Page images

Poets may render back in colours true

Objects that their clear spirits brighten through;
If on their pages images imprest

Delight-what are their feelings inexprest?
Fresh as the dew from Heaven or mountain rills,
Brilliant as are at noon-day sun-bright hills
May be the poet's language-yet there live
Within his being thoughts no words can give!
The deepening sense of infinite that is

Analogous to a beheld abyss,

Stability in granite rocks descried,

Eternity in Ocean's endless tide,

These and such like analogies between

Nature and man,-the world unseen and seen,These are heartfelt; and is not man to heaven Allied by such mute intimations given?

And our humanities, are they not found
Mingling with life above, below, around,
From eagle-eyed ambition danger-proof
That stands on glory's pinnacle aloof,

Down to smooth serpent-flattery that charms
With variegated falsehoods those she harms?

The summer trance of loveliest grandest things Semblance of beatific vision brings.

How all on earth is like a silver haze

Of light-it disappears-what scenes amaze!

The gently-moving forest trees appear
To bow unto the sun, God's image here,
(Faint image though he be) cloudless, alone,
As angels bend before the Almighty's throne!
Wing'd beings in his radiance full of glee
Disport like infant souls from sorrow free.
As from the fount of Glory spirits take
Multiplied splendours, wavelets o'er the lake,
The clear, calm, ample lake, appear like lines
Of fire, the whole a sun reflected shines.

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The Alps, even magnified by distance, view,
Their summits, coloured with carnation hue
Too glorious for this world material, seem
Sky-woven, product of a waking dream.
Gone is the blush of Heaven; Eve's rosy veil
Withdrawn, the mountain-tops as death are pale.

Approach the monuments of time that was
And shall be till away the world must pass:
Emblems sublime of wisdom, they appear
Stable as truth, as contemplation clear,
Reposing 'mid the deep serene, a range
Of Nature's mightiest works, defying change.
Rush by their base wild surges of a river
Like generations of mankind for ever.
Gain eminence o'er eminence,—behold
Vast scenes as of a planet strange unroll❜d,

Circuitous immensities, where broods
Horror o'er everlasting solitudes,
Pyramidal, high-towering, castle-shaped,
By Art in her gigantic structures aped.
Advance! your eyes no moving objects greet-
A world unpeopled lies beneath your feet;
Interminable glaciers like a heap

of frozen waves by suns unwaken'd sleep,
Ice-seas, or wildering wastes of ice, the same
For ever-slippery as an after-name!

"Tis the sublime of desolation! far
Spread wreck of the elements' primæval war.
(How different from the landscapes seen of late,
Gayer than any Fancy might create!

Vineyards on vineyards rising in due grades,
Beautiful dells, groves prodigal of shades.)
There saw Saussure an universe deprived*
Of life, and felt that he alone survived!

"Le repos et le profond silence qui regnaient dans cette vaste étendue, agrandie encore par l'imagination, m'inspiraient une sorte de terreur ; il me semblait que j'avais survécu seul à l'univers, et que je voyais son cadavre étendu sous mes pieds."-Tentatives pour parvenir à la Cime de Mont Blanc. Euvres de SAUSSURE, tome iii., p. 478.

The whole description of the setting sun, as beheld by the author from an immense rock on one side of Mont Blanc, and of the subsequent closing in of night, a simple narration of phenomena, is very sublime.

There is a very fine passage, descriptive of the scenery of the North Cape, in Acerbi's Travels, that has some resemblance to the above description of Saussure-"There everything is solitary, everything is sterile, everything

Sails through mid air a solitary cloud,
Like to a spirit seeking its abode

Above the silent shadowy vale of death;
Such seems the rugged continent beneath.
In all his naked strength there, face to face,
Is Power beheld—there man forgets his race;—
There only, for in forest depths may live
Some hermit whose rude hut may shelter give;
Some pilgrim's foot the arid sands may press
Of the inhospitable wilderness.

War-ravaged lands and cities desolate,

Uncultured plains, and wrecks of regal state,
Are still memorials of heroic crime,

The spoiler man, his gewgaws spoil'd by time.
But scarce accessible to chamois wild,
Coeval with past ages, rocks up-piled,
Girt with serpentine ice, distinct appal;
Of human action they no thoughts recal.

sad and despondent. The shadowy forest no longer adorns the brow of the mountain. The singing of the birds, which enlivened even the woods of Lapland, is no longer heard in this scene of desolation. The ruggedness of the dark grey rock is not covered by a single shrub. The only music is the hoarse murmuring of the waves ever and anon renewing their assaults on the huge masses that oppose them. The northern sun creeping at midnight, at the distance of five diameters, along the horizon, and the immeasurable ocean in apparent contact with the skies, form the grand outlines in the sublime picture presented to the astonished spectator. The incessant cares and pursuits of anxious mortals are recollected as a dream; the various forms and energies of animated nature are forgotten; the earth is contemplated only in its elements, and as constituting a part of the solar system." Acerbi's Travels, vol. ii., page 111.

Where wild goats leap from crag to crag on high, Turn we to lake-o'ershadowing mountains nigh, Or jagged or columnar, what a mass !

Frown others, lengthening in their liquid glass.

Towering o'er the magnificent array

Of clouds that stream along their sides mid-way,
Aerial steeps far spread their grandeur, zoned
By forests of luxuriant growth, pine-crowned.
'Tis thus on genius mighty, though untaught,
That Heaven bestows exhaustless wealth of thought.

Peaks, that the spirit of light seems to subdue
Into crystalline shapes of purple hue,
Sky-pointing peaks, on which, at distance kenn'd,
Stars seem like gods sublunar to descend,
Are types of noble souls, that even on earth
Look upward; gifts celestial show their worth;
Though firm, with light of charity yet graced,
They are above the storms of passion placed.

Far, far around, the Heaven-raised barriers, grand
As thoughts of freedom, guard Tell's native land;
Valleys of loveliest aspect they inclose,
Like Strength protecting Beauty in repose.
Glassed is the brow of Freedom in the clear

Lake, in the cataract her voice



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