Imatges de pÓgina
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But I imagined that if day by day

I watched him, and but seldom went away,
And studied all the beatings of his heart
With zeal, as men study some stubborn art
For their own good, and could by patience find
An entrance to the caverns of his mind,

I might reclaim him from this dark estate:
In friendships I had been most fortunate—
Yet never saw I one whom I would call
More willingly my friend; and this was all
Accomplished not; such dreams of baseless good
Oft come and go in crowds and solitude
And leave no trace-but what I now designed
Made for long years impression on my mind.
The following morning urged by my affairs
I left bright Venice.

After many years

And many changes I returned; the name
Of Venice, and its aspect was the same;
But Maddalo was travelling far away
Among the mountains of Armenia.

His dog was dead. His child had now become
A woman; such as it has been my doom

To meet with few, a wonder of this earth
Where there is little of transcendant worth,
Like one of Shakespeare's women: kindly she,
And with a manner beyond courtesy,
Received her father's friend; and when I asked
Of the lorn maniac, she her memory tasked
And told as she had heard the mournful tale.
"That the poor sufferer's health began to fail
Two years from my departure, but that then
The lady who had left him, came again.

Her mien had been imperious, but she now

Looked meek-perhaps remorse had brought her low. Her coming made him better, and they stayed Together at my father's-for I played

As I remember with the lady's shawl—

I might be six years old-but after all
She left him

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"Why, her heart must have been

How did it end?" "And was not this enough? They met they parted"-"Child, is there no more?" "Something within that interval which bore

The stamp of why they parted, how they met :

Yet if thine agèd eyes disdain to wet

Those wrinkled cheeks with youth's remembered tears,
Ask me no more, but let the silent years
Be closed and cered over their memory
As yon mute marble where their corpses lie."
I urged and questioned still, she told me how

All happened—but the cold world shall not know.

1818.

Poems of Nature and Man.

MONT BLANC.

LINES WRITTEN IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.

THE 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 springs
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 lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,

Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
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 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 desart 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 art 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 outnumber

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

Mont Blanc appears,-still, snowy, and serene—
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 desart peopled by the storms alone,

Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there-how hideously

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.

I

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