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TRACKS let me follow far from human-kind
Which these illusive greetings may not reach,
Where only Nature tunes her voice to teach
Careless pursuits, and raptures unconfined.
No Mermaid warbles (to allay the wind
That drives some vessel tow'rd a dangerous beach)
More thrilling melodies! no caverned Witch,
Chanting a love spell, ever intertwined

Notes shrill and wild with art more musical!
Alas! that from the lips of abject Want
And Idleness in tatters mendicant

The strain should flow-free fancy to enthral,
And with regret and useless pity haunt
This bold, this pure, this sky-born WATERFALL!*



FROM the fierce aspect of this River throwing
His giant body o'er the steep rock's brink,
Back in astonishment and fear we shrink:
But, gradually a calmer look bestowing,
Flowers we espy beside the torrent growing;
Flowers that peep forth from many a cleft and chink,
And, from the whirlwind of his anger, drink
Hues ever fresh, in rocky fortress blowing:
They suck, from breath that threatening to destroy,
Is more benignant than the dewy eve,

Beauty, and life, and motions as of joy:

Nor doubt but HE to whom yon Pine-trees nod
Their heads in sign of worship, Nature's God,
These humbler adorations will receive.

* See note.



"WHAT know we of the Blest above
But that they sing and that they love?"
Yet, if they ever did inspire

A mortal hymn, or shaped the choir,
Now, where those harvest Damsels float
Homeward in their rugged Boat,
(While all the ruffling winds are fled,
Each slumbering on some mountain's head,)
Now, surely, hath that gracious aid
Been felt, that influence is displayed.
Pupils of Heaven, in order stand
The rustic Maidens, every hand
Upon a Sister's shoulder laid,
To chant, as glides the boat along,
A simple, but a touching, Song;
To chant, as Angels do above,
The melodies of Peace in love!

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For gentlest uses, oft-times Nature takes
The work of Fancy from her willing hands ;
And such a beautiful creation makes
As renders needless spells and magic wands,
And for the boldest tale belief commands.
When first mine eyes beheld that famous Hill
The sacred ENGELBERG, celestial Bands,

With intermingling motions soft and still,

Hung round its top, on wings that changed their hues at will.

* See note.

Clouds do not name those Visitants; they were
The very Angels whose authentic lays,

Sung from that heavenly ground in middle air,
Made known the spot where piety should raise
A holy Structure to the Almighty's praise.
Resplendent Apparition! if in vain

My ears did listen, 'twas enough to gaze;
And watch the slow departure of the train,
Whose skirts the glowing Mountain thirsted to detain!



MEEK Virgin Mother, more benign
Than fairest Star, upon the height
Of thy own mountain*, set to keep
Lone vigils through the hours of sleep,
What eye can look upon thy shrine
Untroubled at the sight?

These crowded Offerings as they hang
In sign of misery relieved,

Even these, without intent of theirs,
Report of comfortless despairs,

Of many a deep and cureless pang
And confidence deceived.

To Thee, in this aërial cleft,
As to a common centre, tend
All sufferings that no longer rest
On mortal succour, all distrest
That pine of human hope bereft,
Nor wish for earthly friend.

* Mount Righi.

And hence, O Virgin Mother mild!
Though plenteous flowers around thee blow,
Not only from the dreary strife

Of Winter, but the storms of life,
Thee have thy Votaries aptly styled

Even for the Man who stops not here,
But down the irriguous valley hies,
Thy very name, O Lady! flings,
O'er blooming fields and gushing springs,
A tender sense of shadowy fear,
And chastening sympathies!

Nor falls that intermingling shade
To Summer gladsomeness unkind;
It chastens only to requite

With gleams of fresher, purer, light;
While, o'er the flower-enamelled glade,
More sweetly breathes the wind.

But on! a tempting downward way,
A verdant path before us lies;
Clear shines the glorious sun above;
Then give free course to joy and love,
Deeming the evil of the day

Sufficient for the wise.



IN PRESENCE OF THE PAINTED TOWER OF TELL, AT ALTORF. This Tower is said to stand upon the spot where grew the Linden Tree against which his Son was placed, when the Father's archery was put to proof under circumstances so famous in Swiss History.

WHAT though the Italian pencil wrought not here,
Nor such fine skill as did the meed bestow
On Marathonian valour, yet the tear

Springs forth in presence of this gaudy show,
While narrow cares their limits overflow.
Thrice happy, Burghers, Peasants, Warriors old,
Infants in arms, and Ye, that as ye go

Home-ward or School-ward, ape what ye behold;
Heroes before your time, in frolic fancy bold!

But when that calm Spectatress from on high
Looks down the bright and solitary Moon,

Who never gazes but to beautify;

And snow-fed torrents, which the blaze of noon
Roused into fury, murmur a soft tune

That fosters peace, and gentleness recals;
Then might the passing Monk receive a boon

Of saintly pleasure from these pictured walls,

While, on the warlike groups, the mellowing lustre falls.

How blest the souls who when their trials come
Yield not to terror or despondency,

But face like that sweet Boy their mortal doom,
Whose head the ruddy Apple tops, while he
Expectant stands beneath the linden tree;
He quakes not like the timid forest game,
But smiles the hesitating shaft to free;
Assured that Heaven its justice will proclaim,
And to his Father give its own unerring aim.

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