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And leave them naked on the scene,
The emblems of eternity,
The same as they have ever been,
And shall for ever be.
Yet through the valley while I range,
Their cliffs, like images in dreams,
Colour and shape, and station change ;
Here crags and caverns, woods and streams,
And seas of adamantine ice,
With gardens, vineyards, fields embraced,
Open a way to Paradise,
Through all the splendid waste.
The goats are hanging on the rocks,
Wide through their pastures roam the herds ;
Peace on the uplands feeds her flocks,
Till suddenly the king of birds
Pouncing a lamb, they start for fear;
He bears his bleating prize on high ;
The well-known plaint his nestlings hear, And raise a ravening cry.
The sun in morning freshness shines ;
At noon behold his orb o'ercast;
Hollow and dreary o'er the pines,
Like distant ocean, moans the blast ;
The mountains darken at the sound,
Put on their armour, and anon,
In panoply of clouds wrapt round,
Their forms from sight are gone.
Hark! war in heaven! -- the battle-shout
Of thunder rends the echoing air ;
Lo! war in heaven ! — thick-flashing out
Through torrent-rains, red lightnings glare ;
As though the Alps, with mortal ire,
At once a thousand voices raised ;
And with a thousand swords of fire
At once in conflict blazed.
COME, golden Evening, in the west
Enthrone the storm-dispelling sun,
And let the triple rainbow rest
O'er all the mountain-tops ; — 'tis done ;
The deluge ceases ; bold and bright,
The rainbow shoots from hill to hill;
Down sinks the sun; on presses night;
- Mont Blanc is lovely still.
There take thy stand, my spirit ; – spread The world of shadows at thy feet; And mark how calmly, over-head, The stars like saints in glory meet : While hid in solitude sublime, Methinks I muse on Nature's tomb, And hear the passing foot of Time Step through the gloom.
All in a moment, crash on crash,
From precipice to precipice,
An avalanche's ruins dash
Down to the nethermost abyss ;
Invisible, the ear alone
Follows the uproar till it dies ;
Echo on echo, groan for groan,
From deep to deep replies.
Silence again the darkness seals, –
Darkness that may be felt ; — but soon
The silver-clouded east reveals
The midnight spectre of the moon ;
In half-eclipse she lifts her horn,
Yet, o'er the host of heaven supreme,
Brings the faint semblance of a morn
With her awakening beam.
Ha! at her touch, these Alpine heights Unreal mockeries appear ;
With blacker shadows, ghastlier lights,
Enlarging as she climbs the sphere ;
A crowd of apparitions pale !
I hold my breath in chill suspense,
- They seem so exquisitely frail, —
Lest they should vanish hence.
I breathe again, I freely breathe ;
Lake of Geneva! thee I trace,
Like Dian's crescent far beneath,
And beautiful as Dian's face :
Pride of this land of liberty !
All that thy waves reflect I love ;
Where heaven itself, brought down to thee,
Looks fairer than above.
Safe on thy banks again I stray,
The trance of poesy is o’er,
And I am here at dawn of day,
Gazing on mountains as before ;