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Lovely, lasting peace of mind;
Sweet delight of human kind!
Heavenly born, and bred on high,
To crown the favourites of the sky
With more happiness below
Than victors in a triumph know !
Whither, O whither art thou fled,
To lay thy meek contented head;
What happy region dost thou please
To make the seat of calms and ease!
Ambition searches all its sphere
Of pomp and state to meet thee there.
Increasing avarice would find
Thy presence in its gold enshrined.
The bold adventurer ploughs his way
Through rocks amidst the foaming sea,
To gain thy love; and then perceives
Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
The silent heart, which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales
Sees daisies open, rivers run,
And seeks (as I have vainly done)
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of wo.
No real happiness is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground:
Or in a soul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the sky,
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its forms below;
The rest it seeks, in seeking dies,
And doubts at last, for knowledge, rise
Lovely, lasting peace, appear,
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden blest,
And man contains it in his breast.
'Twas thus, as under the shade I stood.
I sung my wishes to the wood,
And, lost in thought, no more perceived
The branches whisper as they waved :
It seem'd as all the quiet place
Confess'd the presence of his grace.
When thus she spoke-Go rule thy will,
Bid thy wild passions all be still,
Know God-and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow;
Then every grace shall prove its guest,
And I'll be there to crown the rest.
Oh! by yonder mossy seat,
In my hours of sweet retreat,
Might I thus my soul employ,
With sense of gratitude and joy ;
Raised as ancient prophets were,
In heavenly vision, praise, and prayer,
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
Pleased and bless'd with God alone :
Then while the gardens take my sight,
With all the colours of delight;
While silver waters glide along,
To please my ear, and court my song:
I'll lift my voice, and tune my string,
And thee, great Source of nature, sing.
The sun that walks his airy way,
To light the world, and give the day;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The seas that roll unnumber'd waves;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves ;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain ;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me:
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of man.
Go search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or your vain extremes;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next begun in this.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE
VALLEY OF CHAMOUNI.
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran BLANC!
The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! around thee, and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
o dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in
I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody
So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy,--
Till the dilating soul, enwrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing--there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstacy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale !
O, struggling with darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars !
Or when they climb the sky or when they sink:
Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, 0, awake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars in the earth ?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shattered and the same for ever ?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest ?