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But who the expected husband, husband is !
His hands, methinks, are bathed in slaughter. Ah, me! wbat ghastly spectre's yon,
Comes in his pale shroud, bleeding after ? Pale as he is, here lay him, lay him down,
0, lay his cold head on my pillow ; Take aff, take aff these bridal weeds,
And crown my care-full head with willow. Pale though thou art, yet best, yet best beloved,
0, could my warmth to life restore thee !
Ye'd lie all night between my breasts,
No youth lay ever there before thee.
Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter,
No youth shall ever lie there after.
Return and dry thy useless sorrow :
He lies a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow.
Hymn of Praise for January.
COLERIDGE'S “ MONT BLANC."
A HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE 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, 0 sovran Blanc ! 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, 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 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 ! 0, 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, 0, 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, yo 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?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
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, playmates of the mountain storm! Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ! Ye signs and wonders of the elements ! Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise ! Once more, 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 breastThou too, again, stupendous mountain ! thou, That as I raise my head, a while 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 ; Riso, 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.
A frosty morning. The foddering of cattle. The woodman
and his dog. The poultry. Whimsical effects of frost at a waterfall. The Empress of Russia's palace of ice. Amusements of monarchs. War, one of them, Wars, whence. And whence monarchy. The evils of it. English and French loyalty contrasted. The Bastile, and a prisoner there. Liberty the chief recommendation of this country. Modern patriotism questionable, and why. The perishable nature of the best human institutions. Spiritual liberty not perishable. The slavish state of man by nature. Deliver him, Deist, if you can. Grace must do it. The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated. Their different treatment. Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free. His relish of the works of God, Address the Creator.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense, In spite of gravity, and sage remark That I myself am but a fleeting shade, Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance I view the muscular proportioned limb Transformed to a lean shank. The shapeless pair, As they designed to mock me, at my side Take step for step ; and, as I near approach The cottage, walk along the plastered wall, Preposterous sight! the legs without the man
THE JEWELLED MANTLE OF SNOW.
SUNRISE IN WINTER.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep Beneath the dazzling deluge ; and the bents, And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest, Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad, And, fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.
'T is morning ; and the sun, with ruddy orb Ascending, fires the horizon ; while the clouds, That crowd away before the driving wind, More ardent as the disk emerges more, Resemble most some city in a blaze, Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale, And, tinging all with his own rosy hue, From every herb and every spiry blade Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
CATTLE IN WINTER. - PATIENCE. -OUT-DOOR FODDERING.
The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait Their wonted fodder ; not like bungering man,
The long-protracted rigor of the year
Fretful if unsupplied ; but silent, meek,
ROOKS AND DAWS IN WINTER.
The very rooks and daws forsake the fields, Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now Repays their labor more ; and perched aloft By the wayside, or stalking in the path, Lean pensioners upon the traveller's track, Pick up their nauseous dole, though sweet to them, Of voided pulse, or half-digested grain.
THE WOODMAN GOING TO THE WOOD. - HS DOG. -HIS PIPE.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned The cheerful haunts of man ; to wield the axe And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear, From morn to eve his solitary task. Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears, And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur, His dog attends him. Close behind his heel Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk Wide scampering, snatches up the drifted snow With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout ; Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy. Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl Moves right toward the mark ; nor stops for aught, But now and then with pressure of his thumb To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube, That fumes beneath his nose : the trailing cloud Streams far behind him, scenting all the air.
THE FROZEN STREAM; THE MILL-DAM. The streams are lost amid the splendid blank, O'erwhelming all distinction. On the flood, Indurated and fixed, the snowy weight Lies undissolved ; while silently beneath, And unperceived, the current steals away. Not so where, scornful of a cheok, it leaps The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel, And wantons in the pebbly gulf below : No frost can bind it there ; its utinost force Can but arrest the light and smoky mist, That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide.
FROST-WORKS IN THE STREAMLET'S BANKS.
FEEDING OF POULTRY IN A WINTER'S MORNING. - SPARROWS.
Now from the roost, or from the neighboring pale, Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam Of smiling day, they gossiped side by side, Come trooping at the housewife's well-known call The feathered tribes domestic. Half on wing, And half on foot, they brush the fleecy flood, Conscious, and fearful of too deep a plunge. The sparrows peep, and quit the sheltering eaves, To seize the fair occasion ; well they eye The scattered grain, and, thievishly resolved To escape the impending famine, often scared, As oft return, a pert voracious kind. Clean riddance quickly made, one only care Remains to each, the search of sunny nook, Or shed impervious to the blast. Resigned To sad necessity, the cock foregoes His wonted strut ; and, wading at their head With well-considered steps, seems to resent His altered gait and stateliness retrenched.
And see where it has hung the embroidered banks
THE EMPRESS OF RUSSIA,
FATE OF BIRDS DURING WINTER.
How find the myriads, that in summer cheer The hills and valleys with their ceaseless songs, Due sustenance, or where subsist they now? Earth yields them naught; the imprisoned worm is Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herbs (safe Lie covered close ; and berry-bearing thorns, That feed the thrush (whatever some suppose), Afford the smaller minstrels no supply.
THE PALACE OF ICE. — ARISTÆCS, CYRENE.
No forest fell, When thou wouldst build ; no quarry sent its stores To enrich thy walls ; but thou didst hew the floods, And make thy marble of the glassy wave.
In such a palace Aristæus found
Some seek diversion in the tented field,
GOD ASSIGNED THE NATIONS THEIR PLACES.
BUILDING OF THE ICE PALACE.
Silently as a dream the fabric rose ; No sound of hammer or of saw was there : Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts Were soon conjoined, nor other cement asked Than water interfused to make them one. Lamps gracefully disposed, and of all hues, Illumined every side ; a watery light [seemed Gleamed through the clear transparency, that Another moon new risen, or meteor fallen From heaven to earth, of lambent flame serene. So stood the brittle prodigy ; though smooth And slippery the materials, yet frost-bound Firm as a rock.
When Babel was confounded, and the great Confederacy of projectors wild and vain Was split into diversity of tongues, Then, as a shepherd separates his flock, These to the upland, to the valley those, God drave asunder, and assigned their lot To all the nations. Ample was the boon He gave them, in its distribution fair And equal ; and He bade them dwell in peace. Peace was a while their care : they ploughed, and
sowed, And reaped their plenty without grudge or strife. But violence can never longer sleep Than human passions please.
FCRNITURE OF THE ICE PALACE
Nor wanted aught within,
[there; (What seemed, at least, commodious seat) were Sofa, and couch, and high-built throne august. The same lubricity was found in all, And all was moist to the warm touch : a scene Of evanescent glory, once a stream, And soon to slide into a stream again.
THE WAR-PASSIOX.-CAIN. -TUBAL.
In every heart Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war ; Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze. Cain had already shed a brother's blood : The Deluge washed it out; but left unquenched The seeds of murder in the breast of man. Soon, by a righteous judgment, in the line Of his descending progeny was found The first artificer of death ; the shrewd Contriver, who first sweated at the forge, And forced the blunt and yet unbloodied steel To a keen edge, and made it bright for war. Him, Tubal named, the Vulcan of old times, The sword and falchion their inventor claim ; And the first smith was the first murderer's son.
MORAL OP TIE ICE PALACE.
Alas! 't was but a mortifying stroke Of undesigned severity, that glanced (Made by a monarch) on her own estate, On human grandeur, and the courts of kings. 'T was transient in its nature, as in show 'T was durable ; as worthless, as it seemed Intrinsically precious ; to the foot Treacherous and false ; it smiled, and it was cold.
COVETOUSNESS TUE MOTHER OF WAR. His art survived the waters; and ere long, When man was multiplied, and spread abroad In tribes and clans, and had begun to call These meadows and that range of hills his own, The tasted sweets of property begat Desire of more and industry in some, To improve and cultivate their just demesne, Made others covet what they saw so fair. Thus war began on earth : these fought for spoil, And those in self-defence.
ROYAL PLAYTHINGS. - WAR. Great princes have great playthings. Some have At hewing mountains into men, and some [played At building human wonders mountain-high. Some have amused the dull, sad years of life (Life spent in indolence, and therefore sad) With schemes of monumental fame ; and sought By pyramids and mausolean pomp, Short-lived themselves, to inmortalize their bones.
ORIGIN OF MILITARY CHIEFTAINSHIP.
Savage at first The onset, and irregular. At length One eminent above the rest for strength, For stratagem, for courage, or for all, Was chosen leader ; him they served in war, And him in peace, for sake of warlike deeds
1 Bee Georgic IV. of Virgil, pp. 235, 236.
Reverenced no less. Who could with him compare ?
Even in the cradled weakness of the world !
King was a name too proud for man to wear With modesty and meekness ; and the crown, So dazzling in their eyes, who set it on, Was sure t'intoxicate the brows it bound. It is the abject property of most, That, being parcel of the common mass, And destitute of means to raise themselves, They sink, and settle lower than they need. They know not what it is to feel within A comprehensive faculty, that grasps Great purposes with ease, that turns and wields, Almost without an effort, plans too vast For their conception, which they cannot move.
THE BASENESS OF THE MANY INVITES THE DESPOTISM OF
Conscious of impotence, they soon grow drunk With gazing when they see an able man Step forth to notice : and, besotted thus, Build him a pedestal, and say, 'Stand there, And be our admiration and our praise.' They roll themselves before him in the dust, Then most deserving in their own account, When most extravagant in his applause, As if exalting him they raised themselves. Thus, by degrees, self-cheated of their sound And sober judgment, that he is but man, They demi-deify and fume him so, That in due season he forgets it too.
Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone To reverence what is ancient, and can plead A course of long observance for its use, That even servitude, the worst of ills, Because delivered down from sire to son, Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing. But is it fit, or can it bear the shock Of rational discussion, that a man, Compounded and made up like other men Of elements tumultuous, in whom lust And folly in as ample measure meet, As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules, Should be a despot absolute, and boast Himself the only freeman of his land? Should, when he pleases, and on whom he will, Wage war, with any or with no pretence of provocation given, or wrong sustained, And force the beggarly last doit, by means That his own humor dictates, from the clutch Of poverty, that thus he may procure His thousands, weary of penurious life, A splendid opportunity to die?
THE FULL-FLEDGED AUTOCRAT. - CONQUERORS.
Inflated and astrut with self-conceit, He gulps the windy diet; and, ere long, Adopting their mistake, profoundly thinks The world was made in vain, if not for him. Thenceforth they are his cattle ; drudges, born To bear his burdens, drawing in his gears, And sweating in his service, his caprice Becomes the soul that animates them all. He deems a thousand or ten thousand lives, Spent in the purchase of renown for him, An easy reckoning ; and they think the same. Thus kings were first invented, and thus kings Were burnished into heroes, and became The arbiters of this terraqueous swamp ; Storks among frogs, that have but croaked and died.
Say ye, who (with less prudence than of old Jotham ascribed to his assembled trees In politic convention) put your trust In the shadow of a bramble, and recline In fancied peace beneath his dangerous branch, Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway, Where find ye passive fortitude? Whence springs Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang His thorns with streamers of continual praise ?
TRUE LOYALTY. THE KING OF ENGLAXD. TREASOX.
We too are friends to loyalty. We love The king, who loves the law, respects his bounds, And reigns content within them : him we serve Freely and with delight, who leaves us free ; But, recollecting still that he is man, We trust him not too far. King though he be, And king in England too, he may be weak And vain enough to be ambitious still; May exercise amiss his proper powers,
KING AND HERO-WORSHIP ; ITS PREVALENCE STRANGE.
Strange, that such folly, as lifts bloated man To eminence fit only for a god, Should ever drivel out of human lips,