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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

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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.

JOHN RUSKIN,

THUNDERSTORM IN THE ALPS.

CLEAR, placid Leman ! thy contrasted lake,
With the wide world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction ; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring

Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved

It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darkened Jura, whose capped heights appear
Precipitously steep: and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the ear

Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more ;

He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
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
All silently their tears of love instil,

Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.

All heaven and earth are still—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most ;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep :-
All heaven and earth are still : from the high host

Of stars, to the lulled lake and mountain-coast,
All is concentred in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,

But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all creator and defence.

The sky is changed !—and such a change ! O night,
And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,

And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud !

And this is in the night. Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,-
A portion of the tempest and of thee !
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth !
And now again 'tis black,-and now,

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth,
As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.

the glee

Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
Heights which appear as lovers who have parted
In hate, whose mining depths so intervene
That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted ;
Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted,
Love was the very root of the fond rage
Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed :-

Itself expired, but leaving them an age
Of years all winters—war within themselves to wage.

Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The mightiest of the storms hath ta’en his stand :
For here, not one, but many make their play,
And fling their thunderbolts from hand to hand,
Flashing and cast around : of all the band,
The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
His lightnings, -as if he did understand

That in such gaps as desolation worked,
There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.

Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye!
With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul
To make these felt and feeling, well may

be
Things that have made me watchful ; the far roll
Of your departing voices is the knoll
Of what in me is sleepless, --if I rest.
But where of ye, O tempests ! is the goal ?
Are
ye

like those within the human breast ? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest ?

Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me,-could I wreak
My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw
Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or weak,
All that I would have sought, and all I seek,
Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe-into one word,
And that one word were Lightning, I would speak;

But, as it is, I live and die unheard,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a sword.

The morn is up again, the dewy morn,
With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom,
Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn,
And living as if earth contained no tomb,

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