Imatges de pÓgina
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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 future leaf and flower;-the every 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;

All things that move and breathe with toil and sound

Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:

And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval moun-
tains

Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,

Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice,
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have piled: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin

Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strew-

ing

Its destined path, or in the mangled soil Branchless and shattered stand; the rocks, drawn down

From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaimed. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwell-
ing

Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, And their place is not known. Below, vast caves Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, Which from those secret chasms in tumult

welling

Meet in the vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.

V.

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:

is there,

The still and solemn power of many sights, And many sounds, and much of life and death.

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the power

In the calm darkness of the moonless nights, In the lone glare of day, the snows descend Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,

Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them:-
Winds contend

Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite

dome

Of heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!

And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and

sea,

If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?
July 23, 1816.

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HELLEY wrote little during this year. The poem entitled "The Sunset" was written in the spring of the year, while still residing at Bishopgate. He spent the summer on the shores of the Lake of Geneva. "The Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" was conceived during his voyage round the lake with Lord Byron. He occupied himself during this voyage by reading the "Nouvelle Héloïse" for the first time. The reading it on the very spot where the scenes are laid added to the interest; and he was at once surprised and charmed by the passionate eloquence and earnest enthralling interest that pervade this work. There was

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