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What is the pomp of art to him who loves
Through forests deep?—Though all is savage there,
Eternity-how wonderful it is!
A shoreless Ocean-nothing, everything!
To be for ever what I shall be-this
Far, far exceeds the mind's imagining,
Fond dreams that may awhile delight the brain, But by our waking sense are banish'd with disdain.
See Cæsar baffled by a little state!
Such is the will of HIM who doth command
Empires to rise, decay, regenerate :
Who weigheth worlds as balls within His hand;
Whose wrath not Hell's fierce legions may withstand; Who is enthroned in light, Ancient of Days!
The pure Intelligence, whose wisdom plann'd This universal frame. His be the praise! Creatures of clay, to HIM your loud thanksgivings raise!
The mind that well doth exercise its powers
Shall to the perfect beauty be allied,
When, from this grosser frame released, it towers
Ere it can live near God's eternal throne,
Oh could I seek at length those happy Isles
Where glow the heavens above, the flowers beneath;
And songs of other times float in the air around;
Then might appear to me dear Liberty,-
Then all convulsed, at length expired with hideous cry!
She triumphs now; a laureate band attend
"A slave's no man!" thus sings their Godlike Sire: *
His strains the whole triumphant race inspire.
The dawning light of science there doth gleam,
NOTES ON "THE VIEW."
This little Poem was written in the Autumn of the year 1818, during a tour through Switzerland and Italy.
P. 112, 1. 9.
Light as the young chamois.
The chamois is an animal remarkable for its activity in scouring along the craggy rocks, and in leaping over the precipices. It is a species of antelope, though Linnæus has classed it in the goat genu under the name of rupi capra or mountain goat.-Coxe's Travels Switzerland, Vol. I., Letter 29, pages 342-44.
P. 113, 1. 15.
But, gloomy Calvin, how couldst thou prevail ?
Calvin was born at Noyon, in Picardy, in the year 1509. He first studied the Civil Law: afterwards, retiring to Basil, he turned his thoughts to the study of Divinity, and published there his Institutions, which he dedicated to Francis I. He was made Professor of Divinity at Geneva, A. D. 1536. The year following he prevailed with the people to subscribe a confession of faith, and to renounce the Pope's authority; but, carrying the matter a little farther than was agreeable to the Government, he was obliged to retire from Geneva, upon which he set up a French church at Strasburgh, in Germany, and was himself the first minister of it. But the town of Geneva inviting him to return, he came back thither in September 1541. The first thing he did was to settle a form of discipline and consistorial jurisdiction, and he gained himself many enemies by his inflexible severity in maintaining the
rights and jurisdiction of his consistory. He was a person of great parts, indefatigable industry, and considerable learning. He died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, in 1594.-Boughton's Dictionary, article Calvinists.
P. 114, 1. 8.
What, though her thoughts were somewhat too refined ?
I allude to the works of Madame de Staël; but more particularly to the third volume of her "Allemagne," and to her philosophical works. Her last (Considérations sur les Principaux Evènemens de la Révolution Française) has no theoretical refinements whatever. Her language is sober and correct, though sufficiently energetic; and her ideas, if I may so express myself, quite English.
P. 115, 1. 6.
Had man no other duties.
"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees its adversary; but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."-MILTON's Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.
P. 118, 1. 6.
What are its natives now, but imps from hell
This is the character an Italian gave me of his own countrymen. All are not such, however. Italy, trampled upon and degraded, still may possess many men of virtue and spirit; but, in the present state of things, what can they do towards ameliorating the condition of their countrymen ? "The victim by turns, of selfish and sanguinary factions, of petty tyrants, and of foreign invaders, Italy has fallen, like a star from its place in heaven; she has seen her harvests trodden down by the horses of the stranger, and the blood of her children wasted in quarrels not their own: Conquering or conquered, in the indignant language of her poet, still alike a slave; a long retribution for the tyranny of Rome."-HALLAM's View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. i. page 255.