Слике страница
PDF
ePub

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. 1773–1837.

HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNY. Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star In his steep course? So long he seems to pause On thy bald, awful head, oh sovran Blanc! The Arve and Arveiron at thy base Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form! Risest from forth thy silent Sea of Pines, How silently! Around thee and above, Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it As with a.wedge! But when I look again, It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, Thy habitation from eternity! Oh dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer, I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, So sweet we know not we are listening to it, Thou the mean while wast blending with my thought, Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy: Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused, Into the mighty vision passing—there, As in her natural form, swellid vast to Heaven!

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake, Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake! Green vales and icy cliffs all join my hymn.

Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale ! Oh struggling with the darkness all the night, And visited all night by troops of stars, Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink :

Companion of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald: wake, oh wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Who call’d you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns callid you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shatter'd, and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen and have rest?

Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the element!
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !

Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, [peaks, Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast; Thou too, again, stupendous mountain ! thou That, as I raise my head, a while bow'd low In adoration, upward from thy base Slow travelling, with dim eyes suffused with tears, Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud, To rise before me-rise, oh ever rise, Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth! Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, Thou dread Ambassador from earth to heaven, Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky, And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

LOVE.

Oh leave the lily on its stem;
Oh leave the rose upon the spray ;
Oh leave the elder bloom, fair maids !

And listen to my lay.
A cypress and a myrtle bough
This morn around my harp you twined,
Because it fashion'd mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.
And now a tale of love and wo,
A woful tale of love I sing ;
Hark, gentle maidens, hark! it sighs

And trembles on the string.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay

Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,

My own dear Genevieve!

She lean'd against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listend to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing

The songs that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen’d with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that, for ten long years, he wooed

The lady of the land.

I told her how he pined: and, ah
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own.

She listend with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me that I gazed

Too fondly on her face.
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain woods,

Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once

In green and sunny glade,
There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a fiend,

This miserable knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death

The lady of the land ! And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees; And how she tended him in vain, And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain.
And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves

A dying man he lay.
His dying words--but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp

Disturbid her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrillid my guiltless Genevieve;
The music, and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;

« ПретходнаНастави »