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Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,
Poor, simple, and of low estate!
That strife should vanish, battle cease,
O, why should this thy soul elate?
Sweet Music's loudest note, the poet's story,
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of Fame and Glory?
And is not War a youthful king,
A stately hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;
Him earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friend, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.
'Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,
And therefore is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father tears his child!
A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
He kills the sire, and starves the son;
The husband kills, and from her board
Steals all his widow's toil had won;
Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.
'Then wisely is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease;
I'm poor and of a low estate,
The Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:
Peace, peace on earth, the Prince of Peace is born.'
IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNY.
Besides the rivers Arvé and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mount Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides; and within a few paces of the glaciers, the gentiana major grows in immense numbers, with its 'flowers of loveliest blue.'
HAST thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? so long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer I worship'd the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thoughts,
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, tranfused,
Into the mighty vision passing-there,
As in her natural form, swell'd vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs all join my hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink :
Companion of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's Rosy Star, and of the dawn
Coherald! wake, O wake, and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns call'd you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks
For ever shattered, and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
"Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?"
Ye ice-falls! Ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain—
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?-
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow streams, with gladsome
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
Ye lively flowers that skirt the' eternal frost! Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest! Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm! Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds! Ye signs and wonders of the element! Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise! Once more, hoar mount! with thy sky pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, Shoots downward, glittering through the pure se
Into the depths of clouds that veil thy breast-
Thou too again, stupendous mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow-traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me-Rise, O ever rise,
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
CHORUS OF HEBREW FEMALES,
IMPLORING JEHOVAH TO AVERT THE FALL OF
KING of Kings! and Lord of Lords!
Thus we move, our sad steps timing
To our cymbals' feeblest chiming,
Where thy house its rest accords.
Chased and wounded birds are we,
Through the dark air fled to thee;
To the shadow of thy wings,
Lord of Lords! and King of Kings!
Behold, oh Lord! the heathen tread
The branches of thy fruitful vine,
That its luxurious tendrils spread
O'er all the hills of Palestine.
And now the wild boar comes to waste
Even us, the greenest boughs and last,
That, drinking of thy choicest dew,
On Zion's hill in beauty grew.
No! by the marvels of thine hand,
Thou still wilt save thy chosen land!
By all thine ancient mercies shown,
By all our fathers' foes o'erthrown;
By the Egyptian's car-borne host,
Scatter'd on the Red Sea coast;
By that wide and bloodless slaughter
Underneath the drowning water.
Like us in utter helplessness,
In their last and worst distress-
On the sand and seaweed lying,
Israel poured her doleful sighing;