Изображения страниц




VALLOMBROSA! I longed in thy shadiest wood
To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered floor,
To listen to ANIO's precipitous flood,

When the stillness of evening hath deepened its roar;
To range through the Temples of PÆSTUм, to muse
In POMPEII preserved by her burial in earth;
On pictures to gaze where they drank in their hues;
And murmur sweet Songs on the ground of their birth!

The beauty of Florence, the grandeur of Rome,
Could I leave them unseen, and not yield to regret?
With a hope (and no more) for a season to come,
Which ne'er may discharge the magnificent debt?
Thou fortunate Region! whose Greatness inurned
Awoke to new life from its ashes and dust;
Twice-glorified fields! if in sadness I turned
From your infinite marvels, the sadness was just.

Now, risen ere the light-footed Chamois retires
From dew-sprinkled grass to heights guarded with snow,
Tow'rd the mists that hang over the land of my Sires,
From the climate of myrtles contented I go.

My thoughts become bright like yon edging of Pines,
How black was its hue in the region of air!
But, touched from behind by the Sun, it now shines
With threads that seem part of his own silver hair.

Though the burthen of toil with dear friends we divide,
Though by the same zephyr our temples are fanned
As we rest in the cool orange-bower side by side,
A yearning survives which few hearts shall withstand:
Each step hath its value while homeward we move;—
O joy when the girdle of England appears!
What moment in life is so conscious of love,
So rich in the tenderest sweetness of tears?



WHAT Beast of Chase hath broken from the cover?
Stern GEMMI listens to as full a cry,

As multitudinous a harmony,

As e'er did ring the heights of Latmos over,
When, from the soft couch of her sleeping Lover,
Up-starting, Cynthia skimmed the mountain-dew
In keen pursuit — and gave, where'er she flew,
Impetuous motion to the Stars above her.
A solitary Wolf-dog, ranging on

Through the bleak concave, wakes this wondrous chime
Of aëry voices locked in unison,

[blocks in formation]

So, from the body of one guilty deed,

A thousand ghostly fears, and haunting thoughts, proceed!




To appease the Gods; or public thanks to yield;
Or to solicit knowledge of events,

Which in her breast Futurity concealed;

And that the past might have its true intents
Feelingly told by living monuments;
Mankind of yore were prompted to devise
Rites such as yet Persepolis presents

Graven on her cankered walls,— solemnities
That moved in long array before admiring eyes.

The Hebrews thus, carrying in joyful state

Thick boughs of palm, and willows from the brook,
Marched round the Altar-to commemorate

How, when their course they through the desert took,
Guided by signs which ne'er the sky forsook,
They lodged in leafy tents and cabins low;

Green boughs were borne, while for the blast that shook
Down to the earth the walls of Jericho,

These shout hosannas-those the startling trumpets blow!

And thus, in order, 'mid the sacred Grove
Fed in the Libyan Waste by gushing wells,
The Priests and Damsels of Ammonian Jove
Provoked responses with shrill canticles;
While, in a Ship begirt with silver bells,
They round his Altar bore the horned God,
Old Cham, the solar Deity, who dwells
Aloft, yet in a tilting Vessel rode,

When universal sea the mountains overflowed.

Why speak of Roman Pomps? the haughty claims
Of Chiefs triumphant after ruthless wars;
The feast of Neptune-and the Cereal Games,
With images, and crowns, and empty cars;
The dancing Salii- on the shields of Mars
Smiting with fury; and the deeper dread
Scattered on all sides by the hideous jars
Of Corybantian cymbals, while the head
Of Cybele was seen, sublimely turreted!

At length a Spirit more subdued and soft
Appeared, to govern Christian pageantries:
The Cross, in calm procession, borne aloft
Moved to the chant of sober litanies.

Even such, this day, came wafted on the breeze
From a long train-in hooded vestments fair
Enwrapt and winding, between Alpine trees,
Spiry and dark, around their House of Prayer
Below the icy bed of bright ARGENTIÈRE.

Still, in the vivid freshness of a dream,
The pageant haunts me as it met our eyes!

Still, with those white-robed Shapes-a living Stream,
The glacier Pillars join in solemn guise


For the same service, by mysterious ties;
Numbers exceeding credible account
Of number, pure and silent Votaries
Issuing or issued from a wintry fount;

The impenetrable heart of that exalted Mount!

They, too, who send so far a holy gleam
While they the Church engird with motion slow,

*See note at the end.

A product of that awful Mountain seem,
Poured from his vaults of everlasting snow;
Not virgin-lilies marshalled in bright row,
Not swans descending with the ́stealthy tide,
A livelier sisterly resemblance show

Than the fair Forms, that in long order glide,
Bear to the glacier band

- those Shapes aloft descried.

Trembling, I look upon the secret springs
Of that licentious craving in the mind
To act the God among external things,
To bind, on apt suggestion, or unbind;
And marvel not that antique Faith inclined
To crowd the world with metamorphosis,
Vouchsafed in pity or in wrath assigned:
Such insolent temptations wouldst thou miss,
Avoid these sights; nor brood o'er Fable's dark abyss!

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »