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Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare, A stir unusual and accompanied
Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite,
And waters; for, methought, I was with those Making wild music, and far westward caught I had at morn, at even, wish'd for there. The sun-beam-where, alone and as entranced, Counting the hours, the fisher in his skiff
THE GREAT ST. BERNARD.
Night was again descending, when my mule, And soon a passage-boat swept gaily by,
That all day long had climb'd among the clouds, Laden with peasant-girls and fruits and flowers, Higher and higher still, as by a stair And many a chanticleer and partlet caged Let down from Heaven itself, transporting me, For Vevay's market-place-a motley group Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door Seen through the silvery haze. But soon 't was gone. So near the summit of the Great St. Bernard; The shifting sail flapp'd idly for an instant, That door which ever on its hinges moved Then bore them off.
To them that knock’d, and nightly sends abroad I am not one of those
Ministering Spirits. Lying on the watch, So dead to all things in this visible world,
Two dogs of grave demeanor welcomed me, (5) So wondrously profound—as to move on
All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb; In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old (3)
And a lay-brother of the Hospital, (His name is justly in the Calendar)
Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits
Long could I have stood,
And placed there for the noblest purposes. A thousand shadows of a thousand hues
"T was a rude pile of simplest masonry, Chequering the clear expanse. Awhile his orb With narrow windows and vast buttresses, Ilung o'er thy trackless fields of snow, Mont Blanc, Built to endure the shocks of Time and Chance; Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories, Yet showing many a rent, as well it might, That change their shapes for ever as in sport; Warr’d on for ever by the elements, Then travellid onward, and went down behind And in an evil day, nor long ago, The pine-clad heights of Jura, lighting up By violent men—when on the mountain-top The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe The French and Austrian banners met in conflict. Borrie horeward through the forest in his hand; And, in some deep and melancholy glen,
On the same rock beside it stood the church, That dungeon-fortress never to be named,
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity; Where, like a lion taken in the toils,
The vesper-bell, for 't was the vesper-hour, Toussaint breathed out his brave and generous spirit. Duly proclaiming through the wilderness, Ah, little did He think, who sent him there,
· All ye who hear, whatever be your work, That he himself, then greatest among men, Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer.!" Should in like manner be so soon convey'd And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale, Acrow the ocean—to a rock so small
If dale it might be call’d, so near to Heaven, Amid the countless multitude of waves,
A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,
A star, the only one in that small sky,
On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene Among the trees I went for many a mile,
Resembling nothing I had left behind, Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets, As though all worldly ties were now dissolved ;Singing some national song by the way-side. And to incline the mind still more to thought, But now 't was dusk, and journeying by the Rhone, To thought and sadness, on the easiern shore That there came down, a torrent from the Alps, Under a beetling cliff stood half in shadow I enter'd where a key unlocks a kingdom,' A lonely chapel destined for the dead, The mountains closing, and the road, the river For such as, having wander'd from their way, Filing the narrow pass. There, till a ray
Had perish'd miserably Side by side, Glunced through my lattice, and the household-stir Within they lie, a mournful company Warn'd me to rise, to rise and to depart,
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them;
Their features full of life, yet motionless
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
Though the barr'd windows, barr'd against the wolf, Which, where it comes, makes Summer; and in Are always open!
thought, But the Bise blew cold ; (6) Oft am I sitting on the bench beneath And, bidden to a sparo but cheerful meal,
Their garden-plot, where all that vegetates
Is but some scanty lettuce, to observe
As though it were their last- and instantly
THE DESCENT. Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime;
My mule refreshd-and, let the truth be told, Nor was a brow o'ercast. Seen as I saw them,
He was not of that vile, that scurvy race, Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour
From sire to son lovers of controversy, Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile,
But patient, diligent, and sure of foot, As children; answering, and at once, to all
Shunning the loose stone on the precipice, The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth;
Snorting suspicion while with sight, smell, touch, Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk
Examining the wet and spongy moss, Music; and gathering news from them that came,
And on his haunches sitting to slide down As of some other world. But when the storm
The steep, the smooth--my mule refresh'd, luis bells Rose, and the snow rolld on in ocean-billows,
Gingled once more, the signal to depart,
And we set out in the grey light of dawn,
Descending rapidly—by waterfalls
That in their long career had stopt mid-way, Unearthly beings. “Anselm, higher up,
At length, uncheck’d, unbidden, he stood still; Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long,
And all his bells were muffled. Then my Guide, And now, as guided by a voice from Heaven,
Lowering his voice, address'd me: “Through this Digs with his feet. That noble vehemence
Chasm Whose can it be, but his who never err'd ?
On and say nothing—for a word, a breath, Let us to work! there is no time to lose !
Stirring the air, may loosen and bring down But who descends Mont Velan? "Tis La Croix.
A winter's snow-enough to overwhelm Away, away! if not, alas, too late.
The horse and foot that, night and day, defiled Homeward he drags an old man and a boy,
Along this path to conquer at Marengo. Faltering and falling, and but half awaken'd,
Well I remember how I met them here, Asking to sleep again.” Such their discourse.
As the light died away, and how Napoleon, Oft has a venerable roof received me;
Wrapt in his cloak--I could not be deceivedSt. Bruno's once' (7)—where, when the winds were How far 't was to St. Remi. Where the rock
Rein'd in his horse, and ask'd me, as I pass'd, hushid, Nor from the cataract the voice came up,
Juts forward, and the road, crumbling away, You might have heard the mole work underground, "T was there ; and down along the brink he led
Narrows almost to nothing at its base,
To Victory Dessaix, who turn’d the scale, (10)
Leaving his life-blood in that famous field By some rude bridge or one at midnight tolla
(When the clouds break, we may discern the spot To matins, and white habits, issuing forth,
In the blue haze), sleeps, as you saw at dawn,
Just as you enter'd, in the Hospital-church."
So saying, for awbile he held his peace,
Awe-struck beneath that dreadful Canopy ;
JORASSE was in his three-and-twentieth year; But, among them all, Graceful and active as a stag just roused ; None can with this compare, the dangerous seat Gentle withal, and pleasant in his speech, Of generous, active Virtue. Wha! though Frost Yet seldom seen to smile. He had grown up Reign everlastingly, and ice and snow
Among the Hunters of the Higher Alps ; Thaw not, but gather—there is that within, Had caught their starts and fits of thoughtfulness,
Their haggard looks, and strange soliloquies, 1 The Grande Chartreuse.
Said to arise by those who dwell below, 2 Vallombrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella.
From frequent dealings with the Mountain-Spirits. 3 Ariosto and Milton.
But other ways had taught him bolter things;
And now he number'd, marching by my side, All in their best attire. There first he saw
When all drew round, inquiring; and her face,
The tale was long, but coming to a close, Nor oft unveils. Anon an Avalanche
When his dark eyes flash'd fire, and, stopping short, Roll'd its long thunder; and a sudden crash, He listen'd and look'd up. I look'd up 100; Sharp and metallic, to the startled ear
And twice there came a hiss that through me thrillid! Told that far-down a continent of Ice
"T was heard no more. A Chamois on the cliff Ilad burst in twain. But he had now begun; Had roused his fellows with that cry of fear, And with what transport he recall’d the hour
And all were gone. When to deserve, to win his blooming bride,
But now the thread was broken;
And he recounted his hair-breadth escapes
He track'd their footsteps. By a cloud surprised,
Oft had they stood, lock'd in each other's arms, To all her children-breaking off by starts All the long night under a freezing sky, Into the harsh and rude, oft as the Mule
Each guarding each the while from sleeping, falling. Drew his displeasure) once, nor long before, Oh, 't was a sport he loved dearer than life, Alone at day-break on the Mettenberg,
And only would with life itself relinquish! He slipp'd, he fell; and, through a fearful cleft My sire, my grandsire died among these wilds. Gluding from ledge to ledge, from deep to deeper, As for myself,” he cried, and he held forth Went w the Under-world! Long-while he lay His wallet in his band, “this do I call Upon his rugged bed—then waked like one My winding-sheet-for I shall have no other!” Wishing to sleep again and sleep for ever! For, looking round, he saw or thought he saw
And he spoke truth. Within a little month innumerable branches of a Cavern,
He lay among these awful solitudes, Winding beneath a solid crust of ice;
('T was on a glacier-half-way up to Heaven) With here and there a rent that show'd the stars ! Taking his final rest. Long did his wife, What then, alas, was left him but to die?
Suckling her babe, her only one, look out What else in those immeasurable chambers, The way he went at parting, but he came not! Strewn with the bones of miserable men,
Long fear to close her eyes, lest in her sleep Lost like himself! Yet must he wander on, (Such their belief) he should appear before her, Till cold and hunger set his spirit free!
Frozen and ghastly pale, or crush'd and bleeding, And, rising, he began his dreary round;
To tell her where he lay, and supplicate
MARGUERITE DE TOURS.
Now the grey granite, starting through the snow,
That to the pilgrim resting on his staff In a dead lake at the third step he took,
Shadows out capes and islands; and ere long l'nfathomable and the roof, that long
Numberless flowers, such as disdain to live Had threaten'd, suddenly descending, lay
In lower regions, and delighted drink Flat on the surface. Statue-like he stood, The clouds before they fall, flowers of all hues, Hos journey ended; when a ray divine
With their diminutive leaves coverd the ground. Shot through his soul. Breathing a prayer to Her 'T was then, that, turning by an ancient larch, Whose eurs are never shut, the Blessed Virgin,
Shiver'd in two, yet most majestical
A human figure sitting on a stone
Far down by the way-side--just where the rock Glittering the river ran ; and on the bank
Is riven asunder, and the Evil One The young were dancing ('t was a festival-day) Has bridged the gulf, a wondrous monument (13)
1 The Schrokhom
I Lichen Geographicus
Built in one night, from which the flood beneath, The level plain I travell’d silently,
Nearing them more and more, day after day,
My wandering thoughts my only company, Nearer we drew, And they before me still, oft as I look'd, And 't was a woman young and delicate,
A strange delight, mingled with fear, came o'er me, Wrapt in a russet cloak from head to foot,
A wonder as at things I had not heard of!
Great was the tumult there,
Now the scene is changed ; On our approach, she journey'd slowly on; And o'er Mont Cenis, o'er the Simplon winds And my companion, long before we met,
A path of pleasure. Like a silver zone Knew, and ran down to groet her.
Flung about carelessly, it shines afar,
She was born Catching the eye in many a broken link, (Such was her artless tale, told with fresh tears) In many a turn and traverse as it glides; In Val d'Aosta ; and an Alpine stream,
And oft above and oft below appears, Leaping from crag to crag in its short course Seen o'er the wall by him who journeys up, To join the Dora, turn'd her father's mill.
As though it were another, not the same, There did she blossom till a Valaisan,
Leading along he knows not whence or whither. A townsman of Martigny, won her heart,
Yet through its fairy course, go where it will,
Opens and lets it in; and on it runs,
Not such my path! She pictured to herself that aged face
Mine but for those, who, like Jean Jacques, delight(14) Sickly and wan, in sorrow, not in anger;
In dizziness, gazing and shuddering on And, when at last she heard his hour was near, Till fascination comes and the brain turns ! Went forth unseen, and, burden'd as she was, Mine, though I judge but from my ague-fits Cross'd the high Alps on foot to ask forgiveness, Over the Drance, just where the Abbot fell, (15) And hold him to her heart before he died.
The same as Hannibal's.
But now 't is past,
Singing aloud for joy, to him is not
Such sudden ravishment as now I feel
Could I recall the ages past, and play As to belong rather to Heaven than Earth
The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve But instantly receives into his soul
My leisure for Catullus on his Lake, A sense, a feeling that he loses not,
Though to fare worse, or Virgil at his farm A something that informs him 't is a moment A little further on the way to Mantua. Whence he may date henceforward and for ever? But such things cannot be. So I sit still,
And let the boat man shift his little snil, To me they seem'd the barriers of a World, His sail so forked and so swallow-like, Saying, Thus far, no farther! and as o'er
Well-pleased with all that comes. The morning air
Plays on my cheek low gently, flinging round
Rise like a curtain ; now the sun looks out, And reading, in the eyes that sparkled round,
Can I forget—no, never, such a scene
But the strain follow'd me; and still I saw
Thy smile, Angelica; and still I heard
THE song was one that I had heard before,
Had from her apron just rollid out before me,
Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like
Winning their mazy progress to my heart Come through the leaves ; the vines in light festoons In that, the only universal language. From tree to tree, the trees in avenues,
But soon they changed the measure, entering on And every avenue a cover'd walk,
A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour, Hung with black clusters. T is enough to make A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures, The sad man merry, the benevolent one
Between Trappanti and his ancient dame,
Mona Lucilia. To and fro it went;
When 't was done,
Their dark eyes flash'd no longer, yet, methought, Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori,
In many a glance as from the soul, express'd One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare !
More than enough to serve them. Far or near, When, 19 I mambled through thy vineyard-ground
Few let them pass unnoticed ; and there was not On the hill-side, thou sent'st thy little son,
A mother round about for many a league, Charged with a bunch almost as big as he, But could repeat their story. Twins they were, To press it on the stranger.
And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world ;
Their parents lost in the old ferry-boat
That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down Live to become ere-long himself a giver; Crossing the rough Penacus.' And in due time, when thou art full of honor,
May they live The staff of thine old age !
Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be,
In a strange land Like him who, in the days of Minstrelsy, (18) Such things, however trifling, reach the heart, Came in a beggar's weeds to Petrarch's door, And through the heart the head, clearing away
Crying without, “Give me a lay to sing !" The narrow notions that grow up at home,
And soon in silk (such then the power of song) And in their place grafting Good-Will 10 All.
Return'd to thank him; or like him, wayworn At least I found it so ; nor less at eve,
And lost, who, by the foaming Adige When, bidden as an English traveller
Descending from the Tyrol, as night fell, (T wes by a little boat that gave me chase Knock'd at a city-gate near the hill-foot, With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I cross'd
The gate that bore so long, sculptured in stone, The bay of Tramezzine), right readily
An eagle on a ladder, and at once
Before the great Mastino, (19) and his guests,
The three-and-twenty, by some adverse fortune, Breathing enchantment o'er the woods, the waters; By war or treason or domestic malice, And through a bright pavilion, bright as day,
Reft of their kingly crowns, reft of their all, Forms such as hers were flitting, lost among
And living on his bounty. Such as of old in sober pomp swept by,
But who now
Enters the chamber, flourishing a scroll
I Lago di Garda