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And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this groen earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou most dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk !
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations ! Nor, perchance-
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence-wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service : rather say
With warmer love-oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. Born 1772; Died 1834.
The son of a Devonshire clergyman, he was educated at Christ's
Hospital, and Cambridge ; but left the university to enlist in
a regiment of dragoons. From this he was restored to his
friends, and at first entered ardently into the movements
which the impulse of the French Revolution stirred in
England. But with these he lost sympathy, and took his
place in literature as one of the “ Lake School” of poets, of
which Wordsworth was the chief. He was strongly influenced in his poetry by his philosophical
studies. He had an intellect of extraordinary range, but, through weakness of will, accomplished little in proportion either to his ability, or to the number of literary schemes which he projected.
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, 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 : mothinks 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, Awako
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,
For ever shattered and the same for ever?
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 I let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer; and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God I 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 !
Yo 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,