Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Such, (but O lavish Nature! why
That dark unfathomable eye,
Where lurks a Spirit that replies
To stillest mood of softest skies,
Yet hints at peace to be o'erthrown,
Another's first, and then her own?)
Such, haply, yon ITALIAN Maid,
Our Lady's laggard Votaress,
Halting beneath the chesnut shade
To accomplish there her loveliness:
Nice aid maternal fingers lend;

A Sister serves with slacker hand;

Then, glittering like a star, she joins the festal band.

How blest (if truth may entertain

Coy fancy with a bolder strain)

The HELVETIAN Girl-who daily braves,

In her light skiff, the tossing waves,
And quits the bosom of the deep
Only to climb the rugged steep!
-Say whence that modulated shout?
From Wood-nymph of Diana's throng?
Or does the greeting to a rout
Of giddy Bacchanals belong?
Jubilant outcry!-rock and glade
Resounded-but the voice obeyed
The breath of an Helvetian Maid.

Her beauty dazzles the thick wood;
Her courage animates the flood;
Her step the elastic green-sward meets
Returning unreluctant sweets;
The mountains (as ye heard) rejoice
Aloud, saluted by her voice!
Blithe Paragon of Alpine grace,
Be as thou art-for through thy veins
The blood of Heroes runs its race!
And nobly wilt thou brook the chains
That, for the virtuous, Life prepares;
The fetters which the Matron wears;
The Patriot Mother's weight of anxious cares'

«Sweet HIGHLAND Girl! a very shower!
Of beauty was thy earthly dower, »>
When Thou didst pass before my eyes,
Gay Vision under sullen skies,
While Hope and Love around thee played,
Near the rough Falls of Inversneyde!
Time cannot thin thy flowing hair,
Nor take one ray of light from Thee;
For in my Fancy thou dost share
The gift of Immortality;

And there shall bloom, with Thee allied,
The Votaress by Lugano's side;

And that intrepid Nymph, on Uri's steep, descried'

THE COLUMN

INTENDED BY BONAPARTE FOR A TRIUMPHAL EDIFICE
IN MILAN, NOW LYING BY THE WAY-SIDE IN THE
SIMPLON PASS.

AMBITION, following down this far-famed slope
Her Pioneer, the snow-dissolving Sun,

See Address to a Highland Girl, p. 127.

While clarions prate of Kingdoms to be won,
Perchance, in future ages, here may stop;
Taught to mistrust her flattering horoscope
By admonition from this prostrate Stone;
Memento uninscribed of Pride o'erthrown,
Vanity's hieroglyphic; a choice trope
In fortune's rhetoric. Daughter of the Rock,
Rest where thy course was stayed by Power divine!
The Soul transported sees, from hint of thine,
Crimes which the great Avenger's hand provoke,
Hears combats whistling o'er the ensanguined heath:
What groans! what shrieks! what quietness in death!

STANZAS,

COMPOSED IN THE SIMPLON PASS.

VALLOMBROSA! I longed in thy shadiest wood
To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered floor,
To listen to Asto's precipitous flood,
When the stillness of evening hath deepened its roar;
To range through the Temples of PESTUM, 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?

ECHO, UPON THE GEMMI.

WBAT 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

[blocks in formation]

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,
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!

ELEGIAC STANZAS.

The lamented Youth whose untimely death gave occasion to these elegiac verses, was Frederick William Goddard, from Boston in North America. He was in his twentieth year, and had resided for some time with a clergyman in the neighbourhood of Geneva for the completion of his education. Accompanied by a fellowpupil, a native of Scotland, he had just set out on a Swiss tour when it was his misfortune to fall in with a friend of mine who was hastening to join our party. The travellers, after spending a day together on the road from Berne and at Soleure, took leave of each other at night, the young men having intended to proceed directly to Zurich. But early in the morning my friend found bis new acquaintances, who were informed of the object of his journey, and the friends he was in pursuit of, equipped to accompany him. We met at Lucerne the succeeding evening, and Mr. G. and his fellow-stndent became in consequence our travelling companions for a couple of days. We ascended the Righi together; and, after contemplating the sunrise from that noble mountain, we separated at an hour and on a spot well suited to the parting of those who were to meet no more. Our party descended through the valley of our Lady of the Snow, and our late companions, to Art. We had hoped to meet in a few weeks at Geneva; but on the third succeeding day (on the 21st of August) Mr Goddard perished, being overset in a boat while crossing the lake of Zurich. His companion saved himself by swimming, and was hospitably received in the mansion of a Swiss gentleman (Mr Keller) situated on the eastern coast of the lake. The corpse of poor G. was cast ashore on the estate of the same gentleman, who generously performed all the rites of hospitality which could be rendered to the dead as well as to the living. He caused a handsome mural monument to be erected in the church of Küsnacht, which records the premature fate of the young American, and on the shores too of the lake the traveller may read an inscription pointing out the spot where the body was deposited by the waves.

LULLED by the sound of pastoral bells, Rude Nature's Pilgrims did we go,

once a month. In the Valley of Engelberg we had the good fortune to be present at the Grand Festival of the Virgin-but the Procession on that day, though consisting of upwards of 1000 Persons, assembled from all the branches of the sequestered Valley, was much less striking (notwithstanding the sublimity of the surrounding scenery): it wanted both the simplicity of the other and the accompaniment of the Glacier-columns, whose sisterly resemblance to the moving Figures gave it a most beautiful and solemn peculiarity.

From the dread summit of the Queen'
Of Mountains, through a deep ravine,
Where, in her holy Chapel, dwells
« Our Lady of the Snow.»>

The sky was blue, the air was mild;

Free were the streams and green the bowers;
As if, to rough assaults unknown,
The genial spot had ever shown

A countenance that sweetly smiled,
The face of summer-hours.

And we were gay, our hearts at ease;
With pleasure dancing through the frame
We journeyed; all we knew of care-
Our path that straggled here and there,
Of trouble-but the fluttering breeze,
Of Winter-but a name.

-If foresight could have rent the veil
Of three short days-but hush-no more!
Calm is the grave, and calmer none
Than that to which thy cares are gone,
Thou Victim of the stormy gale,
Asleep on ZURICH's shore!

Oh GODDARD! what art thou?-a name-
A sunbeam followed by a shade!
Nor more, for aught that time supplies,
The great, the experienced, and the wise;
Too much from this frail earth we claim,
And therefore are betrayed.

We met, while festive mirth ran wild,
Where, from a deep Lake's mighty urn,
Forth slips, like an enfranchised Slave,
A sea-green River, proud to lave,
With current swift and undefiled,
The towers of old LUCERNE.

We parted upon solemn ground
Far-lifted tow'rds the unfading sky;
But all our thoughts were then of Earth
That gives to common pleasures birth;
And nothing in our hearts we found
That prompted even a sigh.

Fetch, sympathising Powers of air,
Fetch, ye that post o'er seas and lands,
Herbs moistened by Virginian dew,
A most untimely sod to strew,
That lacks the ornamental care
Of kindred human hands!

Beloved by every gentle Muse
He left his Trans-atlantic home:
Europe, a realized romance,
Had opened on his eager glance;
What present bliss!—what golden views!
What stores for
years to come!

Though lodged within no vigorous frame,
His soul her daily tasks renewed,
Blithe as the lark on sun-gilt wings
High poised-or as the wren that sings
In shady places, to proclaim
Her modest gratitude.

Mount Righi-Regina Montium.

Not vain is sadly-uttered praise;
The words of truth's memorial vow
Are sweet as morning fragrance shed
From flowers 'mid GOLDAU's' ruins bred;
As evening's fondly-lingering rays,
On RIGHI's silent brow.

Lamented Youth! to thy cold clay
Fit obsequies the Stranger paid;
And piety shall guard that stone
Which hath not left the spot unknown
Where the wild waves resigned their prey,
And that which marks thy bed.

And, when thy Mother weeps for Thee,
Lost Youth! a solitary Mother;
This tribute from a casual Friend
A not unwelcome aid may lend,

To feed the tender luxury,
The rising pang to smother.

SKY-PROSPECT.

FROM THE PLAIN OF FRANCE.

Lo! in the burning West, the craggy nape
Of a proud Ararat! and, thereupon,
The Ark, her melancholy voyage done!
Yon rampant Cloud mimics a Lion's shape;
There-combats a huge Crocodile-agape
A golden spear to swallow! and that brown
And massy Grove, so near yon blazing Town,
Stirs and recedes-destruction to escape!
Yet all is harmless as the Elysian shades
Where Spirits dwell in undisturbed repose,
Silently disappears, or quickly fades ;-
Meek Nature's evening comment on the shows
That for oblivion take their daily birth,
From all the fuming vanities of Earth!

Of checked ambition, tyranny controlled,
And folly cursed with endless memory:
These local recollections ne'er can cloy;
Such ground I from my very heart enjoy!

Way cast ye back upon the Gallic shore,
Ye furious waves! a patriotic Son

of England-who in hope her coast had won,
His project crowned, his pleasant travel o'er?
Well-let him
this noted beach once more,
pace
That gave the Roman his triumphal shells;
That saw the Corsican his cap and bells
Haughtily shake, a dreaming Conqueror !
Enough; my Country's Cliffs I can behold,
And proudly think, beside the murmuring sea,

AFTER LANDING.

THE VALLEY OF DOVER.-NOV. 1820.
WHERE be the noisy followers of the game
Which Faction breeds? the turmoil where? that past
Through Europe, echoing from the Newsman's blast,
And filled our hearts with grief for England's shame.
Peace greets us;-rambling on without an aim
We mark majestic herds of Cattle free
To ruminate'-couched on the grassy lea,
And hear far-off the mellow horn proclaim
The Season's harmless pastime. Ruder sound
Stirs not; enrapt I gaze with strange delight,
While consciousnesses, not to be disowned,
Here only serve a feeling to invite
That lifts the Spirit to a calmer height,
And makes the rural stillness more profound.

DESULTORY STANZAS

UPON RECEIVING THE PRECEDING SHEETS FROM THE
PRESS.

Is then the final page before me spread,
Nor further outlet left to mind or heart?
Presumptuous Book! too forward to be read-
How can I give thee licence to depart?
One tribute more;-unbidden feelings start
Forth from their coverts-slighted objects rise-
My Spirit is the scene of such wild art
As on Parnassus rules, when lightning flies,
Visibly leading on the thunder's harmonies.

All that I saw returns upon my view,

ON BEING STRANDED NEAR THE HARBOUR All that I heard comes back upon my ear,

OF BOULOGNE.

All that I felt this moment doth renew;
And where the foot with no unmanly fear
Recoiled-and wings alone could travel-there
I move at ease, and meet contending themes
That press upon me, crossing the career
Of recollections vivid as the dreams

Of midnight, cities plains forests and mighty

One of the villages desolated by the fall of part of the Mountain Bossberg.

* Near the Town of Boulogne, and overhanging the Beach, are the remains of a Tower which bears the name of Caligula, who here terminated bis western Expedition, of which these sea-shells were the boasted spoils. And at no great distance from these Ruins, Bonaparte, standing upon a mound of earth, harangued his Ar

y of England, reminding them of the exploits of Carsar, and pointing towards the white cliffs upon which their standards were to float. He recommended also a subscription to be raised among the Soldiery to erect on that Ground, in memory of the Foundation of the Legion of Honour, a Column-which was not completed at the time we were there.

-

streams.

Where mortal never breathed I dare to sit
Among the interior Alps, gigantic crew,
Who triumphed o'er diluvian power!-and yet
What are they but a wreck and residue,
Whose only business is to perish?-true

To which sad course, these wrinkled Sons of Time
Labour their proper greatness to subdue;
Speaking of death alone, beneath a clime
Where life and rapture flow in plenitude sublime.

This is a most grateful sight for an Englishman returning to his native land. Every where one misses, in the cultivated grounds abroad, the animating and soothing accompaniment of animals ranging and selecting their own food at will.

22

[blocks in formation]

Our pride misleads, our timid likings kill.
-Long may these homely Works devised of old,
These simple Efforts of Helvetian skill,
Aid, with congenial influence, to uphold
The State, the Country's destiny to mould;
Turning, for them who pass, the common dust
Of servile opportunity to gold;
Filling the soul with sentiments august-
The beautiful, the brave, the holy, and the just!

No more;-time halts not in his noiseless march-
Nor turns, nor winds, as doth the liquid flood;
Life slips from underneath us, like that arch
Of airy workmanship whereon we stood,
Earth stretched below, Heaven in our neighbourhood.
Go forth, my little Book! pursue thy way;

Go forth, and please the gentle and the good;
Nor be a whisper stifled, if it say

That treasures, yet untouched, may grace some future

Lay.

TO ENTERPRISE.

KEEP for the Young the impassioned smile

Shed from thy countenance, as I see thee stand fligh on a chalky cliff of Britain's Isle,

A slender Volume grasping in thy hand-
(Perchance the pages that relate

The various turns of Crusoe's fate)
Ah, spare the exulting smile,

And drop thy pointing finger bright
As the first flash of beacon-light;

But neither veil thy head in shadows dim,
Nor turn thy face away

From One who, in the evening of his day,
To thee would offer no presumptuous hymn'

Bold Spirit! who art free to rove
Among the starry courts of Jove,
And oft in splendour dost appear
Embodied to poetic eyes,
While traversing this nether sphere,
Where Mortals call thee ENTERPRISE.
Daughter of Hope! her favourite Child,
Whom she to young Ambition bore,
When Hunter's arrow first defiled
The Grove, and stained the turf with gore;
Thee winged Fancy took, and nursed
On broad Euphrates' palmy shore,
Or where the mightier Waters burst
From caves of Indian mountains hoar!
She wrapped thee in a panther's skin;
And thou, whose earliest thoughts held dear
Allurements that were edged with fear,
(The food that pleased thee best, to win)
From rocky fortress in mid air

The flame-eyed Eagle oft wouldst scare
With infant shout,-as often sweep,
Paired with the Ostrich, o'er the plain;

those from the New as he returns. The pictures on these Bridges, as well as those in most other parts of Switzerland, are not to be spoken of as works of art; but they are instruments admirably answering the purpose for which they were designed.

This poem having risen out of the Italian Itinerant, etc. (page 164) it is here annexed.

« AnteriorContinuar »