Page images
PDF
EPUB

High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds, Orion, armed,
Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore, their floating carcases
And broken chariot wheels : so thick bestrown
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded.

6. Princes! Potentates !
Warriors ! the flower of heaven, once yours now lost,
If such astonishment this can seize
Eternal spirits : or have ye chosen this place,
To rest your wearied virtue, for the ease ye find
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have you sworn
To adore the Conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,
With scattered arms and ensigns. Till, anon,
His swift pursuers, from heaven gates discern
The advantage, and descending, tread us down
Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake! arise ! or be forever fallen!

Ex. IX. HYMN to Mont Blanc. - Coleridge.

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, while thou, dread mountain form,
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the sky and black : transpicuous deep
An ebon mass ! methinks thou piercest it
As with a wedge! But when I look again
It seems thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,

Thy habitation from eternity.
O dread and silent form! I gazed on thee
Till thou, still present to my bodily eye,
Didst vanish from my thought.

Entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone,
Yet thou, methinks, wast working on my soul
E’en like some deep enchanting melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it.
But I awake, and with a busier mind
And active will, self-conscious, offer now,
Not as before, involuntary prayer
And passive adoration.

Hand and voice
Awake, awake! and thou, my heart, awake!
Green fields, and icy cliffs ! all join my hymn !
And thou, O silent mountain, sole and bare,
O blacker than 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, oh! wake, and utter praise !

Who sank thy sunless pillars in the earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee father of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad,
Who called you forth from night and utter death?
From darkness let you loose, and icy dens,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks
Forever shattered, and the same forever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eterual foam ?
And who commanded

- and the silence came,
“ Here shall the billows stiffen and have rest”?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from yon dizzy heights
Adown enormous ravines steeply slope, -
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty noise,
And stopped at once amidst their maddest plunge,
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven

[ocr errors]

Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the Sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who with lovely flowers
Of living blue spread garlands at your feet?
God! God! the torrents like a shout of nations
Utter; the ice-plain bursts, and answers, God !
God! sing the meadow streams with gladsome voice,
And pine groves with their soft and soul-like sound.

The silent snow-mass, loosening, thunders, God !
Ye dreadless flowers, that fringe the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats, bounding by the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain blast !
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the elements,
Utter forth God! and fill the hills with praise !
And thou, O silent form, alone and bare,
Whom as I lift again my head, bowed low
In silent adoration, I again behold,
And to thy summit upward from thy base
Sweep slowly, with dim eyes suffused with tears, -
Awake thou mountain form! Rise like a cloud,
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 the rising sun,
Earth with her thousand voices calls on God.

Collins.

Ex. X. - ODE ON THE Passione.
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, -
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting.
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ;
Till once, 't is said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatched her instruments of sound;

And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, (for madness ruled the hour,)
Would prove his own expressive power.
First, Fear, his hand, its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewildered laid ;
And back recoiled, he knew not why,

Even at the sound himself had made.

Next, Anger rushed : his eyes on fire

In lightnings owned his secret stings : With one rude clash he struck the lyre,

And swept with hurried hands the strings. With woful measures, wan Despair –

Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled ; A solemn, strange, and mingled air :

’T was sad, by fits ; — by starts, 't was wild. But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail. Still would her touch the strain prolong ;

And from the cks, the woods, the vale, She called on Echo still through all her song :

And, where her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair
And longer had she sung — but, with a frown,

Revenge impatient rose.
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down ;

And, with a withering look,

The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast, so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe:

And, ever and anon, he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat.
And though, sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied,

[ocr errors]

Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien ;
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed ;

Sad proof of thy distressful state !
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed :

And, now, it courted Love; now, raving, called on Hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And, from her wild sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul :

And, dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound.
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,

(Round a holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace and lonely musing,)
In hollow murmurs died away.
But, oh! how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,

Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung, The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known !

The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed Queen,

Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green:

Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
And Sport leaped up, and seized his breechen spear.
Last, came Joy's ecstatic trial.
He, with viny crown advancing,

First to the lively pipe his hand addressed ;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,

Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best. They would have thought, who heard the strain,

They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,

Amid the festal-sounding shades, To some unwearied minstrel dancing ;

« PreviousContinue »