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Where haply (kind service to Piety due!)
When winter the grove of its mantle bereaves, Some bird (like our own honoured redbreast) may strew
The desolate Slumberer with moss and with leaves.
FUENTES once harboured the good and the brave, Nor to her was the dance of soft pleasure unknown; Her banners for festal enjoyment did wave
While the thrill of her fifes thro' the mountains was blown:
Now gads the wild vine o'er the pathless ascent ;O silence of Nature, how deep is thy sway, When the whirlwind of human destruction is spent, Our tumults appeased, and our strifes passed away!
THE CHURCH OF SAN SALVADOR, SEEN FROM THE LAKE OF LUGANO.
This Church was almost destroyed by lightning a few years ago, but the altar and the image of the Patron Saint were untouched. The Mount, upon the summit of which the Church is built, stands amid the intricacies of the Lake of Lugano; and is, from a hundred points of view, its principal ornament, rising to the height of 2000 feet, and, on one side, nearly perpendicular. The ascent is toilsome; but the traveller who performs it will be amply rewarded. Splendid fertility, rich woods and dazzling waters, seclusion and confinement of view contrasted with sea-like extent of plain fading into the sky; and this again, in an opposite quarter, with an horizon of the loftiest and boldest Alps-unite in composing a prospect more diversified by magnificence, beauty, and sublimity, than perhaps any other point in Europe, of so inconsiderable an elevation, commands.
THOU Sacred Pile! whose turrets rise
From yon steep mountain's loftiest stage,
Guarded by lone San Salvador;
Sink (if thou must) as heretofore,
To sulphurous bolts a sacrifice,
But ne'er to human rage!
On Horeb's top, on Sinai, deigned
To rest the universal Lord:
Why leap the fountains from their cells
Where everlasting Bounty dwells?—
That, while the Creature is sustained,
His God may be adored.
Cliffs, fountains, rivers, seasons, times--
Let all remind the soul of heaven;
Our slack devotion needs them all;
And Faith-so oft of sense the thrall,
While she, by aid of Nature, climbsMay hope to be forgiven.
Glory, and patriotic Love,
And all the Pomps of this frail 'spot
Which men call Earth,' have yearned to seek,
Associate with the simply meek,
Religion in the sainted grove,
And in the hallowed grot.
Thither, in time of adverse shocks,
Of fainting hopes and backward wills,
Did mighty Tell repair of old—
A Hero cast in Nature's mould,
Deliverer of the stedfast rocks
And of the ancient hills!
He, too, of battle-martyrs chief!
Who, to recal his daunted peers,
For victory shaped an open space,
By gathering with a wide embrace,
Into his single breast, a sheaf
Of fatal Austrian spears *.
THE ITALIAN ITINERANT, AND THE SWISS GOATHERD.
Now that the farewell tear is dried,
Heaven prosper thee, be hope thy guide!
Hope be thy guide, adventurous Boy;
The wages of thy travel, joy!
Whether for London bound-to trill
Thy mountain notes with simple skill;
Or on thy head to poise a show
Of Images in seemly row;
The graceful form of milk-white Steed,
Or Bird that soared with Ganymede;
Or through our hamlets thou wilt bear
The sightless Milton, with his hair
Around his placid temples curled ;
And Shakspeare at his side-a freight,
If clay could think and mind were weight,
For him who bore the world!
Hope be thy guide, adventurous Boy;
The wages of thy travel, joy!
*Arnold Winkelried, at the battle of Sempach, broke an Austrian phalanx in this manner. The event is one of the most famous in the annals of Swiss heroism; and pictures and prints of it are frequent throughout the country.
But thou, perhaps, (alert as free
Though serving sage philosophy)
Wilt ramble over hill and dale,
A Vender of the well-wrought Scale,
Whose sentient tube instructs to time
A purpose to a fickle clime:
Whether thou choose this useful part,
Or minister to finer art,
Though robbed of many a cherished dream,
And crossed by many a shattered scheme,
What stirring wonders wilt thou see
In the proud Isle of liberty!
Yet will the Wanderer sometimes pine
With thoughts which no delights can chase,
Recal a Sister's last embrace,
His Mother's neck entwine;
Nor shall forget the Maiden coy
That would have loved the bright-haired Boy!
My Song, encouraged by the grace
That beams from his ingenuous face,
For this Adventurer scruples not
To prophesy a golden lot;
Due recompence, and safe return
TO COMO's steeps-his happy bourne !
Where he, aloft in garden glade,
Shall tend, with his own dark-eyed Maid,
The towering maize, and prop the twig
That ill supports the luscious fig;
Or feed his eye in paths sun-proof
With purple of the trellis-roof,
That through the jealous leaves escapes
From Cadenabbia's pendent grapes.
-Oh might he tempt that Goatherd-child
To share his wanderings! him whose look
Even yet my heart can scarcely brook,
So touchingly he smiled—
As with a rapture caught from heaven-
For unasked alms in pity given.
WITH nodding plumes, and lightly drest
Like foresters in leaf-green vest,
The Helvetian Mountaineers, on ground
For Tell's dread archery renowned,
Before the target stood-to claim
The guerdon of the steadiest aim.
Loud was the rifle-gun's report—
A startling thunder quick and short!
But Truth inspired the Bards of old
When of an iron age they told,
Which to unequal laws gave birth,
And drove Astræa from the earth.
-A gentle Boy (perchance with blood
As noble as the best endued,
But seemingly a Thing despised;
Even by the sun and air unprized;
For not a tinge or flowery streak
Appeared upon his tender cheek)
Heart-deaf to those rebounding notes,
Apart, beside his silent goats,
Sate watching in a forest shed,
Pale, ragged, with bare feet and head;
Mute as the snow upon the hill,
And, as the saint he prays to, still.
Ah, what avails heroic deed?
What liberty? if no defence
Be won for feeble Innocence.
Father of all! though wilful Manhood read
His punishment in soul-distress,
Grant to the morn of life its natural blessedness!
THE LAST SUPPER, BY LEONARDO DA VINCI, IN THE
REFECTORY OF THE CONVENT OF MARIA DELLA
THO' searching damps and many an envious flaw
Have marred this Work; the calm ethereal grace,
The love deep-seated in the Saviour's face,
The mercy, goodness, have not failed to awe
The Elements; as they do melt and thaw
The heart of the Beholder-and erase
(At least for one rapt moment) every trace
Of disobedience to the primal law.
The annunciation of the dreadful truth
Made to the Twelve, survives: lip, forehead, cheek,
Taught to mistrust her flattering horoscope
By admonition from this prostrate Stone!
Memento uninscribed of Pride o'erthrown;
Vanity's hieroglyphic; a choice trope
In Fortune's rhetoric. Daughter of the Rock,
Rest where thy course was stayed by Power divine!
The Soul transported sees, from hint of thine,
Crimes which the great Avenger's hand provoke,
Hears combats whistling o'er the ensanguined heath:
What groans! what shrieks! what quietness in
COMPOSED IN THE SIMPLON PASS.
VALLOMBROSA! I longed in thy shadiest wood
To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered floor,
To listen to ANIO's precipitous flood,
When the stillness of evening hath deepened its roar;
To range through the Temples of PÆSTUM, to muse
In POMPEII preserved by her burial in earth;
On pictures to gaze where they drank in their hues;
And murmur sweet songs on the ground of their
The beauty of Florence, the grandeur of Rome,
Could I leave them unseen, and not yield to regret ?
With a hope (and no more) for a season to come,
Which ne'er may discharge the magnificent debt?
Thou fortunate Region! whose Greatness inurned
Awoke to new life from its ashes and dust;
Twice-glorified fields! if in sadness I turned
From your infinite marvels, the sadness was just.
Now, risen ere the light-footed Chamois retires From dew-sprinkled grass to heights guarded with
Toward the mists that hang over the land of my Sires,
From the climate of myrtles contented I go.
My thoughts become bright like yon edging of Pines
On the steep's lofty verge: how it blacken'd the
But, touched from behind by the Sun, it now shines
With threads that seem part of his own silver hair.
Though the toil of the way with dear Friends we divide,
Though by the same zephyr our temples be fanned As we rest in the cool orange-bower side by side, A yearning survives which few hearts shall with
Each step hath its value while homeward we move;-
O joy when the girdle of England appears!
What moment in life is so conscious of love,
Of love in the heart made more happy by tears?
WHAT beast of chase hath broken from the cover? Stern GEMMI listens to as full a cry,
As multitudinous a harmony
Of sounds as rang the heights of Latmos over,
When, from the soft couch of her sleeping Lover,
Up-starting, Cynthia skimmed the mountain-dew
In keen pursuit—and gave, where'er she flew,
Impetuous motion to the Stars above her.
A solitary Wolf-dog, ranging on
Through the bleak concave, wakes this wondrous chime
Of aëry voices locked in unison,—
Faint-far-off-near-deep-solemn and sublime!— So, from the body of one guilty deed,
A thousand ghostly fears, and haunting thoughts, proceed!
SUGGESTED ON A SABBATH MORNING IN THE VALE OF
To appease the Gods; or public thanks to yield;
Or to solicit knowledge of events,
Which in her breast Futurity concealed;
And that the past might have its true intents
Feelingly told by living monuments-
Mankind of yore were prompted to devise
Rites such as yet Persepolis presents
Graven on her cankered walls, solemnities
That moved in long array before admiring eyes.
The Hebrews thus, carrying in joyful state
Thick boughs of palm, and willows from the brook,
Marched round the altar-to commemorate
How, when their course they through the desert
Guided by signs which ne'er the sky forsook,
They lodged in leafy tents and cabins low;
Green boughs were borne, while, for the blast that
Down to the earth the walls of Jericho,
Shouts rise, and storms of sound from lifted trum-