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II.

He sate him down and wept-wept till the morning ; Across the ocean—to a rock so small
Then rose to go—a wanderer through the world. Amid the countless multitude of waves,

'Tis not a tale that every hour brings with it. That ships have gone and sought it, and return'd, Yet at a city gate, from time to time,

Saying it was not! Much might be learnt; and most of all at thine,

Still along the shore, London—thy hive the busiest, greatest, still Among the trees, I went for many a mile, Gathering, enlarging still. Let us stand by, Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets, And note who passes. Here comes one, a youth, Singing some national song by the way-side. Glowing with pride, the pride of conscious power, But now 'twas dusk, and journeying by the Rhone, A Chatterton—in thought admired, caress'd, That there came down, a torrent from the Alps, And crown'd like Petrarch in the capitol ;

I enter'd where a key unlocks a kingdom,* Ere long to die-to fall by his own hand,

The mountains closing, and the road, the river, And fester with the vilest. Here come two, Filling the narrow pass. There, till a ray Less feverish, less exalted-soon to part,

Glanced through my lattice, and the household stir A Garrick and a Johnson; wealth and fame Warnd me to rise, to rise and to depart, Awaiting one-e'en at the gate, neglect

A stir unusual and accompanied And want the other. But what multitudes, With many a tuning of rude instruments, Urged by the love of change, and, like myself, And many a laugh that argued coming pleasure, Adventurous, careless of to-morrow's fare, Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite, Press on-though but a rill entering the sea, And nuptial feast attiring—there I slept, Entering and lost! Our task would never end. And in my dreams wander'd once more, well pleased.

Day glimmer'd and I went, a gentle breeze But now a charm was on the rocks, and woods, Ruffling the Leman lake.

Wave after wave,

And waters; for, methought, I was with those If such they might be call’d, dash'd as in sport, I had at morn, at even, wish'd for there. Not anger, with the pebbles on the beach, Making wild music, and far westward caught The sunbeam-where, alone and as entranced,

THE GREAT ST. BERNARD. Counting the hours, the fisher in his skiff

Night was again descending, when my mule, Lay with his circular and dotted line,

That all day long had climb'd among the clouds, Fishing in silence. When the heart is light Higher and higher still, as by a stair With hope, all pleases, nothing comes amiss ;

Let down from heaven itself, transporting me, And soon a passage boat swept gayly by,

Stopp'd, to the joy of both, at that low door Laden with peasant girls, and fruits and flowers, So near the summit of the great St. Bernard; And many a chanticleer and partlet caged

That door which ever on its hinges moved For Vevay's market-place-a motley group

To them that knock'd, and nightly sends abroad Seen through the silvery haze. But soon 'twas gone. Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch, The shifting sail flapp'd idly for an instant, Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me, Then bore them off.

All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb; I am not one of those

And a lay brother of the hospital, So dead to all things in this visible world,

Who, as we toil'd below, had heard by fits So wondrously profound—as to move on

The distant echoes gaining on his ear, In the sweet light of heaven, like him of old,

Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand, (His name is justly in the calendar,)

While I alighted. Who through the day pursued this pleasant path

Long could I have stood, That winds beside the mirror of all beauty,

With a religious awe contemplating And, when at eve his fellow pilgrims sate,

That house, the highest in the ancient world, Discoursing of the lake, ask'd where it was.

And placed there for the noblest purposes. They marvell’d, as they might; and so must all,

'Twas a rude pile of simplest masonry, Seeing what now I saw; for now 'twas day, With narrow windows and vast buttresses, And the bright sun was in the firmament,

Built to endure the shocks of time and chance; A thousand shadows of a thousand hues

Yet showing many a rent, as well it might,
Checkering the clear expanse. A while his orb Warr'd on for ever by the elements,
Hung o’er thy trackless fields of snow, Mont Blanc, And in an evil day, nor long ago,
Thy seas of ice and ice-built promontories,

By violent men—when on the mountain top
That change their shapes for ever as in sport;

The French and Austrian banners met in conflict. Then travellid onward, and went down behind

On the same rock beside it stood the church, The pine-clad heights of Jura, lighting up

Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity; The woodman's casement, and perchance his axe

The vesper bell, for 'twas the vesper hour, Borne homeward through the forest in his hand; Duly proclaiming through the wilderness, And, in some deep and melancholy glen,

“ All ye who hear, whatever be your work, That dungeon fortress never to be named,

Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer!" Where, like a lion taken in the toils,

And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale,
Toussaint breathed out his brave and generous spirit. If dale it might be call'd, so near to heaven,
Ah, little did he think, who sent him there,

A little lake, where never fish leap'd up,
That he himself, then greatest among men,
Should in like manner be so soon convey'd

* St. Maurice.

Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow ;

All, all observant of the sacred law A star, the only one in that small sky,

Of silence. Nor is that sequester'd spot, On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene Once call'd “Sweet Waters,” now “ The Shady Resembling nothing I had left behind,

Vale,”* As though all worldly ties were now dissolved ; To me unknown; that house so rich of old, And to incline the mind still more to thought, So courteous, and by two, that pass'd that way,t To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore, Amply requited with immortal verse, L'nder a beetling cliff stood, half in shadow, The poet's payment. A lonely chapel destined for the dead,

But, among them all, For such as, having wander'd from the way, None can with this compare, the dangerous seat Had perish'd miserably. Side by side,

Of

generous, active virtue. What though frost Within they lie, a mournful company,

Reign everlastingly, and ice and snow
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them; Thaw not, but gather-there is that within,
Their features full of life, yet motionless

Which, where it comes, makes summer; and in In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,

thought,
Though the barr’d windows, barr'd against the wolf, Oft am I sitting on the bench beneath
Are always open!

Their garden plot, where all that vegetates
But the Bise blew cold;

Is but some scanty lettuce, to observe
And, bidden to a spare but cheerful meal,

Those from the south ascending, every step I sate among the holy brotherhood

As though it were their last—and instantly
At their long board. The fare, indeed, was such Restored, renew'd, advancing as with songs,
As is prescribed on days of abstinence,

Soon as they see, turning a lofty crag,
But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine; That plain, that modest structure, promising
And through the floor came up, an ancient matron Bread to the hungry, to the weary rest.
Serving unseen below; while from the roof
(The roof, the floor, the walls of native fir)

III.
A lamp hung flickering, such as loves to fling

THE DESCENT. Its partial light on apostolic heads,

My mule refresh'd-and, let the truth be told, And sheds a grace on all. Theirs time as yet He was not of that vile, that scurvy race, Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime ; From sire to son lovers of controversy, Nor was a brow o'ercast. Seen as I saw them,

But patient, diligent, and sure of foot, Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour Shunning the loose stone on the precipice, Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile, Snorting suspicion while with sight, smell, touch, As children; answering, and at once, to all Examining the wet and spongy moss, The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth;

And on his haunches sitting to slide down Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk,

The steep, the smooth-my mule refresh’d, his bells Musie; and gathering news from them that came, Jingled once more, the signal to depart, As of some other world. But when the storm And we set out in the gray light of dawn, Rose, and the snow rollid on in ocean billows, Descending rapidly—by waterfalls When on his face th' experienced traveller fell,

Fast frozen, and among huge blocks of ice Sheltering his lips and nostrils with his hands, That in their long career had stopt midway, Then all was changed; and, sallying with their pack At length, uncheck’d, unbidden, he stood still; Into that blank of nature, they became

And all his bells were muffled. Then my guide, Unearthly beings. “Anselm, higher up,

Lowering his voice, address'd me: “ Through this Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long,

chasm
And now, as guided by a voice from heaven, On and say nothing-for a word, a breath,
Digs with his feet. That noble vehemence, Stirring the air, may loosen and bring down
Whose can it be, but his who never err'd ?

A winter's snow-enough to overwhelm
Let us to work! there is no time to lose ? The horse and foot that, night and day, defiled
But who descends Mont Velan? 'Tis La Croix. Along this path to conquer at Marengo.
Away, away ! if not, alas, too late.

Well I remember how I met them here, Homeward he drags an old man and a boy, As the light died away, and how Napoleon, Faltering and falling, and but half awaken'd, Wrapt in his cloak—I could not be deceived Asking to sleep again.” Such their discourse. Rein'd in his horse, and ask'd me, as I passid, Oft has a venerable roof received me;

How far 'twas to St. Remi. Where the rock St. Bruno's once*—where, when the winds were Juts forward, and the road, crumbling away, hush'd,

Narrows almost to nothing at its base. Nor from the cataract the voice came up,

'Twas there; and down along the brink he led You might have heard the mole work underground, To victory!— Dessaix, who turn’d the scale, So great the stillness of that place; none seen, Leaving his life-blood in that famous field, Sare when from rock to rock a hermit cross'd (When the clouds break, we may discern the spot By some rude bridge-or one at midnight tolla In the blue haze,) sleeps, as you saw at dawn, To matins, and white habits, issuing forth, Just as you enter'd, in the hospital church.” Glided along those aisles interminable,

* Vallombrosa, formerly called Acqua Bella, * The Grande Chartreuse.

+ Ariusto and Milton.

IV.

So saying, for a while he held his peace,

Travell’d incessantly, the craggy roof Awe-struck beneath that dreadful canopy ;

Just over head, and the impetuous waves, But soon, the danger pass'd, launch'd forth again. Nor broad nor deep, yet with a giant's strength

Lashing him on. At last the water slept

In a dead lake-at the third step he took,
JORASSE.

Unfathomable--and the roof, that long
JORASSE was in his three-and-twentieth year;

Had threatend, suddenly descending, lay Graceful and active as a stag just roused;

Flat on the surface. Statue-like he stood, Gentle withal, and pleasant in his speech,

His journey ended; when a ray divine Yet seldom seen to smile. He had grown up

Shot through his soul. Breathing a prayer to her Among the hunters of the higher Alps ;

Whose ears are never shut, the blessed virgin, Had caught their starts and fits of thoughtfulness, He plunged, he swam-and in an instant rose, Their haggard looks, and strange soliloquies,

The barrier past, in light, in sunshine! Through Said to arise, by those who dwell below,

A smiling vailey, full of cottages,
From frequent dealings with the mountain spirits. Glittering the river ran; and on the bank
But other ways had taught him better things;

The young were dancing ('twas a festival-day) And now he number'd, marching by my side,

All in their best attire. There first he saw The savans, princes, who with him had cross'd His Madelaine. In the crowd she stood to hear, The frozen tract, with him familiarly

When all drew round, inquiring; and her face, Through the rough day and rougher night conversed Seen behind all, and, varying, as he spoke, In many a chalet round the Peak of Terror,* With hope, and fear, and generous sympathy, Round Tacol, Tour, Well-horn and Rosenlau,

Subdued him. From that very hour he loved. And her, whose throne is inaccessible,t

The tale was long, but coming to a close, Who sits, withdrawn, in virgin majesty,

When his dark eyes flash'd fire, and, stopping short, Nor oft unveils. Anon an avalanche

He listen’d and look'd up. I look'd up too ; Roll'd its long thunder; and a sudden crash, And twice there came a hiss that through me thrill'd! Sharp and metallic, to the startled ear

'Twas heard no more. A chamois on the cliff Told that far down a continent of ice

Had roused his fellows with that cry of fear, Had burst in twain. But he had now begun;

And all were gone. And with what transport he recall'd the hour

But now the thread was broken; When to deserve, to win his blooming bride,

Love and its joys had vanish'd from his mind; Madelaine of Annecy, to his feet he bound

And he recounted his hair-breadth escapes The iron crampons, and, ascending, trod

When with his friend, Hubert of Bionnay, The upper realms of frost; then, by a cord (His ancient carbine from his shoulder slung, Let halfway down, enter'd a grot star-bright,

His axe to hew a staircase in the ice,) And gather'd from above, below, around,

He track'd their footsteps. By a cloud surprised, The pointed crystals !

Upon a crag among the precipices, Once, nor long before, Where the next step had hurl'd them fifty fathoms, (Thus did his tongue run on, fast as his fect, Oft had they stood, lock'd in each other's arms, And with an eloquence that nature gives

All the long night under a freezing sky, To all her children-breaking off by starts

Each guarding each the while from sleeping, falling. Into the harsh and rude, oft as the mule

0, 'twas a sport he loved dearer than life, Drew his displeasure,) once, nor long before,

And only would with life itself relinquish! Alone at daybreak on the Mettenberg,

“ My sire, my grandsire died among these wilds. He slipp’d, he fell; and through a fearful cleft As for myself,” he cried, and he held forth Gliding from ledge to ledge, from deep to deeper, His wallet in his hand, “ this do I call Went to the under world! Long while he lay My winding sheet-for I shall have no other !" Upon his rugged bed-then waked like one

And he spoke truth. Within a little month Wishing to sleep again and sleep for ever! He lay among these awful solitudes, For, looking round, he saw or thought he saw ('Twas on a glacier-halfway up to heaven,) Innumerable branches of a cavern,

Taking his final rest. Long did his wife, Winding beneath a solid crust of ice;

Suckling her babe, her only one, look out With here and there a rent that show'd the stars ! The way he went at parting, but he came not! What then, alas, was left him but to die?

Long fear to close her eyes, lest in her sleep What else in those immeasurable chambers, (Such their belief) he should appear before her, Strewn with the bones of miserable men,

Frozen and ghastly pale, or crush'd and bleeding, Lost like himself? Yet must he wander on, To tell her where he lay, and supplicate Till cold and hunger set his spirit free!

For the last rite! At length the dismal news And, rising, he began his dreary round;

Came to her ears, and to her eyes his corse. When hark, the noise as of some mighty river

V. Working its way to light! Back he withdrew,

MARGUERITE DE TOURS. But soon return’d, and, fearless from despair, Dash'd down the dismal channel; and all day. Now the gray granite, starting through the snow, If day could be where utter darkness was,

Discover'd many a variegated moss

* The Schrekhorn.

+ The Jung-frau.

* Lichen Geographicus.

That to the pilgrim resting on his staff

Still where they were, steadfast, immovable; Shadows out capes and islands; and ere long Who first beholds the Alps—that mighty chain Numberless fiowers, such as disdain to live Of mountains, stretching on from east to west, In lower regions, and delighted drink

So massive, yet so shadowy, so ethereal,
The clouds before they fall, flowers of all hues, As to belong rather to heaven than to earth-
With their diminutive leaves cover'd the ground. But instantly receives into his soul
'Twas then, that, turning by an ancient larch, A sense, a feeling that he loses not,
Shiver'd in two, yet most majestical

A something that informs him 'tis a moment
With its long level branches, we observed Whence he may date henceforward and for ever ?
A human figure sitting on a stone

To me they seem'd the barriers of a world,
Far down by the way-side-just where the rock Saying, Thus far, no farther! and as o'er
Is riven asunder, and the Evil One.

The level plain I travellid silently,
Has bridged the gulf, a wondrous monument Nearing them more and more, day after day,
Built in one night, from which the flood beneath, My wandering thoughts my only company,
Raging along, all foam, is seen, not heard, And they before me still, oft as I look'd,
And seen as motionless!

A strange delight, mingled with fear, came o'er me,
Nearer we drew, A wonder as at things I had not heard of!
And 'twas a woman young and delicate,

Oft as I look'd, I felt as though it were, Wrapt in a russet cloak from head to foot,

For the first time! Her eyes cast down, her cheek upon her hand

Great was the tumult there, In deepest thought. Young as she was, she wore Deafening the din, when in barbaric pomp The matron cap; and from her shape we judged, The Carthaginian on his march to Rome As well we might, that it would not be long

Entered their fastnesses. Trampling the snows, Ere she became a mother. Pale she look'd, The war-horse reared ; and the tower'd elephant Yet cheerful; though, methought, once, if not twice, Upturn’d his trunk into the murky sky, She wiped away a tear that would be coming : Then tumbled headlong, swallow'd up and lost, And in those moments her small hat of straw,

He and his rider. Worn on one side, and garnish'd with a riband

Now the scene is changed ; Glittering with gold, but ill conceal'd a face And o’er Mont Cenis, o'er the Simplon winds Not soon to be forgotten. Rising up

A path of pleasure. Like a silver zone On our approach, she journey'd slowly on; Flung about carelessly, it shines afar, And my companion, long before we met,

Catching the eye in many a broken link,
Knew, and ran down to greet her.

In many a turn and traverse as it glides ;
She was born

And oft above and oft below appears,
(Such was her artless tale, told with fresh tears) Seen o'er the wall by him who journeys up,
In Val d'Aosta ; and an Alpine stream,

As though it were another, not the same, Leaping from crag to crag in its short course Leading along he knows not whence or whither To join the Dora, turn'd her father's miil.

Yet through its fairy course, go where it will, There did she blossom till a Valaisan,

The torrent stops it not, the rugged rock
A townsman of Martigny, won her heart,

Opens and lets it in; and on it runs.
Much to the old man's grief. Long he held out, Winning its easy way from clime to clime
Unwilling to resign her; and at length,

Through glens lock'd up before.
When the third summer came, they stole a match

Not such my path! And fied. The act was sudden; and when far

Mine but for those, who, like Jean Jacques, delight Away, her spirit had misgivings. Then

In dizziness, gazing and shuddering on She pictured to herself that aged face

Till fascination comes and the brain turns ! Sickly and wan, in sorrow, not in anger ;

Mine, though I judge but from my ague-fits
And, when at last she heard his hour was near,

Over the Drance, just where the abbot feel,
Went forth unseen, and, burden'd as she was, The same as Hannibal's.
Cross'd the high Alps on foot to ask forgiveness,

But now 'tis past,
And hold him to her heart before he died.

That turbulent chaos ; and the promised land
Her task was done. She had fulfill'd her wish, Lies at my feet in all its loveliness!
And now was on her way, rejoicing, weeping. To him who starts up from a terrible dream,
A frame like hers had suffer'd; but her love And lo the sun is shining, and the lark
Was strong within her ; and right on she went, Singing aloud for joy, to him is not
Fearing no ill. May all good angels guard her!

Such sudden ravishment as now I feel
And should I once again, as once I may,

At the first glimpses of fair Italy.
Visit Martigny, I will not forget

VII.
Thy hospitable roof, Marguerite de Tours ;
Thy sign the silver swan.* Heaven prosper thee!

COMO.

I love to sail along the Larian Lake
VI.

Under the shore-though not to visit Pliny,
THE ALPS.

To catch him musing in his plane tree walk,
Who first beholds those everlasting clouds,

Or fishing, as he might be, from his window : Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night,

And, to deal plainly, (may his shade forgive me!) * La Cygne.

Could I recall the ages past, and play

The fool with Time, I should perhaps reserve Soft music caine as from Armida's palace,
My leisure for Catullus on his lake,

Breathing enchantment o’er the woods, the waters; Though to fare worse, or Virgil at his farm

And through a bright pavilion, bright as day, A little further on the way to Mantua.

Forms such as hers were fitting, lost among But such things cannot be. So I sit still,

Such as of old in sober pomp swept by, And let the boatman shift his little sail,

Such as adorn the triumphs and the feasts His sail so forked and so swallow-like,

Painted by Cagliari ; where the world danced Well pleased with all that comes. The morning air Under the starry sky, while I look'd on, Plays on my cheek how gently, flinging round Admiring, listening, quafling gramolata, A silvery gleam : and now the purple mists And reading, in the eyes that sparkled round, Rise like a curtain ; now the sun looks out, The thousand love adventures written there. Filling, o'erflowing with his glorious light

Can I forget-no, never, such a scene This noble amphitheatre of mountains;

So full of witchery! Night linger'd still, And now appear as on a phosphor sea

When, with a dying breeze, I left Bellaggio;
Numberless barks, from Milan, from Pavia; But the strain follow'd me; and still I saw
Some sailing up, some down, and some at anchor, Thy smile, Angelica; and still I heard
Lading, unlading at that small port-town

Thy voice-once and again bidding adieu.
Under the promontory-its tall tower
And long flat roofs, just such as Poussin drew,

VIII.
Caught by a sunbeam slanting through a cloud;

BERGAMO.
A quay-like scene, glittering and full of life,
And doubled by reflection.

The song was one that I had heard before,
What delight,

But where I knew not. It inclined to sadness ; After so long a sojourn in the wild,

And, turning round from the delicious fare To hear once more the sounds of cheerful labour ! My landlord's little daughter, Barbara, -But in a clime like this where are they not? Had from her apron just rollid out before me, Along the shores, among the hills 'tis now

Figs and rock-melons—at the door I saw The heyday of the vintage; all abroad,

Two boys of lively aspect. Peasant-like But most the young and of the gentler sex, They were, and poorly clad, but not unskill'd; Busy in gathering ; all among the vines,

With their small voices and an old guitar Some on the ladder, and some underneath,

Winning their mazy progress to my heart Filling their baskets of green wickerwork, In that, the only universal language. While many a canzonet and frolic laugh

But soon they changed the measure, entering on Come through the leaves; the vines in light festoons A pleasant dialogue of sweet and sour, From tree to tree, the trees in avenues,

A war of words, and waged with looks and gestures, And every avenue a cover'd walk,

Between Trappanti and his ancient dame,
Hung with black clusters. 'Tis enough to make Mona Lucilia. To and fro it went;
The sad man merry, the benevolent one

While many a titter on the stairs was heard,
Melt into tears—so general is the joy !

And Barbara's among them. While up and down the cliffs, over the lake,

When 'twas done, Wains oxen-drawn, and pannier'd mules are seen, Their dark eyes flash'd no longer, yet, methought, Laden with grapes, and dropping rosy wine. In many a glance as from the soul, expressa

Here I received from thee, Filippo Mori, More than enough to serve them. Far or near, One of those courtesies so sweet, so rare !

Few let them pass unnoticed ; and there was not When, as I rambled through thy vineyard ground A mother round about for many a league, On the hill-side, thou sent’st thy little son, But could repeat their story. Twins they were, Charged with a bunch almost as big as he,

And orphans, as I learnt, cast on the world;
To press it on the stranger.

The parents lost in the old ferry-boat
May thy vats

That, three years since, last Martinmas, went down O'erflow, and he, thy willing gift-bearer,

Crossing the rough Penacus.* Live to become ere long himself a giver ;

May they live
And in due time, when thou art full of honour, Blameless and happy-rich they cannot be,
The staff of thine old age !

Like him who, in the days of minstrelsy,
In a strange land

Came in a beggar's weeds to Petrarch's door,
Such things, however trifling, reach the heart, Crying without,“ Give me a lay to sing !"
And through the heart the head, clearing away And soon in silk (such then the power of song)
The narrow notions that grow up at home,

Return'd to thank him ; or like him wayworn And in their place grafting good-will to all. And lost, who, by the foaming Adige At least I found it so; nor less at eve,

Descending from the Tyrol, as night fell, When, bidden as an English traveller,

Knock'd at a city gate near the hill foot, ('Twas by a little boat that gave me chase

The gate that bore so long, sculptured in stone, With oar and sail, as homeward-bound I cross'd An eagle on a ladder, and at once The bay of Tramezzine,) right readily

Found welcome-nightly in the banner'd hall I turn’d my prow and follow'd, landing soon

Tuning his harp to tales of chivalry
Where steps of purest marble met the wave;
Where, through the trellises and corridors,

* Lago di Garda.

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