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Or sullen Mole1 that runneth underneath;
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death; 2
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lea,


Or coaly Tyne, or ancient hallowed Dee ;3
Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name; +
Or Medway smooth, or royal-towered Thame.5


From his oozy bed

Old Father Thames advanced his reverend head,
AROUND his throne the sea-born brothers stood,
Who swell with tributary urns his flood!
First the famed authors of his ancient name,
The winding Isis and the fruitful Thame :

The Kennet swift, for silver eels renowned;

The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crowned;

Colne, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave;
And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave:
The blue, transparent Vandalis appears :
The gulfy Lea his sedgy tresses rears;

And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood;
And silent Darent stained with Danish blood.




THERE is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by heaven o'er all the world beside;
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
And milder moons emparadise the night;
A land of beauty, virtue, valour, truth,
Time-tutored age, and love-exalted youth;

Mole-This river is said to sink, in the summer time, into a "subterraneous and invisible channel," near Dorking, in Surrey.

2 Maiden's death-In allusion to the legend of Sabrina, referred to in "Comus," and detailed in Milton's "History of Britain," Book I.

3 Hallowed Dee-so called from its being fabulously considered the haunt of magicians, &c.

4 Scythian's name-Humber was said to have been the name of a Scythian king, who was drowned in the river.

5 Royal-towered Thame-in allusion to the royal towers of Windsor.

6 Vandalis-the Wandle, a river in Surrey.

The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
Views not a realm so bountiful and fair,
Nor breathes the spirit of a purer


In every clime the magnet of his soul,

Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
For in this land of heaven's peculiar grace,
The heritage of nature's noblest race,
There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
While in his softened looks benignly blend
The sire,1 the son, the husband, father, friend:
Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
Strews with fresh flowers the narrow way of life!
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye,
An angel-guard2 of loves and graces lie;
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fire-side pleasures gambol at her feet.
Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?
Art thou a man?-a patriot ?-look around;
Oh thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,
That land THY COUNTRY, and that spot THY HOME!
O'er China's garden-fields, and peopled floods;
In California's pathless world of woods;

Round Andes' heights, where Winter, from his throne,
Looks down in scorn upon the summer zone;
By the gay borders of Bermuda's isles,
Where Spring with everlasting verdure smiles,
On pure Madeira's vine-robed hills of health;
In Java's swamps of pestilence and wealth;
Where Babel stood, where wolves and jackals drink,
Midst weeping willows on Euphrates' brink;
On Carmel's crest; by Jordan's reverend stream,
Where Canaan's glories vanished like a dream;

1 Sire, husband-The sire-from the Latin senior, elder, through the French sieur is the head of the family, the master of the house; husband-from the Anglo-Saxon hus, house, and band, bond, though its meaning is now restrictedhad originally the same signification, the bond or support of the house. A man therefore, as in the above line, may be called a sire in relation to his house and family, and a husband in relation to his wife.

2 An angel guard, &c.-The reference here to woman in her domestic circle is particularly elegant.

Where Greece, a spectre, haunts her heroes' graves,
And Rome's vast ruins darken Tiber's waves;
Where broken-hearted Switzerland bewails
Her subject mountains and dishonoured vales;
Where Albion's rocks exult amidst the sea,
Around the beauteous isle of Liberty;
Man, through all ages of revolving time,
Unchanging man, in every varying clime,
Deems his own land of every land the pride,
Beloved by heaven o'er all the world beside ;
His home the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.




EVEN as a mother o'er her children bending
Yearns with maternal love: her fond embraces,
And gentle kiss to each in turn extending,
One at her feet, one on her knee she places,
And from their eyes, and voice and speaking faces,
Their varying wants and wishes comprehending,
To one a look, to one a word addresses,

Even with her frowns a mother's fondness blending;
So o'er us watches Providence on high,
And hope to some and help to others lends,
And yields alike to all an open ear,
And when she seems her favours to deny,
She for our prayers2 alone the boon suspends,
Or, seeming to deny, she grants the prayer.


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 !

1 This sonnet is extracted from the " Edinburgh Review" January, 1835. 2 For our prayers-on account of the wrong spirit of our prayers.

3 This noble composition, which is said to be, for the most past, a translation from the German, is a suitable companion for Milton's "Morning Hymn" and Thomson's "Hymn of the Seasons."

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 prayer
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 thoughts,
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 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 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,2 and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, O wake, and utter praise!

The dilating soul, &c.-i.e. the soul expanding, as it were, with the conceptions suggested by the sublime scene, to its natural dimensions, swelled even to heaven. A similar thought occurs in Childe Harold, (iv, 155,) in reference to the effect produced on the mind by the view of St. Peter's at Rome:

"thy mind,

Expanded by the genius of the spot,

Has grown colossal."

2 Thyself earth's rosy star-Mont Blanc is here spoken of as a star, because of the height of its summit above the vale-a rosy star, because its peak is flushed at dawn with the rosy tints reflected from the clouds, so that it becomes in this way co-herald of the dawn, with the morning star.

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,
For ever shattered and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,2

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 3
Of loveliest blue, spread garments 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! 4
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, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the elements!

1 "Besides the rivers, Arvé and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides:"-Coleridge. 2 Invulnerable life-The conception of some of the torrents as endued with "invulnerable life," and exhibiting all the attributes of human power, passion, and joy is finely contrasted with that below of others "stopped at once," and converted into

"Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!"

3 Living flowers, &c.-The gentiana major is one of the flowers found in countless myriads "skirting the eternal frost" like a garland.

4 Soul-like sounds—i. e. such aërial sounds as might be fancifully attributed to invisible spirits.

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