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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,
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
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.
Oh leave the lily on its stem;
And listen to my lay.
Its murmurs in the wind.
And trembles on the string.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
My own dear Genevieve!
She lean'd against the armed man,
Amid the lingering light.
The songs that make her grieve.
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen’d with a flitting blush,
But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the knight that wore
The lady of the land.
I told her how he pined: and, ah
Interpreted my own.
She listend with a flitting blush,
Too fondly on her face.
Nor rested day nor night;
In green and sunny glade,
This miserable knight!
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.
A dying man he lay.
Disturbid her soul with pity!
The rich and balmy eve;