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to the woods and fields of the lowlands. But the great mountains lift the lowlands on their sides. Let the reader imagine, first, the appearance of the most varied plain of
some richly cultivated country ; let him imagine it dark with graceful woods and soft with deepest pastures ; let him fill the space of it, to the utmost horizon, with innumerable and changeful incidents of scenery and life ; leading pleasant streamlets through its meadows, tracing sweet footpaths through its avenues, and animating its fields with happy flocks and slow wandering spots of cattle ; and when he has wearied himself with endless imagining, and left no space without some loveliness of its own, let him conceive all this great plain, with its infinite treasures of natural beauty and happy human life, gathered up in God's hands from one edge of the horizon to the other, like a woven garment, and shaken into deep falling folds, as the robes droop from a king's shoulders ; all its bright rivers leaping into cataracts along the hollows of its fall, and all its forests rearing themselves aslant against its slopes, as a rider rears himself back when his horse plunges; and all its villages nestling themselves into the new windings of its glens ; and all its pastures thrown into deep waves of greensward, dashed with dew along the edges of their folds, and sweeping down into endless slopes, with a cloud here and there lying quietly, half on the grass, half in the air, and he will have as yet, in all this lifted world, only the foundation of one of the great Alps.
And whatever is lovely in the lowland scenery becomes lovelier in this change; the trees which grew heavily and stiffly from the level line of plain assume strange curves of strength and grace as they bend themselves against the mountain-side ; they breathe more freely, and toss their branches more carelessly, as each climbs higher, looking to the clear light above the topmost branches of its brother tree; the flowers, which on the arable plain fell before the plough, now find out for themselves unapproachable places, where year by year they gather into happier fellowship, and fear no evil ; and the streams which in the level land crept in dark eddies by unwholesome banks, now move in showers of silver, and are clothed with rainbows, and bring health and life wherever the glance of their waves can reach.
THUNDERSTORM IN THE ALPS.
CLEAR, placid Leman ! thy contrasted lake,
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
It is the hush of night, and all between
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
He is an evening reveller, who makes
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
All heaven and earth are still—though not in sleep,
Of stars, to the lulled lake and mountain-coast,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
The sky is changed !—and such a change ! O night,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
And this is in the night. Most glorious night!
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth,
Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
Itself expired, but leaving them an age
Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
That in such gaps as desolation worked,
Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye!
like those within the human breast ? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest ?
Could I embody and unbosom now
But, as it is, I live and die unheard,
The morn is up again, the dewy morn,