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III. MEDITATIVE POEMS.

IN BLANK VERSE.

YEA, he deserves to find himself deceived,
Who seeks a heart in the unthinking Man.
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life

Impress their characters on the smooth forehead:
Naught sinks into the bosom's silent depth.
Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure
Moves the light fluids lightly; but no soul
Warmeth the inner frame.

HYMN

SCHILLER.

BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.

Besides the Rivers, Arve and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides; and within a few paces of the Glaciers, the Gentiana Major grows in immense numbers with its "flowers of loveliest blue."

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 Blane!

The Arve 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,

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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 prayer
I worshiped the Invisible alone.

G

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,

So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,

Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, 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 ecstasy! 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 the 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, O wake, and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in 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,
Forever shattered and the same forever?
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?

Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!

Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?—
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the element!

Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!

Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast-
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base

Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,

To rise before me-Rise, O ever rise,

Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth!
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God,

LINES

WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, IN THE HARTZ

FOREST.

I STOOD On Brocken's* sovran height, and saw
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
A surging scene, and only limited

By the blue distance. Heavily my way
Downward I dragged through fir groves evermore,
Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms
Speckled with sunshine; and, but seldom heard,
The sweet bird's song became a hollow sound;
And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly,
Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct
From many a note of many a waterfall,

And the brook's chatter 'mid whose islet stones
The dingy kidling with its tinkling bell
Leaped frolicsome, or old romantic goat
Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on
In low and languid mood :†, for I had found

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That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive
Their finer influence from the Life within;—
Fair ciphers else: fair, but of import vague
Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds
History or prophecy of friend, or child,
Or gentle maid, our first and early love,
Or father, or the venerable name

Of our adored country!

O thou Queen,

Thou delegated Deity of Earth,

O dear, dear England! how my longing eye
Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds.

Thy sands and high white cliffs!

* The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in North Germany.

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From some high eminence on goodly vales,

And cots and villages embowered below,

The thought would rise that all to me was strange

Amid the scenes so fair, nor one small spot

Where my tired mind might rest, and call it home.

Southey's Hymn to the Penates.

My native Land!

Filled with the thought of thee this heart was proud,
Yea, mine eye swam with tears: that all the view
From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills,
Floated away, like a departing dream,
Feeble and dim! Stranger, these impulses
Blame thou not lightly; nor will I profane,
With hasty judgment or injurious doubt,
That man's sublimer spirit, who can feel
That God is everywhere! the God who framed
Mankind to be one mighty family,

Himself our Father, and the World our Home.

ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM ON THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY, 1796.

SWEET Flower! that peeping from thy russet stem
Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort,

year.

This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering Month
Hath borrowed Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee
With blue voluptuous eye) alas, poor Flower!
These are but flatteries of the faithless
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave,
E'en now the keen North-East is on its way.
Flower that must perish! shall I liken thee
To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth
Nipped by consumption mid untimely charms?
Or to Bristowa's bard,* the wondrous boy!
An amaranth, which Earth scarce seemed to own,
Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong
Beat it to Earth? or with indignant grief
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope,
Bright flower of Hope killed in the opening bud?
Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine
And mock my boding! Dim similitudes
Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour
From anxious self, Life's cruel task-master!
And the warm wooings of this sunny day

* Chatterton.

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