« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
How pleasant, as the sun declines, to view The acious landscape change in form and hue! Here, vanish, as in mist, before a flood
1 Of bright obscurity, hill, lawn, and wood;
There, objects, by the searching beams betrayed,
The shepherd, all involved in wreaths of fire,
Into a gradual calm the breezes sink,
A blue rim borders all the lake's still brink;
Tip their smooth ridges with a softer ray;
Their panniered train a group of potters goad, Winding from side to side up the steep road; The peasant, from yon cliff of fearful edge Shot, down the headlong path darts with his sledge; Bright beams the lonely mountain-horse illume Feeding 'mid purple heath, "green rings," and broom;
While the sharp slope the slackened team confounds,
Even here, amid the sweep of endless woods, Blue pomp of lakes, high cliffs, and falling floods, Not undelightful are the simplest charms, Found by the grassy door of mountain-farms.
Sweetly ferocious+, round his native walks, Pride of his sister-wives, the monarch stalks ; Spur-clad his nervous feet, and firm his tread; A crest of purple tops the warrior's head. Bright sparks his black and rolling eye-ball hurls Afar, his tail he closes and unfurls; On tiptoe reared, he strains his clarion throat, Threatened by faintly-answering farms remote: Again with his shrill voice the mountain rings, While, flapped with conscious pride, resound his wings!
Where, mixed with graceful birch, the sombrous pine
And yew-tree o'er the silver rocks recline;
How busy all the enormous hive within,
* «Vivid rings of green."-GREENWOOD'S POEM ON
"Dolcemente feroce."-TAsso.-In this description of the cock, I remembered a spirited one of the same animal in L'Agriculture, ou Les Géorgiques Françoises, of M. Rossuet.
Toil, small as pigmies in the gulf profound;
Just where a cloud above the mountain rears An edge all flame, the broadening sun appears; A long blue bar its ægis orb divides, And breaks the spreading of its golden tides; And now that orb has touched the purple steep Whose softened image penetrates the deep. 'Cross the calm lake's blue shades the cliffs aspire, With towers and woods, a "prospect all on fire ;" While coves and secret hollows, through a ray Of fainter gold, a purple gleam betray. Each slip of lawn the broken rocks between Shines in the light with more than earthly green : Deep yellow beams the scattered stems illume, Far in the level forest's central gloom : Waving his hat, the shepherd, from the vale, Directs his winding dog the cliffs to scale,The dog, loud barking, 'mid the glittering rocks, Hunts, where his master points, the intercepted flocks.
Where oaks o'erhang the road the radiance shoots
In these secluded vales, if village fame, Confirmed by hoary hairs, belief may claim; When up the hills, as now, retired the light, Strange apparitions mocked the shepherd's sight.
Has disappeared, and every trace is fled
Now, while the solemn evening shadows sail
The eye that marks the gliding creature sees
The form appears of one that spurs his steed Midway along the hill with desperate speed; Unhurt pursues his lengthened flight, while all Attend, at every stretch, his headlong fall. Anon, appears a brave, a gorgeous show Of horsemen-shadows moving to and fro; At intervals imperial banners stream, And now the van reflects the solar beam; The rear through iron brown betrays a sullen gleam. While silent stands the admiring crowd below, Silent the visionary warriors go, Winding in ordered pomp their upward way + Till the last banner of the long array
See a description of an appearance of this kind in Clark's Survey of the Lakes, accompanied by vouchers of its veracity, that may amuse the reader.
Long may they float upon this flood seren Theirs be these holms untrodden, still, and Where leafy shades fence off the blustering And breathes in peace the lily of the vale! Yon isle, which feels not even the milk-mai Yet hears her song, "by distance made more Yon isle conceals their home, their hut-like Green water-rushes overspread the floor; Long grass and willows form the woven wa And swings above the roof the poplar tall. Thence issuing often with unwieldy stalk, They crush with broad black feet their walk;
Or, from the neighbouring water, hear at The hound, the horse's tread, and mellow Involve their serpent-necks in changeful r Rolled wantonly between their slippery w Or, starting up with noise and rude deligh Force half upon the wave their cumbrous
No wreck of all the pageantry remains.
By pointing to the gliding moon on high.
-When low-hung clouds each star of summer hide, The lone black fir, forsakes the faded plain;
I see her now, denied to lay her head,
Oh when the sleety showers her path assail,
Sweet are the sounds that mingle from afar,
Now, with religious awe, the farewell light Blends with the solemn colouring of night; 'Mid groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow, And round the west's proud lodge their shadows throw,
Like Una shining on her gloomy way,
The half-seen form of Twilight roams astray;
Last evening sight, the cottage smoke, no more,
The soft gloom deepening on the tranquil mind.
Even now she decks for me a distant scene, (For dark and broad the gulf of time between) Gilding that cottage with her fondest ray, (Sole bourn, sole wish, sole object of my way; How fair its lawns and sheltering woods appear! How sweet its streamlet murmurs in mine ear!) Where we, my Friend, to happy days shall rise, 'Till our small share of hardly-paining sighs (For sighs will ever trouble human breath) Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death.
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.
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.
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
How richly glows the water's breast
Such views the youthful Bard allure;
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 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
Happiness (if she had been to be found on earth) among the charms of Nature-Pleasures of the pedestrian Traveller-Author crosses France to the Alps-Present state of the Grande Chartreuse-Lake of Como-Time, Sunset Same Scene, Twilight-Same Scene, Morning; its voluptuous Character; Old man and forest-cottage music-River Tusa-Via Mala and Grison GipsySekellenen-thal-Lake of Uri-Stormy sunset-Chapel of William Tell-Force of local emotion-Chamoischaser-View of the higher Alps-manner of life of a Swiss mountaineer, interspersed with views of the higher Alps-Golden age of the Alps-Life and views continued -Ranz des Vaches, famous Swiss Air-Abbey of Einsiedlen and its pilgrims-Valley of Chamouny-Mont Blanc -Slavery of Savoy-Influence of liberty on cottage-happine-France-Wish for the Extirpation of slaveryConclusion.
WERE there, below, a spot of holy ground
Yet not unrecompensed the man shall roam, Who at the call of summer quits his home,
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. Host of his welcome inn, the noon-tide bower, To his spare meal he calls the passing poor; He views the sun uplift his golden fire, Or sink, with heart alive like Memnon's lyre *; Blesses the moon that comes with kindly ray, To light him shaken by his rugged way. Back from his sight no bashful children steal; He sits a brother at the cottage-meal; His humble looks no shy restraint impart ; Around him plays at will the virgin heart. While unsuspended wheels the village dance, The maidens eye him with enquiring glance, Much wondering by what fit of crazing care, Or desperate love, bewildered, he came there.
A hope, that prudence could not then approve, That clung to Nature with a truant's love, O'er Gallia's wastes of corn my footsteps led; Her files of road-elms, high above my head In long-drawn vista, rustling in the breeze; Or where her pathways straggle as they please By lonely farms and secret villages. But lo! the Alps ascending white in air, Toy with the sun and glitter from afar.
And now, emerging from the forest's gloom, I greet thee, Chartreuse, while I mourn thy doom. Whither is fled that Power whose frown severe Awed sober Reason till she crouched in fear? That Silence, once in deathlike fetters bound, Chains that were loosened only by the sound Of holy rites chanted in measured round?
The lyre of Memnon is reported to have emitted melancholy or cheerful tones, as it was touched by the sun's evening or morning rays.