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Morning Hymn to Mont Blanc.
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 sovereign Blanc !
The Arve and Aveiron 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 thoughts,
Yea, with my 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 sovereign of the vale!
Oh! 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
MORNING HYMN TO MONT BLANC.
Co-herald wake, oh 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,
Forever shattered and the same forever?
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!
Once more, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peak,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth 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-traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before me-rise, oh 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!
HE scene was more beautiful far to my eye,
Than if day in its pride had arrayed it;
The land-breeze blew mild, and the azure-arched sky
Looked pure as the Spirit that made it.
The murmur rose soft as I silently gazed
On the shadowy wave's playful motion,
From the dim distant isle till the beacon-fire blazed,
Like a star in the midst of the ocean.
No longer the joy of the sailor boy's breast
Was heard in his wildly breathed numbers;
The sea-bird had flown to her wave-girdled nest,
And the fisherman sunk to his slumbers.
I sighed as I looked from the hill's gentle slope,
All hushed was the billow's commotion;
And I thought that the beacon looked lovely as Hope,
That star of life's tremulous ocean.
The time is long past and the scene is afar;
Yet, when my head rests on its pillow,
Will memory often rekindle the star
That blazed on the breast of the billow.
And in life's closing hour, when the trembling soul flies, And death stills the heart's last emotion,
O then may the Seraph of mercy arise,
Like a star on eternity's ocean.
The First of March.
HE bud is in the bough, and the leaf is in the bud, And earth's beginning now in her veins to feel the blood, Which, warmed by summer's sun in the alembic of the vine, From her founts will overrun in a ruddy gush of wine.
The perfume and the bloom that shall decorate the flower, Are quickening in the gloom of their subterranean bower; And the juices meant to feed trees, vegetables, fruits, Unerringly proceed to their pre-appointed roots.
How awful is the thought of the wonders under ground,
Of the mystic changes wrought in the silent, dark profound;
How each thing upward tends by necessity decreed,
And the world's support depends on the shooting of a seed!
The summer's in her ark, and this sunny-pinioned day
Is commissioned to remark whether Winter holds her sway;
Go back, thou dove of peace, with myrtle on thy wing,
Say that floods and tempests cease, and the world is ripe for
Thou hast fanned the sleeping earth till her dreams are all of flowers,
And the waters look in mirth for their overhanging bowers;
The forest seems to listen for the rustle of its leaves,
And the very skies to glisten in the hope of summer.eves.
Thy vivifying spell has been felt beneath the wave,
By the dormouse in its cell, and the mole within its cave;
And the summer tribes that creep, or in air expand their
Have started from their sleep at the summons of the Spring.
The cattle lift their voices from the valleys and the hills,
And the feathered race rejoices with a gush of tuneful bills;
And if this cloudless arch fills the poet's song with glee,
O thou sunny first of March! be it dedicate to thee.
The Death of the Flowers.
HE melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread. The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light, and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?