Imatges de pÓgina
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HE everlasting universe of things Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,

Now dark-now glittering. now reflecting gloom

Now lending splendour, where from secret

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The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters,
with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume

In the wild woods, among the mountains


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Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,

Where woods and winds contend, and a vast


Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.


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


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

To hear an old and solemn harmony;

Thine earthly rainbows stretched across the


Of the ethereal waterfall, whose veil

Robes some unsculptured image; the strange


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

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

Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast

From which they fled recalls them, thou are there!


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-

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


That vanishes among the viewless gales!
Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,

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


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


And the wolf tracks her there - how hide


Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare, and


Ghastly, and scarred, and riven. Is this the

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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

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