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BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI.
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
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 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 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?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow Adown enormous ravines slope amainTorrents, 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 !
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 depth of clouds, that veil thy breastThou 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 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.
TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION
OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN
FRIEND of the wise ! and teacher of the good !
Theme hard as higli Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears, (The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth,) Of tides obedient to external force, And currents self-determined, as might seem, Or by some inner power; of moments awful, Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,