Imagens das páginas


Delle cose custode, e dispensiera.-Tasso.


THE Memory has hitherto acted only in subservience to the senses, and so far man is not eminently distinguished from other animals; but, with respect to man, she has a higher province; and is often busily employed, when excited by no external cause whatever. She preserves, for his use, the treasures of art and science, history and philosophy. She colours all the prospects of life: for "we can only anticipate the future, by concluding what is possible from what is past." On her agency depends every effusion of the fancy, who with the boldest effort can only compound or transpose, augment or diminish, the materials which she has collected.

When the first emotions of despair have subsided, and sorrow has softened into melancholy, she amuses with a retrospect of innocent pleasures, and inspires that noble confidence which results from the consciousness of having acted well. When sleep has suspended the organs of sense from their office, she not only supplies the mind

with images, but assists in their combination. And even in madness itself, when the soul is resigned over to the tyranny of a distempered imagination, she revives past perceptions, and awakens that train of thought which was formerly most familiar.

Nor are we pleased only with a review of the brighter passages of life. Events, the most distressing in their immediate consequences, are often cherished in remembrance with a degree of enthusiasm.

But the world and its occupations give a mechanical impulse to the passions, which is not very favourable to the indulgence of this feeling. It is in a calm and well regulated mind that the memory is most perfect: and solitude is her best sphere of action. With this sentiment is introduced a tale illustrative of her influence in solitude, sickness, and sorrow. And the subject having now been considered, so far as it relates to man and the animal world, the poem concludes with a conjecture that superior beings are blest with a nobler exercise of this faculty.

SWEET Memory, wafted by thy gentle gale, Oft up the stream of time I turn my sail, To view the fairy haunts of long-lost hours, Blest with far greener shades, far fresher flowers. Ages and climes remote to thee impart What charms in genius, and refines in art; Thee, in whose hand the keys of science dwell, The pensive portress of her holy cell; Whose constant vigils chase the chilling damp Oblivion steals upon her vestal lamp.

The friends of reason, and the guides of youth, Whose language breathed the eloquence of truth; Whose life, beyond preceptive wisdom, taught The great in conduct, and the pure in thought; These still exist, by thee to fame consign'd, Still speak and act, the models of mankind. From thee sweet hope her airy coloring draws; And fancy's flights are subject to thy laws. From thee that bosom spring of rapture flows, Which only virtue, tranquil virtue, knows.

When joy's bright sun has shed his evening ray, And hope's delusive meteors cease to play; When clouds on clouds the smiling prospects close, Still through the gloom thy star serenely glows: Like yon fair orb, she gilds the brow of night With the mild magic of reflected light.

The beauteous maid, who bids the world adieu,
Oft of that world will snatch a fond review;
Oft at the shrine neglect her beads, to trace
Some social scene, some dear familiar face:
And ere, with iron tongue, the vesper bell
Bursts through the cypress-walk, the convent cell
Oft will her warm and wayward heart revive,
To love and joy still tremblingly alive;
The whisper'd vow, the chaste caress prolong,
Weave the light dance and swell the choral song
With rapt ear drink th' enchanting serenade,
And, as it melts along the moonlight glade,
To each soft note return as soft a sigh,
And bless the youth that bids her slumbers fly.
But not till time has calm'd the ruffled breast,
Are these fond dreams of happiness confest.
Not till the rushing winds forget to rave,
Is heaven's sweet smile reflected on the wave.
From Guinea's coast pursue the lessening sail,
And catch the sounds that sadden every gale.
Tell, if thou canst, the sum of sorrows there;
Mark the fix'd gaze, the wild and frenzied glare,
The racks of thought, and freezings of despair!
But pause not then-beyond the western wave,
Go, view the captive barter'd as a slave!
Crush'd till his high, heroic spirit bleeds,
And from his nerveless frame indignantly recedes.
Yet here, e'en here, with pleasures long re-

Lo! Memory bursts the twilight of the mind.
Her dear delusions soothe his sinking soul,
When the rude scourge assumes its base control;
And o'er futurity's blank page diffuse
The full reflection of her vivid hues.
"Tis but to die, and then, to weep no more,
Then will he wake on Congo's distant shore;
Beneath his plantain's ancient shade, renew
The simple transports that with freedom flew ;
Catch the cool breeze that musky evening blows,
And quaff the palm's rich nectar as it glows;
The oral tale of elder time rehearse,
And chant the rude, traditionary verse
With those, the loved companions of his youth,
When life was luxury, and friendship truth.

Ah! why should virtue fear the frowns of fate?
Hers what no wealth can buy, no power create !
A little world of clear and cloudless day,
Nor wreck'd by storms, nor moulder'd by decay;
A world, with Memory's ceaseless sunshine blest,
The home of happiness, an honest breast.

But most we mark the wonders of her reign,
When sleep has lock'd the senses in her chain.
When sober judgment has his throne resign'd
She smiles away the chaos of the mind;
And, as warm fancy's bright elysium glows,
From her each image springs, each colour flows.
She is the sacred guest! th' immortal friend!
Oft seen o'er sleeping innocence to bend,
In that dead hour of night to silence given,
Whispering seraphic visions of her heaven.

When the blithe son of Savoy, journeying round
With humble wares and pipe of merry sound,
From his green vale and shelter'd cabin hies,
And scales the Alps to visit foreign skies;
Though far below the forked lightnings play,
And at his feet the thunder dies away,

Oft, in the saddle rudely rock'd to sleep,
While his mule browses on the dizzy steep,
With Memory's aid, he sits at home, and sees
His children sport beneath their native trees,
And bends to hear their cherub voices call,
O'er the loud fury of the torrent's fall.

But can her smile with gloomy madness dwell?
Say, can she chase the horrors of his cell?
Each fiery flight on frenzy's wing restrain,
And mould the coinage of the fever'd brain?

Pass but that grate, which scarce a gleam sup-

There in the dust the wreck of genius lies!
He, whose arresting hand divinely wrought
Each bold conception in the sphere of thought;
And round, in colours of the rainbow, threw
Forms ever fair, creations ever new!

But, as he fondly snatch'd the wreath of fame,
The spectre poverty unnerved his frame.
Cold was her grasp, a withering scowl she wore
And hope's soft energies were felt no more.
Yet still how sweet the soothings of his art!
From the rude wall what bright ideas start!
E'en now he claims the amaranthine wreath,
With scenes that glow, with images that breathe!
And whence these scenes, these images, declare :
Whence but from her who triumphs o'er despair?
Awake, arise! with grateful fervour fraught,
Go, spring the mine of elevating thought.
He, who, through nature's various walk, surveys
The good and fair her faultless line portrays;
Whose mind, profaned by no unhallow'd guest,
Culls from the crowd the purest and the best ;
May range, at will, bright fancy's golden clime,
Or, musing, mount where science sits sublime,
Or wake the spirit of departed time.

Who acts thus wisely, mark the moral muse,
A blooming Eden in his life reviews!

So rich the culture, though so small the space,
Its scanty limits he forgets to trace.
But the fond fool, when evening shades the sky,
Turns but to start, and gazes but to sigh!
The weary waste, that lengthen'd as he ran,
Fades to a blank, and dwindles to a span!

Ah! who can tell the triumphs of the mind,
By truth illumined, and by taste refined?

Go, with old Thames, view Chelsea's glorious

And ask the shatter'd hero, whence his smile?
Go, view the splendid domes of Greenwich-go,
And own what raptures from reflection flow.

Hail, noblest structures imaged in the wave!
A nation's grateful tribute to the brave!
Hail, blest retreats from war and shipwreck, hail!
That oft arrest the wondering stranger's sail.
Long have ye heard the narratives of age,
The battle's havoc, and the tempest's rage;
Long have ye known reflection's genial ray
Gild the calm close of valour's various day.
Time's sombrous touches soon correct the piece,
Mellow each tint, and bid each discord cease:
A softer tone of light pervades the whole,
And steals a pensive languor o'er the soul.

Hast thou through Eden's wild-wood vales pur-

Each mountain scene, majestically rude ;
To note the sweet simplicity of life,
Far from the din of folly's idle strife;
Nor there a while, with lifted eye, revered
That modest stone which pious Pembroke rear'd;
Which still records, beyond the pencil's power,
The silent sorrows of a parting hour;
Still to the musing pilgrim points the place,
Her sainted spirit most delights to trace?

Thus, with the manly glow of honest pride,
O'er his dead son the gallant Ormond sigh'd.
Thus, through the gloom of Shenstone's fairy grove,
Maria's urn still breathes the voice of love.

As the stern grandeur of a Gothic tower
Awes us less deeply in its morning hour,
Than when the shades of time serenely fall
On every broken arch and ivied wall;
The tender images we love to trace,
Steal from each year a melancholy grace!
And as the sparks of social love expand,
As the heart opens in a foreign land;

And, with a brother's warmth, a brother's smile,
The stranger greets each native of his isle;
So scenes of life, when present and confest,
Stamp but their bolder features on the breast;
Yet not an image, when remotely view'd,
However trivial, and however rude,

When age has quench'd the eye, and closed the But wins the heart, and wakes the social sigh,


Still nerved for action in her native sphere,
Oft will she rise-with searching glance pursue
Some long-loved image vanish'd from her view;
Dart through the deep recesses of the past,
O'er dusky forms in chains of slumber cast;
With giant grasp fling back the folds of night,
And snatch the faithless fugitive to light.
So through the grove th' impatient mother flies,
Each sunless glade, each secret pathway tries;
Till the thin leaves the truant boy disclose,
Long on the woodmoss stretch'd in sweet repose.
Nor yet to pleasing objects are confined
The silent feasts of the reflecting mind;
Danger and death a dread delight inspire,
And the bald veteran glows with wonted fire,
When richly bronzed by many a summer sun,
He counts his scars, and tells what deeds were

With every claim of close affinity!

But these pure joys the world can never know;
In gentler climes their silver currents flow.
Oft at the silent, shadowy close of day,
When the hush'd grove has sung his parting lay;
When pensive twilight, in her dusky car,
Comes slowly on to meet the evening star;
Above, below, aërial murmurs swell,
From hanging wood, brown heath, and bushy dell.
A thousand nameless rills, that shun the light,
Stealing soft music on the ear of night.
So oft the finer movements of the soul,
That shun the sphere of pleasure's gay control,
In the still shades of calm seclusion rise,
And breathe their sweet, seraphic harmonies!
Once, and domestic annals tell the time
(Preserved in Cumbria's rude, romantic clime)
When nature smiled, and o'er the landscepe threw
Her richest fragrance, and her brightest hue,

A blithe and blooming forester explored
Those loftier scenes Salvator's soul adored;
The rocky pass half-hung with shaggy wood,
And the cleft oak flung boldly o'er the flood;
Nor shunn'd the track, unknown to human tread,
That downward to the night of caverns led;
Some ancient cataract's deserted bed.

High on exulting wind the heath-cock rose
And blew his shrill blast o'er perennial snows;
Ere the rapt youth, recoiling from the roar,
Gazed on the tumbling tide of dread Lodoar;
And through the rifted cliffs, that scaled the sky,
Derwent's clear mirror charm'd his dazzled eye.
Each osier isle, inverted on the wave,
Through morn's gray mist its melting colours gave;
And o'er the cygnet's haunt, the mantling grove
Its emerald arch with wild luxuriance wove.
Light as the breeze that brush'd the orient dew,
From rock to rock the young adventurer flew;
And day's last sunshine slept along the shore,
When lo, a path the smile of welcome wore.
Imbowering shrubs with verdure veil'd the sky,
And on the musk-rose shed a deeper dye;
Save when a bright and momentary gleam
Glanced from the white foam of some shelter'd


O'er the still lake the bell of evening toll'd,
And on the moor the shepherd penn'd his fold;
And on the green hill's side the meteor play'd,
When, hark! a voice sung sweetly through the

It ceased-yet still in Florio's fancy sung,
Still on each note his captive spirit hung;
Till o'er the mead a cool, sequester'd grot
From its rich roof a sparry lustre shot.
A crystal water cross'd the pebbled floor,
And on the front these simple lines it bore:

Hence away, nor dare intrude!
In this secret, shadowy cell
Musing Memory loves to dwell,
With her sister Solitude.

Far from the busy world she flies,
To taste that peace the world denies.
Entranced she sits; from youth to age,
Reviewing life's eventful page;
And noting, ere they fade away,
The little lines of yesterday.

Florio had gain'd a rude and rocky seat,
When lo, the genius of this still retreat!
Fair was her form-but who can hope to trace
The pensive softness of her angel face?
Can Virgil's verse, can Raphael's touch, impart
Those finer features of the feeling heart,
Those tenderer tints that shun the careless eye,
And in the world's contagious climate die?

She left the cave, nor mark'd the stranger there;
Her pastoral beauty and her artless air
Had breathed a soft enchantment o'er his soul!
In every nerve he felt her blest control!
What pure and white-wing'd agents of the sky,
Who rule the springs of sacred sympathy,
Inform congenial spirits when they meet?
Sweet is their office, as their natures sweet!
Florio, with fearful joy, pursued the maid,
Till through a vista's moonlight-checker'd shade,

Where the bat circled, and the rooks reposed,
(Their wars suspended, and their councils closed,)
An antique mansion burst in awful state,

A rich vine clustering round the Gothic gate.
Nor paused he there. The master of the scene
Saw his light step imprint the dewy green;
And, slow advancing, hail'd him as his guest,
Won by the honest warmth his looks express'd.
He wore the rustic manners of a 'squire ;
Age had not quench'd one spark of manly fire;
But giant gout had bound him in her chain,
And his heart panted for the chase in vain.

Yet here remembrance, sweetly soothing power! Wing'd with delight confinement's lingering hour. The fox's brush still emulous to wear,

He scour❜d the country in his elbow chair;
And, with view-halloo, roused the dreaming hound,
That rung, by starts, his deep-toned music round.

Long by the paddock's humble pale confined,
His aged hunters coursed the viewless wind:
And each, with glowing energy portray'd,
The far-famed triumphs of the field display'd;
Usurp'd the canvass of the crowded hall,
And chased a line of heroes from the wall.
There slept the horn each jocund echo knew,
And many a smile and many a story drew!
High o'er the hearth his forest trophies hung,
And their fantastic branches wildly flung.
How would he dwell on the vast antlers there!
These dash'd the wave, those fann'd the mountain

All, as they frown'd, unwritten records bore
Of gallant feats and festivals of yore.

But why the tale prolong?-His only child,
His darling Julia, on the stranger smiled.
Her little arts a fretful sire to please,
Her gentle gayety, and native ease

Had won his soul; and rapturous fancy shed
Her golden lights, and tints of rosy red.

But ah! few days had pass'd, ere the bright vision


When evening tinged the lake's ethereal blue,
And her deep shades irregularly threw ;
Their shifting sail dropt gently from the cove,
Down by Saint Herbert's consecrated grove;
Whence erst the chanted hymn, the taper'd rite
Amused the fisher's solitary night:

And still the mitred window, richly wreathed,
A sacred calm through the brown foliage breathed.
The wild deer, starting through the silent glade,
With fearful gaze their various course survey'd.
High hung in air the hoary goat reclined,
His streaming beard the sport of every wind;
And, while the coot her jet wing loved to lave,
Rock'd on the bosom of the sleepless wave;
The eagle rush'd from Skiddaw's purple crest,
A cloud still brooding o'er her giant nest.

And now the moon had dimm'd with dewy ray

The few fine flushes of departing day.
O'er the wide water's deep serene she hung,
And her broad lights on every mountain flung;
When lo! a sudden blast the vessel blew,
And to the surge consign'd the little crew.
All, all escaped-but ere the lover bore
His faint and faded Julia to the shore,

der sense had fled!-Exhausted by the storm,
A fatal trance hung o'er her pallid form;
Her closing eye a trembling lustre fired;
'Twas life's last spark-it flutter'd and expired!
The father strew'd his white hairs in the wind,
Call'd on his child-nor linger'd long behind:
And Florio lived to see the willow wave,

With many an evening whisper, o'er their grave.
Yes, Florio lived-and, still of each possess'd,
The father cherish'd and the maid caress'd!
For ever would the fond enthusiast rove
With Julia's spirit through the shadowy grove;
Gaze with delight on every scene she plann'd,
Kiss every floweret planted by her hand.
Ah! still he traced her steps along the glade,
When hazy hues and glimmering lights betray'd
Half viewless forms; still listen'd as the breeze
Heaved its deep sobs among the aged trees;
And at each pause her melting accents caught,
In sweet delirium of romantic thought!
Dear was the grot that shunn'd the blaze of day;
She gave its spars to shoot a trembling ray.
The spring, that bubbled from its inmost cell,
Murmur'd of Julia's virtues as it fell;
And o'er the dripping moss, the fretted stone,
In Florio's ear breathed language not its own,
Her charm around th' enchantress Memory threw,
A charm that soothes the mind, and sweetens too!
But is her magic only felt below?

If thy blest nature now unites above
An angel's pity with a brother's love,
Still o'er my life preserve thy mild control,
Correct my views, and elevate my soul;
Grant me thy peace and purity of mind,
Devout, yet cheerful, active, yet resign'd;
Grant me, like thee, whose heart knew no disguise,
Whose blameless wishes never aim'd to rise,
To meet the changes time and chance present,
With modest dignity and calm content.
When thy last breath, ere nature sunk to rest,
Thy meek submission to thy God express'd;
When thy last look, ere thought and feeling fled,
A mingled gleam of hope and triumph shed;
What to thy soul its glad assurance gave,
Its hope in death, its triumph o'er the grave?
The sweet remembrance of unblemish'd youth,
The still inspiring voice of innocence and truth!

Hail, Memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
From age to age unnumber'd treasures shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And place and time are subject to thy sway!
Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone;
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air, hope's summer visions die,
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of sober reason play,
Lo, fancy's fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of art, the grasp of power,

Say, through what brighter realms she bids it flow: Snatch the rich relics of a well spent hour?

To what pure beings, in a nobler sphere,
She yields delight but faintly imaged here:
All that till now their rapt researches knew ;
Not call'd in slow succession to review,
But, as a landscape meets the eye of day,
At once presented to their glad survey!

Each scene of bliss reveal'd, since chaos fled,
And dawning light its dazzling glories spread;
Each chain of wonders that sublimely glow'd,
Since first creation's choral anthem flow'd;
Each ready flight, at mercy's call divine,
To distant worlds that undiscover'd shine;
Full on her tablet flings its living rays,
And all, combined, with blest effulgence blaze.
There thy bright train, immortal friendship, soar;
No more to part, to mingle tears no more!
And, as the softening hand of time endears
The joys and sorrows of our infant years,
So there the soul, released from human strife,
Smiles at the little cares and ills of life;

Its lights and shades, its sunshine and its showers;
As at a dream that charm'd her vacant hours!
Oft may the spirits of the dead descend
To watch the silent slumbers of a friend;
To hover round his evening walk unseen,
And hold sweet converse on the dusky green;
To hail the spot where first their friendship grew,
And heaven and nature open'd to their view!
Oft, when he trims his cheerful hearth, and sees
A smiling circle emulous to please;
There may these gentle guests delight to dwell,
And bless the scene they loved in life so well!

O thou! with whom my heart was wont to share
From reason's dawn each pleasure and each care;
With whom, alas! I fondly hoped to know
The humble walks of happiness below;

These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight
Pour round her path a stream of living light;
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest!





DAY glimmer'd in the east, and the white moon
Hung like a vapour in the cloudless sky,
Yet visible, when on my way I went,
Glad to be gone-a pilgrim from the north,
Now more and more attracted as I drew
Nearer and nearer. Ere the artisan,
Drowsy, half-clad, had from his window leant,
With folded arms and listless look, to snuff
The morning air, or the caged sky-lark sung,
From his green sod up springing-but in vain,
His tuneful bill o'erflowing with a song
Old in the days of Homer, and his wings
With transport quivering, on my way I went,
Thy gates, Geneva, swinging heavily,
Thy gates so slow to open, swift to shut;
As on that Sabbath eve when he arrived,*
Whose name is now thy glory, now by thee
Inscribed to consecrate (such virtue dwells
In those small syllables) the narrow street,
His birth-place-when, but one short step too late,


He sate him down and wept-wept till the morning;
Then rose to go-a wanderer through the world.
'Tis not a tale that every hour brings with it.
Yet at a city gate, from time to time,
Much might be learnt; and most of all at thine,
London-thy hive the busiest, greatest, still
Gathering, enlarging still. Let us stand by,
And note who passes. Here comes one, a youth,
Glowing with pride, the pride of conscious power,
A Chatterton-in thought admired, caress'd,
And crown'd like Petrarch in the capitol;
Ere long to die-to fall by his own hand,
And fester with the vilest. Here come two,
Less feverish, less exalted-soon to part,
A Garrick and a Johnson; wealth and fame
Awaiting one-e'en at the gate, neglect
And want the other. But what multitudes,
Пrged by the love of change, and, like myself,
Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare,
Press on-though but a rill entering the sea,
Entering and lost! Our task would never end.
Day glimmer'd and I went, a gentle breeze
Ruffling the Leman lake. Wave after wave,
If such they might be call'd, dash'd as in sport,
Not anger, with the pebbles on the beach,
Making wild music, and far westward caught
The sunbeam-where, alone and as entranced,
Counting the hours, the fisher in his skiff
Lay with his circular and dotted line,
Fishing in silence. When the heart is light
With hope, all pleases, nothing comes amiss;
And soon a passage boat swept gayly by,
Laden with peasant girls, and fruits and flowers,
And many a chanticleer and partlet caged
For Vevay's market-place-a motley group
Seen through the silvery haze. But soon 'twas gone.
The shifting sail flapp'd idly for an instant,
Then bore them off.

I am not one of those
So dead to all things in this visible world,
So wondrously profound--as to move on
In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old,
(His name is justly in the calendar,)

Who through the day pursued this pleasant path
That winds beside the mirror of all beauty,
And, when at eve his fellow pilgrims sate,
Discoursing of the lake, ask'd where it was.
They marvell'd, as they might; and so must all,
Seeing what now I saw; for now 'twas day,
And the bright sun was in the firmament,
A thousand shadows of a thousand hues
Checkering the clear expanse. A while his orb
Hung o'er thy trackless fields of snow, Mont Blanc,
Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories,
That change their shapes for ever as in sport;
Then travell'd onward, and went down behind
The pine-clad heights of Jura, lighting up
The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe
Borne homeward through the forest in his hand;
And, in some deep and melancholy glen,
That dungeon fortress never to be named,
Where, like a lion taken in the toils,
Toussaint breathed out his brave and generous spirit.
Ah, little did he think, who sent him there,
That he himself, then greatest among men,
Should in like manner be so soon convey'd

Across the ocean-to a rock so small
Amid the countless multitude of waves,
That ships have gone and sought it, and return'd,
Saying it was not!

Still along the shore,
Among the trees, I went for many a mile,
Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets,
Singing some national song by the way-side.
But now 'twas dusk, and journeying by the Rhone,
That there came down, a torrent from the Alps,
I enter'd where a key unlocks a kingdom,*
The mountains closing, and the road, the river,
Filling the narrow pass. There, till a ray
Glanced through my lattice, and the household stir
Warn'd me to rise, to rise and to depart,
A stir unusual and accompanied

With many a tuning of rude instruments,
And many a laugh that argued coming pleasure,
Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite,
And nuptial feast attiring-there I slept,
And in my dreams wander'd once more, well pleased.
But now a charm was on the rocks, and woods,
And waters; for, methought, I was with those
I had at morn, at even, wish'd for there.



NIGHT was again descending, when my mule, That all day long had climb'd among the clouds, Higher and higher still, as by a stair

Let down from heaven itself, transporting me,
Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door
So near the summit of the great St. Bernard;
That door which ever on its hinges moved
To them that knock'd, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me,
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb;
And a lay brother of the hospital,

Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits
The distant echoes gaining on his ear,
Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand,
While I alighted.

Long could I have stood,
With a religious awe contemplating
That house, the highest in the ancient world,
And placed there for the noblest purposes.
"Twas a rude pile of simplest masonry,
With narrow windows and vast buttresses,
Built to endure the shocks of time and chance;
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might,
Warr'd on for ever by the elements,
And in an evil day, nor long ago,
By violent men-when on the mountain top
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict.
On the same rock beside it stood the church,
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity;
The vesper bell, for 'twas the vesper hour,
Duly proclaiming through the wilderness,
"All ye who hear, whatever be your work,
Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer!"
And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale,
If dale it might be call'd, so near to heaven,
A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,

*St. Maurice.

« AnteriorContinuar »