are the vallies far and wide,
Last evening sight, the cottage smoke, no more, Where the brook brawls along the public road Lost in the thickened darkness, glimmers hoar ; Dark with bat-haunted ashes stretching broad, | And, towering from the sullen dark-brown mere, Oft has she taught them on her lap to lay
Like a black wall, the mountain-steeps appear. The shining glow-worm; or, in heedless play, -Now o'er the soothed accordant heart we feel Toss it from hand to hand, disquieted;
A sympathetic twilight slowly steal, While others, not unseen, are free to shed
And ever, as we fondly muse, we find Green unmolested light upon their mossy bed.
The soft gloom deepening on the tranquil mind.
Stay ! pensive, sadly-pleasing visions, stay ! Oh ! when the sleety showers her path assail, Ah no ! as fades the vale, they fade away : And like a torrent roars the headstrong gale ; Yet still the tender, vacant gloom remains ; No more her breath can thaw their fingers cold, | Still the cold cheek its shuddering tear retains. Their frozen arms her neck no more can fold; Weak roof a cowering form two babes to shield, The bird, who ceased, with fading light, to thread And faint the fire a dying heart can yield ! Silent the hedge or steamy rivulet's bed, Press the sad kiss, fond mother ! vainly fears From his grey re-appearing tower shall soon Thy flooded cheek to wet them with its tears ; Salute with gladsome note the rising moon, No tears can chill them, and no bosom warms, While with a hoary light she frosts the ground, Thy breast their death-bed, coffined in thine arms! And pours a deeper blue to Æther's bound;
Pleased, as she moves, her pomp of clouds to fold Sweet are the sounds that mingle from afar, In robes of azure, fleecy-white, and gold. Heard by calm lakes, as peeps the folding star, Where the duck dabbles ’mid the rustling sedge, Above yon eastern hill, where darkness broods And feeding pike starts from the water's edge, | O'er all its vanished dells, and lawns, and woods ; Or the swan stirs the reeds, his neck and bill Where but a mass of shade the sight can trace, Wetting, that drip upon the water still ;
Even now she shews, half-veiled, her lovely face : And heron, as resounds the trodden shore, Across the gloomy valley flings her light, Shoots upward, darting his long neck before. Far to the western slopes with hamlets white;
And gives, where woods the chequered upland strew, Now, with religious awe, the farewell light To the green corn of summer, autumn's hue. Blends with the solemn colouring of night; 'Mid groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow, Thus Hope, first pouring from her blessed horn And round the west's proud lodge their shadows Her dawn, far lovelier than the moon's own throw,
morn, Like Una shining on her gloomy way,
"Till higher mounted, strives in vain to cheer The half-seen form of Twilight roams astray; The weary hills, impervious, blackening near ; Shedding, through paly loop-holes mild and small, Yet does she still, undaunted, throw the while Gleams that upon the lake's still bosom fall; On darling spots remote her tempting smile. Soft o'er the surface creep those lustres pale Tracking the motions of the fitful gale.
Even now she decks for me a distant scene, With restless interchange at once the bright (For dark and broad the gulf of time between) Wins on the shade, the shade upon the light. Gilding that cottage with her fondest ray, No favoured eye was e'er allowed to gaze
(Sole bourn, sole wish, sole object of my way; On lovelier spectacle in faery days ;
How fair its lawns and sheltering woods appear ! When gentle Spirits urged a sportive chase, How sweet its streamlet murmurs in mine ear !) Brushing with lucid wands the water's face ; Where we, my Friend, to happy days shall rise, While music, stealing round the glimmering deeps, 'Till our small share of hardly-paining sighs Charmed the tall circle of the enchanted steeps. (For sighs will ever trouble human breath) - The lights are vanished from the watery plains : Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death.
REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS,
COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND.
But now the clear bright Moon her zenith gains, And, rimy without speck, extend the plains : The deepest cleft the mountain's front displays Scarce hides a shadow from her searching rays; From the dark-blue faint-silvery threads divide The hills, while gleams below the azure tide ; Time softly treads; throughout the landscape
breathes A peace enlivened, not disturbed, by wreaths Of charcoal-smoke, that o'er the fallen wood, Steal down the hill, and spread along the flood.
GLIDE gently, thus for ever glide,
The song of mountain-streams, unheard by day, Now hardly heard, beguiles my homeward way. Air listens, like the sleeping water, still, To catch the spiritual music of the hill, Broke only by the slow clock tolling deep, Or shout that wakes the ferry-man from sleep, The echoed hoof nearing the distant shore, The boat's first motion—made with dashing oar ; Sound of closed gate, across the water borne, Hurrying the timid hare through rustling corn ; The sportive outcry of the mocking owl ; And at long intervals the mill-dog's howl ; The distant forge's swinging thump profound ; Or yell, in the deep woods, of lonely hound.
1787, 8, & 9.
Vain thought !- Yet be as now thou art,
Now let us, as we float along,
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
DURING A PEDESTRIAN TOUR AMONG THE ALPS.
How richly glows the water's breast
THE REV. ROBERT JONES,
YELLOW OP ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGR.
Such views the youthful Bard allure ;
HOWEVER desirous I might have been of giving you proofs of the high place you hold in my esteem, I should have been cautious of wounding your delicacy by thus publicly addressing you, had not the circumstance of our having been companions among the Alps, seemed to give this dedication a propriety sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty might otherwise have suggested.
* Collins's Ode on the death of Thomson, the last written, I believe, of the poems which were published during his life-time. This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.
In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well how great is the difference between two companions lolling in a post-chaise, and two travellers plodding slowly along the road, side by side, each with his little knapsack of necessaries upon his shoulders. How much more of heart between the two latter!
I am happy in being conscious that I shall have one reader who will approach the conclusion of these few pages with regret. You they must certainly interest, in reminding you of moments to which you can hardly look back without a pleasure not the less dear from a shade of melancholy. You will meet with few images without recollecting the spot where we observed them together ; consequently, whatever is feeble in my design, or spiritless in my colouring, will be amply supplied by your own memory.
With still greater propriety I might have inscribed to you a description of some of the features of your native mountains, through which we have wandered together, in the same manner, with so much pleasure. But the seasunsets, which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethgelert, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine steeps of the Conway,
And plods through some wide realm o'er vale and
height. Though seeking only holiday delight; At least, not owning to himself an aim To which the sage would give a prouder name. No gains too cheaply earned his fancy cloy, Though every passing zephyr whispers joy ; Brisk toil, alternating with ready ease, Feeds the clear current of his sympathies. For him sod-seats the cottage-door adorn ; And peeps the far-off spire, his evening bourn ! Dear is the forest frowning o'er his head, And dear the velvet green-sward to his tread : Moves there a cloud o'er mid-day's flaming eye? Upward he looks—“and calls it luxury :" Kind Nature's charities his steps attend; In every babbling brook he finds a friend ; While chastening thoughts of sweetest use, bestowed By wisdom, moralise his pensive road.
st of his welcome inn, the noon-tide bower, his spare meal he calls the passing poor ; views the sun uplift his golden fire, sink, with heart alive like Memnon's lyre * ; Esses the moon that comes with kindly ray,
light him shaken by his rugged way. fck from his sight no bashful children steal ;
sits a brother at the cottage-meal; s humble looks no shy restraint impart; found him plays at will the virgin heart. pile unsuspended wheels the village dance, le maidens eye him with enquiring glance, uch wondering by what fit of crazing care,
desperate love, bewildered, he came there.
A hope, that prudence could not then approve, at clung to Nature with a truant's love, er Gallia's wastes of corn my footsteps led; er files of road-elms, high above my head long-drawn vista, rustling in the breeze ; where her pathways straggle as they please
lonely farms and secret villages. It lo ! the Alps ascending white in air, Hy with the sun and glitter from afar.
5. DATE(S) OF PUBLICATION
And now, emerging from the forest's gloom, freet thee, Chartreuse, while I mourn thy doom. hither is fled that Power whose frown severe pred sober Reason till she crouched in fear ? Jat Silence, once in deathlike fetters bound, Jains that were loosened only by the sound holy rites chanted in measured round ?
The lyre of Memnon is reported to have emitted lancholy or cheerful tones, as it was touched by the i's evening or morning rays.
-The voice of blasphemy the fane alarms, Slow glides the sail along the illumined shore,
tears. Cloud-piercing pine-trees nod their troubled heads, How blest, delicious scene ! the eye that greets Spires, rocks, and lawns a browner night o'er- | Thy open beauties, or thy lone retreats ; spreads;
Beholds the unwearied sweep of wood that scales Strong terror checks the female peasant's sighs, Thy cliffs; the endless waters of thy vales ; And start the astonished shades at female eyes. Thy lowly cots that sprinkle all the shore, From Bruno's forest screams the affrighted jay, Each with its household boat beside the door ; And slow the insulted eagle wheels away.
Thy torrents shooting from the clear-blue sky; A viewless flight of laughing Demons mock
Thy towns, that cleave, like swallows' nests, on The Cross, by angels planted * on the aërial rock. high ; The parting Genius” sighs with hollow breath That glimmer hoar in eve's last light, descried Along the mystic streams of Life and Death †. Dim from the twilight water's shaggy side, Swelling the outcry dull, that long resounds Whence lutes and voices down the enchanted Portentous through her old woods' trackless
Steal, and compose the oar-forgotten floods ; Vallombre I, 'mid her falling fanes, deplores, – Thy lake, that, streaked or dappled, blue or For ever broke, the sabbath of her bowers.
'Mid smoking woods gleams hid from morning's ray More pleased, my foot the hidden margin roves Slow-travelling down the western hills, to' enfold Of Como, bosomed deep in chestnut groves. Its green-tinged margin in a blaze of gold ; No meadows thrown between, the giddy steeps Thy glittering steeples, whence the matin bell Tower, bare or sylvan, from the narrow deeps. Calls forth the woodman from his desert cell, - To towns, whose shades of no rude noise com And quickens the blithe sound of oars that pass plain,
Along the steaming lake, to early mass. From ringing team apart and grating wain
But now farewell to each and all-adieu To flat-roofed towns, that touch the water's bound, To every charm, and last and chief to you, Or lurk in woody sunless glens profound, Ye lovely maidens that in noontide shade Or, from the bending rocks, obtrusive cling, Rest near your little plots of wheaten glade ; And o'er the whitened wave their shadows fling-|| To all that binds the soul in powerless trance, The pathway leads, as round the steeps it twines ; | Lip-dewing song, and ringlet-tossing dance ; And Silence loves its purple roof of vines.
Where sparkling eyes and breaking smiles illume The loitering traveller hence, at evening, sees The sylvan cabin's lute-enlivened gloom. From rock-hewn steps the sail between the trees ; --Alas! the very murmur of the streams Or marks, 'mid opening cliffs, fair dark-eyed maids Breathes o'er the failing soul voluptuous dreams, Tend the small harvest of their garden glades; | While Slavery, forcing the sunk mind to dwell Or stops the solemn mountain-shades to view On joys that might disgrace the captive's cell, Stretch o'er the pictured mirror broad and blue, Her shameless timbrel shakes on Como's marge, And track the yellow lights from steep to steep, And lures from bay to bay the vocal barge. As up the opposing hills they slowly creep. Aloft, here, half a village shines, arrayed
Yet are thy softer arts with power indued In golden light; half hides itself in shade :
To soothe and cheer the poor man's solitude. While, from amid the darkened roofs, the spire, By silent cottage-doors, the peasant's home Restlessly flashing, seems to mount like fire : Left vacant for the day, I loved to roam. There, all unshaded, blazing forests throw
But once I pierced the mazes of a wood Rich golden verdure on the lake below.
In which a cabin undeserted stood;
There an old man an olden measure scanned * Alluding to crosses seen on the tops of the spiry rocks On a rude viol touched with withered hand. of Chartreuse, which have every appearance of being
As lambs or fawns in April clustering lie inaccessible. † Names of rivers at the Chartreuse.
Under a hoary oak’s thin canopy, | Name of one of the valleys of the Chartreuse. Stretched at his feet, with stedfast upward eye,
His children's children listened to the sound; Or on her fingers counts the distant clock, -A Hermit with his family around !
Or, to the drowsy crow of midnight cock,
Listens, or quakes while from the forest's gulf But let us hence ; for fair Locarno smiles
Howls near and nearer yet the famished wolf. Embowered in walnut slopes and citron isles : Or seek at eve the banks of Tusa's stream,
From the green vale of Urseren smooth and wide Where, 'mid dim towers and woods, her waters Descend we now, the maddened Reuss our guide ; gleam.
By rocks that, shutting out the blessed day, From the bright wave, in solemn gloom, retire Cling tremblingly to rocks as loose as they ; The dull-red steeps, and, darkening still, aspire
| By cells upon whose image, while he prays, To where afar rich orange lustres glow
The kneeling peasant scarcely dares to gaze ; Round undistinguished clouds, and rocks, and By many a votive death-cross + planted near, snow :
And watered duly with the pious tear, Or, led where Via Mala's chasms confine
That faded silent from the upward eye The indignant waters of the infant Rhine,
Unmoved with each rude form of peril nigh; Hang o'er the abyss, whose else impervious gloom Fixed on the anchor left by Him who saves His burning eyes with fearful light illume.
Alike in whelming snows, and roaring waves.
The mind condemned, without reprieve, to go
But soon a peopled region on the sight
When lightning among clouds and mountain
From such romantic dreams, my soul, awake !
Nor is she more at ease on some still night,
* The river along whose banks you descend in crossing the Alps by the Simplon Pass.
Most of the bridges among the Alps are of wood, and covered: these bridges have a heavy appearance, and rather injure the effect of the scenery in some places.
* The Catholic religion prevails here: these cells are, as is well known, very common in the Catholic countries, planted, like the Roman tombs, along the road side.
Crosses, commemorative of the deaths of travellers by the fall of snow, and other accidents, are very common along this dreadful road.
The houses in the more retired Swiss valleys are all built of wood.