« AnteriorContinuar »
Yet still with consciousness; and there it stands, The negligentiy grand, the fruitful bloom
Making a marvel that it not decays, Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen,
When the coeval pride of human hands. The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom, Levelld Aventicum, hath strew d her subject lands. The forest's growth, and Gothic walls between, The wild rocks shaped as they had turrets been
LXVI. In mockery of man's art; and these withal
And there-oh! sweet and sacred be the naine !A race of faces happy as the scene,
Julia--the daughter, the devoted--gave Whose fertile bounties here extend to all,
Her youth to Heaven; her heart, beneath a claim Still springing o'er thy banks, though Empires near
Nearest to Heaven's, broke o er a father s grave. them fall.
Justice is sworn gainst tears, and hers would crave LXII.
The life she lived in; but the judge was just, But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
And then she died on him she could not save.
Their tomb was simple, and without a bust,
And held within their urn one inind, one heart, one
dust.t And throned Eternity in icy halls
But these are deeds which should not pass away, All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
And names that must not wither, though the earth Gather around these summits, as to show
Forgets her empires with a just decay. How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain
The enslavers and the enslaved, their death and man below.
The high, the mountain-majesty of worth, But cre these matchless heights I dare to scan,
Should be, and shall, survivor of its woe,
And froin its immortality look forth There is a spot should not be pass'd in vain,
In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow,t
Imperishably pure beyond all things below.
The mirror where the stars and mountains view Themselves their monument ;-the Stygian coast The stillness of their aspect in cach trace Unsepulchred they roam'd, and shriek'd each wan. Its clear depth yields of their far height and huc: dering ghost.*
There is too much of man here, to look through LXIV.
With a fit inind the might which I behold; While Waterloo with Cannæ's carnage vies,
But soon in me shall Loneliness renew Morat and Marathon twin names shall stand; Thoughts hid, but not less cherish'd than of old. They were true Glory's stainless victories,
Ere mingling with the herd had penn'd me in their Won by the unambitious heart and hand
All are not fit with them to stir and toil,
Nor is it discontent to keep the mind Making king's rights divine, by some Draconic clause.
Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil
• Aventicum, near Morat, was the Roman capital of By a lone wall a lonelier column rears
Helvetia, where Avenches now stands. A grey and grief-worn aspect of old days,
+ Julia Alpinula, a young Aventian priestess, died
soon after a vain endeavour to save her father, con'Tis the last remnant of the wreck of years,
demned to death as a traitor by Aulus Caecina. Her And looks as with the wild bewilder'd gaze lepitaph was discovered many years ago. It is thus: Of one to stone converted by amaze,
Julia Alpinula: Hic jaceo. Infelicis patris infelix proles. Deæ Aventiæ Sacerdos. Exorare patris necem
non potui: Male mori in fatis ille erat. * Vixi annos The chapel is destroyed, and the pyramid of XXI. I know of no human composition so affecting bones diminished to a small number by the Burgun- as this, nor a history of deeper interest. These are dian legion in the service of France, who anxiously the names and actions which ought not to perish, and effaced this record of their ancestors' less successful to which we turn with a true and healthy tenderness, invasions. A few still remain, notwithstanding the from the wretched and glittering detail of a confused pains taken by the Burgundians for ages (all who mass of conquests and battles, with which the mind is passed that way removing a bone to their own country), roused for a time to a false and feverish sympathy, and the less justifiable larcenies of the Swiss postilions, from whence it recurs at length with all the nausea who carried them off to sell for knife-handles.-a pur consequent on such intoxication. pose for which the whiteness imbibed by the bleach- This is written in the eye of Mont Blanc (June 3d, ing of years had rendered them in great request. 1816), which even at this distance dazzles mine. (July
of these relics I ventured to bring away as much as 20th.)-- 1 this day observed for some time the distinct may have made a quarter of a hero, for which the reflection of Mont Blanc and Mont Argentière in the sole excuse is, that if I had not, the next passer-by calm of the lake, which I was crossing in my boat. might have perverted them to worse uses than the The distance of these mountains from their mirror is careful preservation which I intend for them. sixty miles.
In one hot throng, where we become the spoil The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each spot? Of our infection, till too late and long
Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal We may deplore and struggle with the coil,
lot? In wretched interchange of wrong for wrong
LXXV. 'Midst a contentious world, striving where none are
Are not the mountains, waves, and skies a part strong
Of me and of my soul, as I of them?
Is not the love of these deep in my heart
All objects, if compared with these? and stem Of our own soul, turn all our blood to tears,
A tide of suffering, rather than forego And colour things to come with hues of Night; Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm The race of life becomes a hopeless flight
Of those whose eyes are only turned below, To those that walk in darkness : on the sea, Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare The boldest steer but where their ports invite,
not glow? But there are wanderers o'er Eternity
LXXVI. Whose bark drives on and on, and anchor'd ne'er
But this is not my theme; and I return shall be.
To that which is immediate, and require
Those who find contemplation in the urn,
To look on One whose dust was once all fire, And love Earth only for its earthly sake?
A native of the land where I respire By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone,
The clear air for awhile-a passing guest, Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake,
Where he became a being, -whose desire Which feeds it as a mother who doth make
Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest, A fair but froward infant her own care,
The which to gain and keep he sacrificed all rest. Kissing its cries away as these awake;Is it not better thus our lives to wear,
LXXVII. Than join the crushing crowd, doom'd to inflict or Here the self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau, bear?
The apostle of affliction, he who threw
Enchantment over passion, and from woc
Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew Portion of that around me; and to me,
The breath which made him wretched; yet he High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
knew Of human cities torture: I can see
How to make madness beautiful, and cast Nothing to loathe in nature, save to be
O'er erring deeds and thoughts, a heavenly hue A link reluctant in a fleshly chain,
Or words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past Class'd ainong creatures, when the soul can flee, The eyes, which o'er them shed tears feelingly and And with the sky, the peak, the heaving plain
fast. Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in vain.
His love was passion's essence as a tree
On fire by lightning ; with ethereal flame
Kindled he was, and blasted; for to be I look upon the peopled desert past,
Thus, and enamour'd, were in him the same. As on a place of agony and strise,
But his was not the love of living dame, Where, for some sin, to Sorrow I was cast,
Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams, To act and suffer, but remount at last
But of Ideal beauty, which became With a fresh pinion ; which I felt to spring,
In him existence, and o'erflowing teems Though young, yet waxing vigorous as the blast Along his burning page, distemper'd though it seems. Which it would cope with, on delighted wing, Spurning the clay.cold bonds which round our being
This breathed itself to life in Julie, this
Invested her with all that's wild and sweet;
This hallow'd, too, the memorable kiss From what it hates in this degraded form,
Which every morn his fever'd lip would greet, Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be Existent happier in the fly and worm,
* This refers to the account in his Confessions of
his passion for the Comtesse d'Houdetot (the mistress When elements to elements conform,
of St. Lambert), and his long walk every morning. And dust is as it should be, shall I not
for the sake of the single kiss which was the common Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more warm?
salutation of French acquaintance. Rousseau's descrip: tion of his feelings on this occasion may be considered
as the most passionate, yet not impure, description • The colour of the Rhone at Geneva is blue, to a and expression of love that ever kindled into words; depth of tint which I have never seen equalled in which, after all, must be felt, from their very force, tu water, salt or fresh, except in the Mediterranean and be inadequate to the delineation. A painting can Archipelago,
Igive no sufficient idea of the ocean.
From hers, who but with friendship his would meet : Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake But to that gentle touch, through brain and breast Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring, Flash'd the thrilled spirit's love-devouring heat; This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
In that absorbing sigh perchance more blest, To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Sounds sweet as if a Sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so
LXXXVI. Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose
It is the hush of night, and all between For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind, 'Gainst whom he raged with fury strange and blind.
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear, But he was frenzied, --wherefore, who may know?
Mellow'd and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken d Jura, whose capt heights appear Since cause might be which skill could never find;
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with chudhood; on the ear show. LXXXI.
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, For then he was inspired, and from him came,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol
more As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore,
LXXXVII Those oracles which set the world in flame,
He is an evening reveller, who makes Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more:
His life an infancy, and sings his fill; Did he not this for France, which lay before
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy, for the starlight dews Roused up to too much wrath, which follows o'er.
All silently their tears of love instil, grown fears? LXXXII.
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues. They made themselves a fearful monument ! The wreck of old opinions-things which grew,
LXXXVIII Breathed from the birth of time: the veil they rent,
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven, And what behind it lay, all earth shall view.
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate But good with ill they also overthrew,
Of men and empires,-'tis to be forgiven, Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild
That in our aspirations to be great, Upon the same foundation, and renew
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state, Dungeons and thrones, which the same hour refill'd,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In u3 such love and reverence from afar,
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named
themselves a star. Mankind have felt their strength, and made it felt. They might have used it better, but, allured
LXXXIX. By their new vigour, sternly have they dealt
All heaven and earth are still--though not in sleep On one another; pity ceased to melt
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most ; With her once natural charities. But they,
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep : Who in oppression's darkness caved had dwelt,
All heaven and earth are still : From the high host
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
Or that which is of all Creator and defence.
хс. With their own hopes, and have been vanquish'd,
Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt bear
In solitude, where we are least alone; Silence, but not submission: in his lair
A truth, which through our being then doth melt, Fix'd Passion holds his breath, until the hour Which shall atone for years ; none need despair :
And purifies from self: it is a tone,
The soul and source of music, which makes known It came, it cometh, and will come,-the power
Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm,
Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,
Binding all things with beauty ;-twould disarm Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake, The spectre Death, had he substantial power to With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
That in such gaps as desolation work'd, Not vainly did the early Persian make
There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein His altar the high places and the peak
lurk'd. Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take
. A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seek
Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
ye, Upreard of hunian hands. Come, and compare With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek,
soul With nature's realms of worship, earth and air, To inake these felt and feeling, weil may be Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer! Things that have made me watchful; the far
of your departing voices, is the knoll The sky is changed !-and such a change! 0
of what in ne is sleepless,-if I rest.
But where of ye, O tempests! is the goal ? night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
Are ye like those within the human breast? Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Or do ye find at length, like eagles, soine high
nest? Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me.--could I wreak And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud !
Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or
All that I would have sought, and all I seek, XCIII.
Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe-into one And this is in the night :-Most glorious night!
word, Thou wert not sent for sluinber! let me be
And that one word were Lightning, I would A sharer in thy fierce and far delight
speak; A portion of the tempest and of thee!
But as it is, I live and die unheard, How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a And the big rain comes dancing to the eartl.!
sword. And now again 'tis black,--and now, the glce
XCVIII. Of the loud hills shakes with its mountainmirth,
The morn is up again, the dewy morn, As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's
With breath all incense, and with cheek all birth.
Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn, XCI.
And living as if earth contain'd no tomb,Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way
And glowing into day: we may resume between
'The march of our existence: and thus I, Heights which appear as lovers who have
Still on thy shores, fair Leman! may find roon parted
And food for meditation, nor pass by In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
Much, that may give us pause, if pondered That they can meet no inore, though broken.
XCIX. hearted; Though in their souls, which thus each other Clarens ! sweet Clarens! birthplace of deep thwarted,
Love! Love was the very root of the fond rage
Thine air is the young breath of passionate Which blighted their life's bloom, and then de. thought; parted:
Thy trees take root in love; the snows above Itself expired, but leaving them an age
The very Glaciers have his colours caught, Of years all winters-war within themselves to And sunset into rose-lues sees them wrought wage.
By rays which sleep there lovingly : the rocks, XCV.
The permanent crags, tell here of Love, who
sought Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his
In them a refuge from the worldly shocks, way,
Which stir and sting the soul with hope that woos, The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his
then mocks. stand: For here, not one, but many, make their play, And fling their thunderbolts from hand to hand, Clarens ! by heavenly feet thy paths are trod, Flashing and cast around : of all the band,
Undying Love's, who here ascends a throne The brighest through these parted hills hath To which the steps are mountains; where the
fork'd His lightnings, as if he did understand
Is a pervading life and light,---so shown
Not on those summits solely, nor alone
They were gigantic minds, nd their steep aim In the still cave and forest ; o er the flower
Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile His eye is sparkling, and his breath hath blown, Thoughts which should call down thunder, and
His soft and summer breath, whose tender power the flame Passes the strength of storms in their most desolate of Heaven, again assail'd, if Heaven the while hour
On man and tnan's research could deign do more CI.
than smile. All things are here of him ; from the black pines,
Most mutable in wishes, but in mind Which slope his green path downward to the A wit as various-gay, grave, sage, or wild, shore,
Historian, bard, philosopher combined: Where the bow'd waters meet him, and adore, He multiplied himself among mankind, Kissing his feet with murmurs; and the wood, The Proteus of their talents : But his own The covert of old trees, with trunks all hoar,
Breathed inost in ridicule,--which, as the wind, But light leaves, young as joy, stands where it Blew where it listed, laying all things prone. stood,
Now to o'erthrow a fool, and now to shake a Offering to him, and his, a populous solitude.
The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought,
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
In meditation dwelt, with learning wrought, Who worship him with notes more sweet than
And shaped his weapon with an edge severe. words, And innocently open their glad wings,
Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer; Fearless and full of life: the gush of springs,
The lord of irony,-that inaster-spell,
Which stung his foes to wrath, which grew from And fall of lofty fountains, and the bend
fear, Of stirring branches, and the bud which brings The swiftest thought of beauty, here extend,
And doom'd him to the zealot's ready hell,
Which answers to all doubts so eloquently well. Mingling, and made by Love, unto one mighty end.
Yet, peace be with their ashes,- for by them,
If merited, the penalty is paid; lore, And make his heart a spirit; he who know's
It is not ours to judge, far less condemn;
The hour must come when such things shall be That tender mystery, will love the more,
made For this is Love's recess, where vain men's woes,
Known unto all, -or hope and dread allay'd And the world's waste, have driven him far from
By slumber on one pillow, in the dust, those,
Which, thus much we are sure, must lie decay'd ; For 'tis his nature to advance or die;
And when it shall revive, as is our trust, He stands not still, but or decays, or grows
'Twill be to be forgiven, or suffer what is just. Into a boundless blessing, which may vie With the immortal lights, in its eternity!
But let me quit man's works, again to read
His Maker's spread around me, and suspend 'Twas not for fiction chose Rousseau this spot,
This page, which from iny reveries ed,
Until it seems prolonging without end.
The clouds above me to the white Alps tend, To the mind's purified beings; 'twas the ground Where early Love his Psyche's zone unbound,
And I must pierce them, and survey whate'er And hallow'd it with loveliness: 'tis lone,
May be permitted, as my steps I bend
To their most great and growing region, where And wonderful, and deep, and hath a sound,
The earth to her embrace compels the powers of air. And sense, and sight of sweetness; here the Rhone
CX Hath spread himself a couch, the Alps have rear'd
Italia I too, Italia! looking on thee a throne. CV.
Full flashes on the soul the light of ages.
Since the fierce Carthaginian almost won thee, Lausanne! and Ferney! ye have been the abodes
To the last halo of the chiefs and sages, Of names which unto you bequeath'd a name ;*
Who glorify thy consecrated pages, Mortals, who sought and found, by dangerous
Thou wert the throne and grave of empires; still, roads,
The fount at which the panting mind assuages A path to perpetuity of fame :
Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her fill,
Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial • Voltaire and Gibbon.