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The sky is changed !—and such a change! O night,
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 the young earthquake's birth.
Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The mightiest of the storms hath ta’en his stand:
For here, not one, but many, make their play,
And Aling their thunderbolts from hand to hand,
Flashing and cast around : of all the band,
The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
His lightnings,-as if he did understand,
That in such gaps as desolation worked,
There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, ere
The mystery of thy making was revealed!
Thou earliest minister of th’ Almighty,
Which gladdened, on their mountain tops, the hearts
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they poured
Themselves in orisons! Thou material god!
And representative of th' Unknown,
Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star
Centre of many stars which mak’st our earth
Endurable, and temperest the lives
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays !
Sire of the seasons ! Monarch of the climes,
And those that dwell in them! for near or far
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects ;-thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory.
0! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair Spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her!
Ye Elements !-in whose ennobling stir
I fcel myself exalted—can ye not
Accord me such a being? Do I err
In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore ; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths——thy fields Are not a spoil for him—thou dost arise And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields For earth's destruction, thou dost all despise, Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, And send'st him, shivering, in thy playful spray, And howling, to his gods, where haply lies His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth : there let him lay.
The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts : not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-
Time writes no wrinkle on thy azure brow
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where th’ Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid climo
Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of eternity—the throne
Of th' Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the fresh’ning sea
Made them a terror, 'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was, as it were, a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and, when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it?-no; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But, hark !—that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear