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He who, though thus endued, as with a sense
And faculty for storm and turbulence,
Is yet a soul whose master-bias leans
To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes ;
Sweet images ! which, wheresoe'er he be,
Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve;
More brave for this, that he hath much to love :
'T is, finally, the man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a nation's eye,
Or left unthought of in obscurity, -
Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not, -
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won :
Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray :
Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpassed :
Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or he must fall and sleep without his fame,
And leave a dead, unprofitable name, -
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause ;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause :
This is the happy warrior; this is he
Whom every man in arms should wish to be.
WOULDST thou from each man's coronal select
The choicest leaves with which his brows are decked ;
That, all into one chaplet for thy head
Entwined, thou may'st be proudly garlanded ?
Look round thee, - is not every thing content,
Having a share, not all the ornament?
The sweetest nightingale is dusky-brown;
While golden-feathered birds no music own.
The ruby long outlasts the scented rose ;
But then the ruby no such fragrance knows.
From Egypt Moses did the people lead;
To plant in Canaan must be Joshua's deed.
David might lay all rich materials by;
His son first raised the goodly fane on high.
But once and but to One it did compete,
rays of glory round his head should meet.
Ulysses, sailing by the Sirens' isle,
Sealed first his comrades' ears, then bade them fast
Bind him with many a fetter to the mast,
Lest those sweet voices should their souls beguile,
And to their ruin flatter them, the while
Their homeward bark was sailing swiftly past ;
And thus the peril they behind them cast,
Though chased by those weird voices many a mile.
But yet a nobler cunning Orpheus used ;
No fetter he put on, nor stopped his ear,
But ever, as he passed, sang high and clear
The blisses of the gods, their holy joys,
And with diviner melody confused
And marred earth's sweetest music to a noise.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHA.
MOUNI. - Coleridge.
Besides the rivers Arve and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mont 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 Arve 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 worshipped 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 thought, Yea, with
life and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing, — there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
not alone these swelling tears, Mute thanks, and secret ecstasy! Awake,
64 HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
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
Co-herald: wake, O, wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth ?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light ?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called 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 stopped 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 voice!
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 living 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 elements !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !
Thou, too, hoar mount, with thy sky-pointing peaks !
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depths of clouds that veil thy breast,
Thou, too, again, stupendous mountain ! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward. from thy base
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory 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.
“Cum laudaris, teipsum contemne."
WHEN men exalt thee with their flatteries,
Be thou provoked thine own self to despise,
And, for an help to this, the meanest thing
Which thou hast ever done to memory bring.