Imatges de pÓgina
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Where woods and winds contend, and a vast

river

Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

II.

Thus thou, Ravine of Arve-dark, deep Ravine

Thou many-coloured, many-voiced vale,

Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail Fast cloud shadows and sunbeams: awful

scene,

Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes

down

From the ice gulphs that gird his secret throne, Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame

Of lightning thro' the tempest;— - thou dost lie,

Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion
The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty

swinging

To hear -an old and solemn harmony;

Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the

sweep

Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil

Robes some unsculptured image; the strange sleep

Which when the voices of the desert fail
Wraps all in its own deep eternity;-

Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,
A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame;
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound-
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate phantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering

wings

Now float above thy darkness, and now rest Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,

In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by
Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of

thee,

Some phantom, some faint image; till the

breast

From which they fled recalls them, thou are

there!

III.

Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep,- that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts out-

number

Of those who wake and live. I look on high;

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Has some unknown omnipotence unfurled

The veil of life and death? or do I lie

In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep Spread far around and inaccessibly

Its circles? For the very spirit fails,

Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to

steep

That vanishes among the viewless gales!

Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,

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Mont Blanc appears, still, snowy, and se

rene.

Its subject mountains their unearthly forms Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between

Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,

Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,

Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,

And the wolf tracks her there-how hide

ously

Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare, and

high,

Ghastly, and scarred, and riven. Is this the

scene

Where the old Earthquake-dæmon taught her

young

Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelope once this silent snow?
None can reply-all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue

Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be
But for such faith with nature reconciled;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great,
and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

IV.

The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the

streams,

Ocean, and all the living things that dwell Within the dædal earth; lightning, and rain, Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, The torpor of the year when feeble dreams Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep Holds every future leaf and flower;- the bound

With which from that detested trance they

leap;

The works and ways of man, their death and

birth,

And that of him and all that his may be;

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