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And, towering from the sullen dark-brown mere,
The bird, who ceased, with fading light, to thread
See, o'er the eastern hill, where darkness broods
Thus Hope, first pouring from her blessed horn
-Ev’n now she decks for me a distant scene,
But now the clear-bright Moon her zenith gains,
The song of mountain streams, upheard by day,
The tremulous sob of the complaining owl;
TAKEN DURING A PEDESTRIAN TOUR AMONG THE ALPS.
TO THE REV. ROBERT JONES, FELLOW OF ST John'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. DEAR SIR, 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 my having accompanied you amongst the Alps, seemed to give this dedication a propriely sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty miglit otherwise have suggested.
In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well low 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 laller!
I am happy in being conscious 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 die 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 1 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 sea-sunsels which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethkeleri, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine stceps of the Conway, and the still more interesting windings of the wizard stream of the Dee, remain yet untouched. Apprehensive that my pencil may never be exercised on these subjects, I cannot let slip this opportunity of thus publicly assuring you with how much affection and esteem
I am, dear Sir,
Most sincerely yours, London, 1793.
Happiness (if she had been to be found on Earth
amongst the Charms of Nature-Pieasures of the pedestrian Traveller-- Author crosses France to the Alps-- Present State of the Grande Chartreuse - Lake of Como-- Time, Sunset --Same Scene, TwilightSame Scene, Morning, its voluptuous Character; Old Man and Forest Cottage Music- River Tusa Vin Mala and Grison Gipsy. Schellenen-thalLake of Uri. Stormy Sunset-Chapel of William Tell— Force of Local Emotion--Chamois-chaser
Fiew of the higher Alps-Manner of Life of a Swiss Where now is fled that Power wliose frown severe Mountaineer, interspersed with Views of the higher | Tamed « sober Reason» till slie crouch'd in fear ? Alps-Golden Age of the Alps- Life and Views con. The cloister startles at the gleam of arms, tinued-Ranz des Vaches, famous Swiss Air-Abbey And Blasphemy the shuddering fane alarms; of Einsiedlen and its Pilgrims—Valley of Chamouny Nod the cloud-piercing pines their troubled heads;
- Mont Blanc-Slavery of Savoy-Influence of Li. Spires, rocks, and lawns, a browner night o'erspreads; berty on Cottage Happiness-France-Wish for the Strong terror checks the female peasant's sighs, Extirpation of Slavery- Conclusion.
And start the astonish'd shades at female eyes. Were there, below, a spot of holy ground
That thundering tube the aged angler hears, Where from distress a refuge might be found,
And swells the groaning torrent with his tears; And solitude prepare the soul for heaven;
From Bruno's forest screams the affrighted jay,
And slow the insulted eagle wheels away.
The cross, with hideous laughter, Demons mock, In flakes of light upon the mountain side;
By angels planted on the aerial rock. ' Where with loud voice the power of waters shakes
The « parting Genius» sighs with hollow breath ¡ The leafy wood, or sleeps in quiet lakes.
Along the mystic streams of Life and Death. 2
Swelling the outcry dull, that long resounds Yet not unrecompensed the man shall roam, Portentous through her old woods' trackless bounds, | Who at the call of summer quits his home,
Vallombre,3 'mid her falling fanes, deplures,
More pleased, my foot the hidden margia roves To which the Sage would give a prouder name,
Of Como, bosom'd deep in chesnut groves.
No mcadows thrown between, the giddy steeps
Tower, bare or sylvan, from the narrow deeps.
-To lowns, whose shades of no rude sound complain, Feeds the clear current of his sympathies.
To ringing leam unknown and grating wajn, For him sod seats the collage door adorn;
To flat-roof d towns, that touch the water's bound, And peeps the far-off spire, bis evening bourne!
Or lurk in woody sunless glens profound, Dear is the forest frowning o'er his head,
Or, from the bending rocks, obtrusive cling, And dear the velvet green-sward to his tread :
And o'er the whitend wave their shadows fling: Moves there a cloud o'er mid-day's tiaming eye?
The pathway leads, as round the sleeps il twines, | Upward he looks—« and calls it luxury; »
And Silence loves its purple roof of vines; Kind Nature's charities his steps attend;
The viewless lingerer hence, at evening, sees In every babbling brook he finds a friend;
From rock-hewn steps the sail between the trees; While chast ning thoughts of sweetest use, bestow'd
Or marks, 'mid opening cliffs, fair dark-eyed maids By Wisdom, moralise his pensive road.
Tend the small harvest of their garden glades, Host of his welcome inn, the noon-tide bower,
Or stops the solemu mountain-shades to view | To his spare meal he calls the passing poor ;
Stretch, o'er the pictured mirror, broad and blue, He views the Sun uplift lois golden fire,
Tracking the yellow sun from steep to steep, Or sink, with heart alive like Memnon's lyre;'
As up the opposing hills with tortoise foot they creep. Blesses the Moon that comes with kindly ray,
Ilere, half a village shines, in gold arrayed, To light him shaken by his rugged way;
Bright as the moon; half hides itself in shade: With bashful fear no cottage children stcal
While, from amid the darken'd roofs, the spire, From him, a brother at the cottage meal;
Restlessly flashing, seems to mount like tire : His trumble looks no shy restraint impart,
There, all unshaded, blazing forests throw Around him plays at will the virgin heart.
Rich golden verdure on the waves below. While unsuspended wheels the village dance,
Slow glides the sail along the illumined shiore,
And steals into the shade the lazy oar;
Soft bosoms breathe around contagious sighs,
Aud amorous music on the water dies.
How bless'd, delicious scene! the eye that greets A beart that could not much herself approve,
Thy open beauties, or thy lone retreats; Oer Gallia's wastes of corn dejected led,
The unwearied sweep of wood thy cliffs that scales; Her road elms rustling high above my liead,
The never-ending waters of thy vales;
Or, under rocks that from the water tower,
Insinuated, sprinkling all the shore; Toy with the sun, and glitter from afar.
Each with his household boat beside the door,
Whose flaccid sails in forms fantastic droop, Even now, emerging from the forest's gloom, Brightening tbe gloom where thick the forests stoop; I leave a sigh at hoary Chartreusc' doom.
Alluding to crosses seen on the tops of the spiry rocks of Char• The lyre of Memnon is reported to have emitted melancholy or treuse, which have every appearance of being inaccessible. serial tones, as it was touched by the sun's eveaing or morning
Name of one of the valleys of the Chartreuse.
- Names of rivers at the Chartreuse.
-Thy torrents shooting from the clear-blue sky, Hope, strength, and courage, social suffering brings, Thy towns, that cleave like swallows' nests, on high; Freshening the waste of sand with shades and springs. That glimmer boar in eve's last light, descried
She, solitary, through the desert drear
Spontaneous wanders, hand in hand with Fear.
A giant moan along the forest swells
And, ruining from the cliffs, their deafening load Slow travelling down the westera hills, to fold
Tumbles, - the wildering Thunder slips abroad; Its green-tinged margin in a blaze of gold;
On the high summits Darkness comes and goes, From thickly-glittering spires, the matin bell
Hiding their fiery clouds, their rocks, and snows; Calling the woodman from his desert cell,
The torrent, traversed by the lustre broad, A summons to the sound of oars, that pass,
Starts like a horse beside the flashing road; Sporting the steaming deeps, to early mass ;
Io the roofd bridge,' at that terrifič hour, Slow swells the service, o'er the water borne,
She seeks a shelter from the battering show'r. While fill each pause the ringing woods of moro. - Fierce comes the river down; the crashing wood Farewell those forms that in thy noon-lide shade,
Gives way, and half its pines torment the tlood; Rest, near their little plots of wheaten glade;
Fearful, beneath, the Water-spirits call, 2
And the bridge vibrates, lottering to its fall.
No star supplies the comfort of its light,
Glimmer the dim-lit Alps, dilated round, Breathes o'er the failing soul voluptuous dreams,
And one sole light shifts in the vale profound; While Slavery, forcing the suok mind to dwell While, opposite, the waning Moon hangs still, On joys that might disgrace the captive's cell,
And red, above her melancholy hill. Her shameless timbrel shakes on Como's marge,
By the deep quiet gloom appall'd, she sighs, And winds, from bay to bay, the vocal barge.
Stoops hier sick lead, and shuts her weary eyes.
She hears, upon the mountain-forest's brow, Yet arts are thine that soothe the unquiet heart, The death-dog, bowling loud and long, below; And smiles to Solitude and Want impart.
On vicwless fingers counts the valley-clock, I loved by silent cottage-loors to roam,
Follow'd by drowsy crow of midnight cock. The far-off peasant's day-descrted home;
The dry leaves stir as with a serpent's walk, And once I pierced the mazes of a wood,
And, far beneath, Bandiui voices talk; Where, far from public haunt, a cabio stood;
Behind her bill, the Moon, all crimson, rides, There by the door a hoary-headed Sire
And his red eyes the slinking water bides. Touch'd with his wither'd hand an ancient lyre; - Vex'd by the darkness, from the piny gulf Beneath an old grey oak, as violets lie,
Ascending, nearer howls the famish'd wolf, Stretch'd at his feet with stedfast, upward eye,
While through the stillness scatters wild dismay His children's children join'd the holy sound;
ller babe's small cry, that leads him to his prey. -A Hermit with his family around !
Now, passiog Urseren's open vale serene, But let us hence, for fair Locarno smiles
Her quiet streams, and hills of downy green, Embowerd in walnut slopes and citron isles;
Plunge with the Russ embrown'd by Terror's breath, Or seek at eve the banks of Tusa's stream,
Where danger roofs the narrow walks of death; While, 'mid dim towers and woods, her' waters gleam; By floods, that, thundering from their dizzy height, From the bright wave, in solemn gloom, retire Swell more gigantic on the stedfast sight; The dull-red steeps, and, darkening still, aspire, Black drizzling crays, that, beaten by the din, To where afar rich orange lustres glow
Vibrate, as if a voice complain'd within; Round undistinguish'd clouds, and rocks, and snow; Bare stceps, where Desolation stalks, afraid, Or, led where Viamala's chasms confine
Unstedfast, by a blasted yew upstay'd; The indignant waters of the infant Rhine,
By cells 3 whose image, trembling as he prays, Hang o'er th' abyss : -the else impervious gloom Awe-struck, the kneeling peasant scarce surveys; His burning eyes with fearful light illume.
Loose-hanging rocks the Day's bless'd eye that hide,
And crosses + reard to Death on every side,
. Most of the bridges among the Alps are of wood and covered: Her tawny skin, dark eyes, and glossy locks,
theso bridges have a heavy appearance, and rather injure the effect Bend o'er the smoke that curls beneath the rocks. of iho scenery in some places. -The mind condemn'd, without reprieve, to go
* Red came the river down, and loud, and oft O'er life's long deserts with its charge of woe,
The angry Spirit of the water shrick'd.
Hone's Douglas. With sad congratulation joins the train,
· The Catholic religion prevails here; these cells are, as is well Where beasts and men together o'er the plain
known, very common in the Catholic countries, planted, like the Move on-a mighty caravan
Roman tombs, along the road side.
• Crosses commemorative of the deaths of travellers by the fall of ' The river along whose banks you descend in crossing the Alps snow and other accidents are very common along this dreadful by tbe Simplon Pass.
of pain ;
Which with cold kiss Devotion planted near,
Even bere Content has fix'd her smiling reign And, bending, water'd with the lauman tear,
With Independence, child of high Disdain. That faded « silent » from her upward eye,
Exulting 'mid the winter of the skies, Comoved with each rude form of Danger nigh, Shy as the jealous chamois, Freedom flies, Fix'd on the anchor left by him who saves
And often grasps her sword, and often eyes; Alike in whelming snows and roaring waves.
Her crest a bough of Winter's bleakest pine,
Strange « weeds » and Alpine plants ber belm entwine, On as we move, a softer prospect opes,
And, wildly-pausing, oft she hangs aghast, Calm buts, and lawns between, and sylvan slopes.
While thrills the «Spartan fife,» between the blast. While mists, suspended on th' expiring gale, Moveless o'erbang the deep secluded vale,
*T is storm; and, hid in mist from hour to hour, The beams of evening slipping soft between,
All day the floods a deepening murmur pour;
The sky is veild, and every cheerful sight:
Triumphant on the hosom of the storm,
Glances the fire-clad eagle's wheeling form; On the low brown wood-huis' delighted sleep
Eastward, in long perspective glitteriny, shine Along the brighten'd gloom reposing deep.
The wood-crown'd cliffs that o'er the lake recline; While pastoral pipes and streams the landscape lull, Wide o'er the Alps a hundred streams unfold, And bells of passing mules that tinkle dull,
At once to pillars turo'd that flame with gold: Ja solemo shapes before the admiring eye
Behind his sail the peasant strives to shun
The west that burns like oue dilated sun,
The mountains, glowing-hot, like coals of fire.
But lo! the Boatman, overaw'd, before
The pictured fane of Tell suspends his oar;
Confused the Marathonian tale appears,
While burn in his full eyes the glorious tears.
And who that walks where men of ancient days
Have wrought with Goch-like arm the deeds of praise, More high, to where creation seems to end, Shade above shade, th' aerial pines ascend,
Feels not the spirit of the place control, Yet with his infants man undaunted creeps
Exalt, and agitate his labouring soul? And hangs his small wood-cabin on the steeps.
Say, who, by thinking on Canadian hills,
Or wild Aosta Juild by Alpine rills, Where'er below amid the savage scene
On Zutphen's plain; or where, with soften'd gaze, Peeps out a little speck of smiling green,
The old grey stones the plaided chief surveys;
Can guess the high resolve, the cherish'd pain
Of him whom passion rivets to the plain, A zig-zag path from the domestic skiff,
Where breathed the gale that caught Wolfe's lappiest Threading the painful crag surmounts the cliff.
sigh, - Before those hermit doors that never know
And the last sunbeam fell on Bayarıi's eye ; The face of traveller passing to and fro,
Where bleeding Sidney from the cup retired,
And glad Dundee in « faint huzzas » expired!
But now with other mind I stand alone
And watch, from pike to pike,' amid the sky
Small as a bird the chamois chaser fly, -Tbere, did the iroo Genius not disdain
2 Through vacant worlds where Nature never gave The gentle Power that haunts this myrule plain, A brook to murmur or a bough to wave, There might the love-sick maiden sit, and chide
Which unsubstantial Phantoms sacred keep; The insuperable rocks and severing tide;
Through worlds where Life, and Sound, and Motion There watch at eve her lover's sun-gilt sail
sleep; Approaching, and upbraid the tardy gale;
Where Silence still her death-like reign extends, There list at midnight till is heard no more,
Save when the startling cliff unfrequent rends : Below, the echo of his parting oar.
In the deep snow the mighty ruin drown'd,
Mocks the dull ear of Time with deaf abortive sound. Mid stormy vapours ever driving by,
—'T is his while wandering on, from height to height, Where ospreys, cormorants, and herons cry, Hovering o'er rugged wastes too bleak to rear
To see a planet's pomp and steady light
In the least star of scarce-appearing night,
' Pike is a word very commonly used in the north of England, And pines the unripeo'd pear in summer's kindliest ray;
to signify a bigh mountain of the conic form, as Laogdale-pike, etc.
. For most of the images in the next sixteen verses I am indebted 'The houses in the more retired Swiss valloys are all built of to M. Raymond's interesting observations andexed to his translation woont.
of Coxo's Tour in Switzerland.
While the near Moon, that coasts the vast profound O'er lofty heights serene and still they co,
And hear the rattling thunder far below;
They cross the chasmy torrent's foam-lit bed, Rejoicing in the glory of her rays :
Rock'd on the dizzy larch's narrow tread; To him the day-star glitters small and bright,
Or steal beneath loose mountains, half deterr'd, Shorn of its beams, insufferably while,
That sigh and shudder to the lowing herd. And he can look beyond the sun, and view
- I see him, up the midway cliff he creeps Those fast receding depths of sable blue,
To where a scanty knot of verdure peeps, Flying till vision can no more pursue!
Thence down the steep a pile of grass he tbrows, - At once bewildering mists around him close, The fodder of his herds in winter snows. And cold and hunger are his least of woes;
Far different life to what tradition hoar The Demon of the snow, with angry roar
Transmits of days more blest in times of yore;
Then Summer lengthened out his season blaod,
And plants were wholesome, now of deadly taste. The eagle of the Alps o'ershades her prey.
Nor Winter yet his frozen stores had piled;
Usurping where the fairest herbage smiled; Hence shall we turn where, heard with fear afar, Nor Huuger forced the herds from pastures bare Thunders through echoing pines the headlong Aar? For scanty food the treacherous cliffs to dare. Or rather stay to waste the mild delights
Theo the milk-thistle bade those herds demand Of pensive Underwalden's' pastoral heights ?
Three times a day the pail and welcome hand.
But human vices have provoked the rod
Thus does the father to his sons relate,
Still, Nature, ever just, to him imparts
Joys only given to uncorrupted bearts. Rich steam of sweetest perfume comes and goes. - And sure there is a secret Power, that reigns
"T is morn: with gold the verdant mountain glows, Here, where no trace of man the spot profanes, More high, the snowy peaks with hues of rose. Nought' but the herds that, pasturing upward, creep, Far-stretch beneath the many-tinted bills Hung dim-discover'd from the dangerous steep, A mighty waste of mist the valley tills, Or summer hamlet, flat and bare, on higla
A solemn sea! whose vales and mountains round Suspended, 'mid the quiet of the sky.
Stand motionless, to awful silence bound. How still! no irreligious sound or sight
A gulf of gloomy blue, that opeos wide Rouses the soul from her severe delight.
And bottomless, divides the midway tide. An idle voice the sabbath region fills
Like Icaning masts of stranded ships appear Of Deep that calls to Deep across the hills,
The pines that near the coast their summits rear; Broke only by the melancholy sound
Of cabins, woods, and lawns a pleasant shore Of drowsy bells for ever tinkling round;
Bounds calm and clear the chaos still and boar; Faint wail of eagle melting into blue
Loud through that midway Gulf ascending, sound Beneath the cliffs, and pine-wood's steady sugh ;3
Unnumber'd streams with hollow roar profound: The solitary licifer's deepen'd low;
Mount through the nearer mist the chant of birds, Or rumbling, heard remote, of falling snow;
And talking voices, and the low of herds, Save that, the stranger seen below, the boy
The bark of dogs, the drowsy tinkling bell, Shouts from the echoing hills with savage joy.
And wild-wood mountain lutes of saddest swell.
Think not, suspended from the cliff on high,
-No vulgar joy is his, at even-ride
For as the pleasures of his simple day
Nought round ils darling precincts can he find When fragrant scents beneath the enchanted tread But brings some past enjoyment to his mind, Spring up, his choicest wealth around him spread, Wbile Hope, that ceaseless loans on Pleasure's urn, The pastoral Swiss begins the cliffs to scale,
Binds her wild wreathis, and whispers his return.
Was bless d as free-for he was Nature's child.
He, all superior but his God disdain'd, · The people of this Canton are supposed to be of a more melan- Walkd none restraining, and by none restrain'd, choly disposition than the other inhabitants of the Alps; this, if true, Confess'd no law but what his reason taught, may proceed from tbeir living more secluded.
Did all he wish'd, and wislı'd but what be ought. * This picture is from 1 be middle region of the Alpe.
Sugh, a Scotch word expressive of the sound of the wind through As Man in his primeval dower array'd tbe trees.
The image of his glorious Sire display'd,