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Quick panting on superior snows, his frame Trembles in dizziness; his wandering look Drinks pale confusion; the wide scene is dim ; Its all of firm or fleeting, near or far,
Deep rolling clouds beneath, and wavering mists
That flit above him with their transient shades,
And storm-deriding rocks, and treacherous snows,
And blessed sunlight, in his dying eye
Float dubious; and 'tis midnight at his heart!
Mountain,--That firm and ardent Genevese,
The enthusiast child of science, whose bold foot
Bounded across thine ice-rents, who disdained
The frozen outworks of thy steep ravines,
And, through a labyrinth of crystal rocks,
Pressed his untired ascent, e'en he, and all
His iron band of native mountaineers,
While scaling the aërial cupola
Of Nature's Temple, owned a breathless pang.
Thy most attenuate element is fit
For angel roamings. True, his zealous mind
Achieved its philosophic aim, and marked
And measured thee; but turned to earthly climes
Full soon, and bent in gladness toward the vale.
Mountain, the sons of science or of taste
Need not essay such triumph. 'Tis more wise
And happier-till a fiery chariot wait-
To scan from lesser lights thy glorious whole;
To climb above the deep though lofty plain
That wrongs thee; pass its lines of envious peaks,
And stationed at thy cross, sublime Flegere!
Thence meditate the monarch's grandeur; while
His host of subject hills are spread beneath;
For scarce, till then, his own colossal might
Seems disenthralled; and mute astonishment,
Unquenched by doubt or dread, at each new step,
Shall own his aspect more celestial still.
There, in some hollow nook reclining, whence
The bright-eyed chamois sprang; with tufted bells
Of rhododendron blushing at my feet;
The unprofaned recess of Alpine life
Were all my world that hour; and the vast mount In his lone majesty would picture heaven.
Bright mountain,-Ah! but volumed clouds en
Thy broad foundations, curtain all thy steeps,
And, rising as the orb of day declines,
Brood on the vassal chain that flank thee round,
Then thy whole self involve-save, haply, when
A quick and changing vista may reveal
Some spotless portion of thy front, and show
Thee not unstable, like the earthborn cloud,
Brilliant though hid, abiding if unseen.
Then, as the vale grows darker, and the sun
Deserts unnumbered hills, o'er that high zone
Of gathered vapour thou dost sudden lift
Thy silver brow, calm as the hour of eve,
Clear as the morning, still as the midnight,
More beautiful than noon; for lo! the sun
Lingers to greet thee with a roseate ray,
And on thy silver brow his bright farewell
Is gleaming:-Mountain, thou art half divine!
Severed from earth! Irradiate from heaven!
Thus e'en the taught of heaven, with joyless eye
Fixed on the sable clouds which fear hath cast
O'er all the landscape of his destiny,
May fail to pierce them; but, though legioned shapes
Of nether evil, though the deep array
Of stern adversities, and murky hosts
Of dark illusions blot his upper skies,
Yet, as they change, through that incumbent gloom
Shall he catch glimpses of the hallowed mount,
And weep that heaven is bright.-And at the hour
Of stillness, when e'en frightful shadows fade,
When night seems closing o'er his latest hopes,
And his sun set for ever, then, behold,
Emerging in mid heaven, thy glistening top;
Oh, Zion! and the God that ruled his day
Hath not departed; for he poureth now
His radiance on thy summits, glancing back
A thrilling flood into his servant's soul!
'Joy full of glory!"-Was the noonday dark? It was; but eve is cloudless; night is peace; Rapture shall gild the never-ending morn
MAGNIFICENT creature! so stately and bright!
In the pride of thy spirit pursuing thy flight;
For what hath the child of the desert to dread,
Wafting up his own mountains that far beaming
Or borne like a whirlwind down on the vale !Hail! king of the wild and the beautiful !—hail! Hail! idol divine!-whom nature hath borne O'er a hundred hill tops since the mists of the
As the vision glides by him, may blameless adore;
For the joy of the happy, the strength of the free,
Are spread in a garment of glory o'er thee,
Up! up to yon cliff! like a king to his throne.
O'er the black silent forest piled lofty and lone--
A throne which the eagle is glad to resign
Unto footsteps so fleet and so fearless as thine.
There the bright heather springs up in love of thy
Lo! the clouds in the depths of the sky are at rest;
And the race of the wild winds is o'er on the hill.
In the hush of the mountains, ye antlers, lie still !—
Though your branches now toss in the storm of
Like the arms of the pine on yon shelterless height, One moment-thou bright apparition-delay! Then melt o'er the crags, like the sun from the day.
His voyage is o'er.-As if struck by a spell,
He motionless stands in the hush of the dell;
There softly and slowly sinks down on his breast,
In the midst of his pastime enamoured of rest.
A stream in a clear pool that endeth its race-
A dancing ray chained to one sunshiny place-
A cloud by the winds to calm solitude driven-
A hurricane dead in the silence of heaven.
Fit couch of repose for a pilgrim like thee:
Magnificent prison enclosing the free;
With rock wall-encircl'd--with precipice crown'd--
Which, awoke by the sun, thou canst clear at a
'Mid the fern and the heather kind nature doth keep
One bright spot of green for her favourite's sleep, And close to that covert, as clear to the skies When their blue depths are cloudless, a little lake lies,
Where the creature at rest can his image behold, Looking up through the radiance, as bright and as bold.