صور الصفحة

LIV. And he had learn'd to love, - I know not why, For this in such as him seems strange of mood, The helpless looks of blooming infancy, Even in its earliest nurture; what subdued, To change like this, a mind so far imbued With scorn of man, it little boots to know; But thus it was ; and though in solitude

Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow, In him this glow'd when all beside had ceased to glow.

[ocr errors]

And there was one soft breast, as hath been said,
Which unto his was bound by stronger ties
Than the church links withal; and, though unwed,
That love was pure, and, far above disguise,
Had stood the test of mortal enmities
Still undivided, and cemented niore
By peril, dreaded most in female eyes;

But this was firm, and from a foreign shore Well to that heart might his these absent greetings

[ocr errors]

The castled crag of Drachenfels 11)
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scatter'd cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strew'd a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me.

2. And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes, And hands which offer early flowers, Walk smiling o'er this paradise ; Above, the frequent feudal towers Through green leaves lift their walls of gray, And many a rock which steeply lowers, And noble arch in proud decay,

Look o'er this vale of vintage - bowers;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine, -
Thy gentle band to clasp in mine!


I send the lilies given to me;
Though long before thy hand they to
I know that they must wither'd be,
But yet reject them not as such;
For I have cherish'd them as dear,
Because they yet may meet thine eye,
And guide thy soul to mine even here,
When thou behold'st them drooping nig
And know'st them gather'd by the Rhine,
And offer'd from my heart to thine!

The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turus disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round:
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted here;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To nature and to me so dear,
Could thy dear eyes in following mine
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!

LVI. By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground, There is a small and simple pyramid, Crowning the summit of the verdant mound; Beneath its base are heroes' ashes hid, Our enemy's - but let not that forbid Honour to Marceau ! o'er whose early tomb Tears, big tears, gush'd from the rough soldier's lid,

Lamenting and yet envying such a doom, Falling for France, whose rights he battled to resume.

LVII. Brief, brave, and glorious was his young career, His mourners were two hosts, his friends and foes; And fitly may the stranger lingering here Pray for his gallant spirit's bright repose;

For he was Freedom's champion, one of those.
The few in numher, who had not o'erstept
The charter to chastise which she bestows

On such as wield her weapons ; he had kept The whiteness of his soul, and thus men o'er him wept 12).

LVIll. Here Ehrenbreitstein 13), with her shatter'd wall Black with the miner's blast, upon her height Yet shows of what she was, when shell and ball Rebounding idly on her strength did light; A tower of victory! from whence the flight Of baffled foes was watch'd along the plain : But peace destroy'd what War could never blight,

And laid those proud roofs bare to Summers rain On which the iron shower for years had pour'd in


LIX. Adieu to thee, fair Rhine! How long delighted The stranger fain would linger on his way! Thine is a scene alike where souls united Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray; And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey On self-condemning bosoms, it were here, Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay,

Wild but not rude, awful yet not austere, Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.

LX. Adieu to thee again! a vaid adieu ! There can be no farewell to scene like thine; The mind is colour'd by thy every hue; And if reluctantly the eyes resign Their cherish'd gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine! 'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise; More mighty spots may rise --- more glaring shine,

But none unite in one attaching maze
The brilliant, fair, and soft, – the glories of old days,

The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen,

The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom, The forest's growth, and Gothic walls between, The wild rocks shaped as they had turrets been In mockery of man's art; and these withal A race of faces happy as the scene Whose fertile bounties here extend to all, Still springing o'er thy banks, though Empires

near them fall.

But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche - the thunderbolt ot' snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,

Gather around these summits, as to show
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain

man below.

LXIII. But ere these matchless heights I dare to scan, There is a spot should not be pass'd in vain,Morat! the proud, the patriot field! where man May gaze on ghastly trophies of the slain, Nor blush for those who conquer'd on that plan; Here Burgundy bequeath'd his tombless host, A bony heap, through ages to remain,

Themselves their monument; – the Stygian coast Unsepulchred they roam'd, and shriek'd each wandering ghost 14).

While Waterloo with Cannae's carnage vies,
Morat and Marathon twin names shall stand;
They were true Glory's stainless victories,
Won by the unambitious heart and hand
Of a proud, brotherly, and civic band,
All unbought champions in no princely cause
Of vice-entailid Corruption; they no land

Doom'd to bewail the blasphemy of laws Making kings' rights divine, by some Draconic


Lxv. By a lone wall a lonelier column rears A gray and grief-worn aspect of old days, "Tis the last remnant of the wreck of years, And looks as with the wild. bewilder'd gaze Of one to stone converted by amaze, Yet still with consciousness, and there it stands Making a marvel that it not decays,

When the coeval pride of human hands, Levell d 15) Aventicum, hath strew'd her subject


LXVI. And there -oh! sweet and sacred be the name! Julia - the daughter, the devoted - gave Her youth to Heaven; her heart, beneath a claim Nearest to Heaven's, broke o'er a father's grave. Justice is sworn 'gainst tears, and hers would

crave The life she lived in; but the judge was just, And then she died on him she could not save.

Their tomb was simple, and without a bust, And held within their urn one mind, one heart, one dust 16).

LXVII. But these are deeds which should not pass away, And names that must not wither, though the

earth Forgets her empires with a just decay, The enslavers and the enslaved, their death and

The high, the mountain-majesty of worth
Should be, and shall, survivor of its woe,
And from its immortality look forth

In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow 17), Imperishably pure beyond all things below.

LXVIII. Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face. The mirror where the stars and mountains view The stillness of their aspect in each trace Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue:

« السابقةمتابعة »