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The swan uplifts his chest, and backward flings] No tears can chill them, and no bosom warms, Thy breast their death-bed, coffined in thine

His neck, a varying arch, between his towering

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While tender cares and mild domestic loves
With furtive watch pursue her as she moves,
The female with a meeker charm succeeds,
And her brown little-ones around her leads,
Nibbling the water lilies as they pass,
Or playing wanton with the floating grass.
She, in a mother's care, her beauty's pride
Forgetting, calls the wearied to her side;
Alternately they mount her back, and rest
Close by her mantling wings' embraces prest.

Long may they float upon this flood serene;
Theirs be these holms untrodden, still, and green,
Where leafy shades fence off the blustering gale,
And breathes in peace the lily of the vale!
Yon isle, which feels not even the milk-maid's
feet,

Yet hears her song, "by distance made more sweet,'

"

Yon isle conceals their home, their hut-like bower;

Green water-rushes overspread the floor;
Long grass and willows form the woven wall,
And swings above the roof the poplar tall.
Thence issuing often with unwieldy stalk,
They crush with broad black feet their flowery
walk;

Or, from the neighbouring water, hear at morn
The hound, the horse's tread, and mellow horn;
Involve their serpent-necks in changeful rings,
Rolled wantonly between their slippery wings,
Or, starting up with noise and rude delight,
Force half upon the wave their cumbrous flight.

Fair swan! by all a mother's joys caressed, Haply some wretch has eyed, and called thee blessed;

When with her infants, from some shady seat By the lake's edge, she rose to face the noontide heat;

Or taught their limbs along the dusty road
A few short steps to totter with their load.

I see her now, denied to lay her head,
On cold blue nights, in hut or straw-built shed,
Turn to a silent smile their sleepy cry,
By pointing to the gliding moon on high.
--When low-hung clouds each star of summer
hide,

And fireless are the valleys far and wide,
Where the brook brawls along the public road
Dark with bat-haunted ashes stretching broad,
Oft has she taught them on her lap to lay
The shining glow-worm; or, in heedless play,
Toss it from hand to hand, disquieted;
While others, not unseen, are free to shed
Green unmolested light upon their mossy bed.
Oh! when the sleety showers her path assail,
And like a torrent roars the headstrong gale;
No more her breath can thaw their fingers cold,
Their frozen arms her neck no more can fold;
Weak roof a cowering form two babes to shield,
And faint the fire a dying heart can yield!
Press the sad kiss, fond mother! vainly fears
Thy flooded cheek to wet them with its tears:

arms!

Sweet are the sounds that mingle from afar, Heard by calm lakes, as peeps the folding star, Where the duck dabbles 'mid the rustling sedge, And feeding pike starts from the water's edge, Or the swan stirs the reeds, his neck and bill Wetting, that drip upon the water still; And heron, as resounds the trodden shore, Shoots upward, darting his long neck before.

Now, with religious awe, the farewell light Blends with the solemn colouring of night; 'Mid groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow,

And round the west's proud lodge their shadows throw,

Like Una shining on her gloomy way,
The half-seen form of Twilight roams astray:
Shedding, through paly loop-holes mild and
small,

Gleams that upon the lake's still bosom fall;
Soft o'er the surface creep those lustres pale
Tracking the motions of the fitful gale.
With restless interchange at once the bright
Wins on the shade, the shade upon the light.
No favoured eye was e'er allowed to gaze
On lovelier spectacle in faery days;
When gentle Spirits urged a sportive chase,
Brushing with lucid wands the water's face;
While music, stealing round the glimmering
deeps,

Charmed the tall circle of the enchanted steeps.
-The lights are vanished from the watery

plains:

No wreck of all the pageantry remains.
Unheeded night has overcome the vales:
On the dark earth the wearied vision fails;
The latest lingerer of the forest train,
The lone black fir, forsakes the faded plain;
Last evening sight, the cottage smoke, no more,
Lost in the thickened darkness, glimmers hoar;
And, towering from the sullen dark-brown mere,
Like a black wall, the mountain-steeps appear.

Now o'er the soothed accordant heart we feel
A sympathetic twilight slowly steal,
And ever, as we fondly muse, we find
Stay! pensive, sadly-pleasing visions, stay!
The soft gloom deepening on the tranquil mind.
Ah no! as fades the vale, they fade away:
Yet still the tender, vacant gloom remains;
Still the cold cheek its shuddering tear retains.

The bird, who ceased, with fading light, to thread

Silent the hedge or steamy rivulet's bed,
From his grey re-appearing tower shall soon
Salute with gladsome note the rising moon,
While with a hoary light she frosts the ground,
And pours a deeper blue to Ether's bound;
Pleased, as she moves, her pomp of clouds to fold
In robes of azure, fleecy-white, and gold.

Above yon eastern hill, where darkness broods O'er all its vanished dells, and lawns, and woods; Where but a mass of shade the sight can trace, Even now she shows, half-veiled, her lovely

face:

Across the gloomy valley flings her light,
Far to the western slopes with hainlets white,

And gives, where woods the chequered upland-And let him nurse his fond deceit,

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Her dawn, far lovelier than the moon's own morn,

Till higher mounted, strives in vain to cheer The weary hills, impervious, blackening near; Yet does she still, undaunted, throw the while On darling spots remote her tempting smile.

Even now she decks for me a distant scene, (For dark and broad the gulf of time between) Gilding that cottage with her fondest ray, (Sole bourn, sole wish, sole object of my way; How fair its lawns and sheltering woods appear! How sweet its streamlet murmurs in mine ear!) Where we, my Friend, to happy days shall rise, 'Till our small share of hardly-paining sighs (For sighs will ever trouble human breath) Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death. But now the clear bright Moon her zenith gains,

And, rimy without speck, extend the plains: The deepest cleft the mountain's front displays Scarce hides a shadow from her searching rays; From the dark-blue faint silvery threads divide The hills, while gleams below the azure tide; Time softly treads; throughout the landscape breathes

A peace enlivened, not disturbed, by wreaths
Of charcoal-smoke, that o'er the fallen wood
Steal down the hill, and spread along the flood.
The song of mountain-streams, unheard by
day,

Now hardly heard, beguiles my homeward way.
Air listens, like the sleeping water, still,
To catch the spiritual music of the hill,
Broke only by the slow clock tolling deep,
Or shout that wakes the ferry-man from sleep,
The echoed hoof nearing the distant shore,
The boat's first motion-made with dashing oar;
Sound of closed gate, across the water borne,
Hurrying the timid hare through rustling corn;
The sportive outcry of the mocking owl;
And at long intervals the mill-dog's howl;
The distant forge's swinging thump profound;
Or yell, in the deep woods, of lonely hound.
1787-9.

IV. LINES

WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT
EVENING.

How richly glows the water's breast
Before us, tinged with evening hues,
While, facing thus the crimson west,
The boat her silent course pursues!
And see how dark the backward stream!
A little moment past so smiling!
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,
Some other loiterers beguiling.

Such views the youthful Bard allure:
But, heedless of the following gloom,
He deems their colours shall endure
Till peace go with him to the tomb.

And what if he must die in sorrow!
Who would not cherish dreams so sweet,
Though grief and pain may come to-morrow?

1789.

V.

REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS.

COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR
RICHMOND.

GLIDE gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other bards may see
As lovely visions by thy side
As now, fair river! come to me.
O glide, fair stream! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow
As thy deep waters now are flowing.
Vain thought!-Yet be as now thou art,
That in thy waters may be seen
The image of a poet's heart,
How bright, how solemn, how serene!
Such as did once the Poet bless,
Who murmuring here a later ditty,
Could find no refuge from distress
But in the milder grief of pity.
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar;
And pray that never child of song
May know that Poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound,
The dripping of the oar suspended!
-The evening darkness gathers round
By virtue's holiest Powers attended.
1789.

VI.

DESCRIPTIVE SKETCHES

TAKEN DURING A PEDESTRIAN TOUR AMONG THE ALPS.

TO THE REV. ROBERT JONES, Fellow of ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. DEAR SIR,-However desirous I might have been of giving you proofs of the high place you hold in my esteem, I should have been cautious of wounding your delicacy by thus publicly addressing you, had not the circumstance of our having been companions among the Alps seemed to give this dedication a propriety sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty might otherwise have suggested.

In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well how great is the difference between two companions lolling in a post-chaise, and two travellers plodding slowly along the road, side by side, each with his little knapsack of necessaries upon his shoulders. How much more of heart between the two latter !

I am happy in being conscious that I shall have one reader who will approach the conclusion of these few pages with regret. You they

* Collins's Ode on the death of Thomson.

must certainly interest, in reminding you of moments to which you can hardly look back without a pleasure not the less dear from a shade of melancholy. You will meet with few images without recollecting the spot where we observed them together; consequently, whatever is feeble in my design, or spiritless in my colouring, will be amply supplied by your own

memory.

With still greater propriety I might have inscribed to you a description of some of the features of your native mountains, through which we have wandered together, in the same manner, with so much pleasure. But the seasunsets, which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethgelert, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine steeps of the Conway, and the still more interesting windings of the wizard stream of the Dee, remain yet untouched. Apprehensive that my pencil may never be exercised on these subjects, I cannot let slip this opportunity of thus publicly assuring you with how much affection and esteem

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Brisk toil, alternating with ready ease,
Feeds the clear current of his sympathies.
For him sod-seats the cottage-door adorn :
And peeps the far-off spire, his evening bourn!
Dear is the forest frowning o'er his head,
And dear the velvet green-sward to his tread:
Moves there a cloud o'er mid-day's flaming eye?
Upward he looks-and calls it luxury:
Kind Nature's charities his steps attend ;
In every babbling brook he finds a friend;
While chastening thoughts of sweetest use,
bestowed

By wisdom, moralise his pensive road.
Host of his welcome inn, the noon-tide bower,
To his spare meal he calls the passing poor;
He views the sun uplift his golden fire,
Or sink, with heart alive like Memnon's lyre;
Blesses the moon that comes with kindly ray,
To light him shaken by his rugged way.
Back from his sight no bashful children steal ;
He sits a brother at the cottage-meal;
His humble looks no shy restraint impart ;
Around him plays at will the virgin heart.
While unsuspended wheels the village dance,
The maidens eye him with enquiring glance,
Much wondering by what fit of crazing care,
Or desperate love, bewildered, he came there.
A hope, that prudence could not then

approve,

That clung to Nature with a truant's love,
O'er Gallia's wastes of corn my footsteps led;
Her files of road-elms, high above my head
In long-drawn vista, rustling in the breeze:
Or where her pathways straggle as they please
By lonely farms and secret villages.
But lo! the Alps, ascending white in air,
Toy with the sun and glitter from afar.

And now, emerging from the forest's gloom,
I greet thee, Chartreuse, while I mourn thy
doom.

Happiness (if she had been to be found on earth) among the charms of Nature-Pleasures of the pedestrian Traveller-Author crosses France to the Alps-Present state of the Grande Chartreuse-Lake of ComoTime, Sunset-Same Scene, Twilight--Same Scene, Morning; its voluptuous Character; Old man and forest-cottage music-River Tusa-Via Mala and Grison Gipsy-Sckellenen-thal-Lake of Uri-Stormy sunsetChapel of William Tell-Force of local emotion-Chamois-chaser-View of the higher Alps--manner of life of a Swiss mountaineer, interspersed with views of the higher Alps That Silence, once in deathlike fetters bound, Golden age of the Alps-Life and views conChains that were loosened only by the sound tinued-Ranz des Vaches, famous Swiss Air Of holy rites chanted in measured round? -Abbey of Einsiedlen and its pilgrims-The voice of blasphemy the fane alarms, Valley of Chamouny-Mont Blanc-Slavery The cloister startles at the gleam of arms. of Savoy-Influence of liberty on cottageThe thundering tube the aged angler hears, happiness-France-Wish for the Extirpa- Bent o'er the groaning flood that sweeps away tion of Slavery-Conclusion.

WERE there, below, a spot of holy ground
Where from distress a refuge might be found,
And solitude prepare the soul for heaven;
Sure, nature's God that spot to man had given
Where falls the purple morning far and wide
In flakes of light upon the mountain side;
Where with loud voice the power of water
shakes

The leafy wood, or sleeps in quiet lakes.

Yet not unrecompensed the man shall roam,
Who at the call of summer quits his home,
And plods through some wide realm o'er vale
and height,

Though seeking only holiday delight;
At least, not owning to himself an aim
To which the sage would give a prouder name.
No gains too cheaply earned his fancy cloy,
Though every passing zephyr whispers joy;

Whither is fled that Power whose frown severe

Awed sober Reason till she crouched in fear?

his tears.

Cloud-piercing pine-trees nod their troubled heads,

Spires, rocks, and lawns a browner night
o'erspreads;

Strong terror checks the female peasant's sighs,
And start the astonished shades at female eyes.
From Bruno's forest screams the affrighted jay,
And slow the insulted eagle wheels away.
A viewless flight of laughing Demons mock
The Cross, by angels planted on the aèrial
rock.

The "parting Genius" sighs with hollow breath
Along the mystic streams of Life and Death. †
Swelling the outcry dull, that long resounds
Portentous through her old woods' trackless
bounds,

Alluding to crosses seen on the tops of the spiry rocks of Chartreuse.

t Names of rivers at the Chartreuse.

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Vallombre,* 'mid her falling fanes, deplores,
For ever broke, the sabbath of her bowers.
More pleased, my foot the hidden margin

roves

Of Como, bosomed deep in chestnut groves.
No meadows thrown between, the giddy steeps
Tower, bare or sylvan, from the narrow deeps.
-To towns, whose shades of no rude noise
complain,

From ringing team apart and grating wain-
To flat-roofed towns, that touch the water's
bound,

Or lurk in woody sunless glens profound,
Or, from the bending rocks, obtrusive cling,
And o'er the whitened wave their shadows
fling-

The pathway leads, as round the steeps it
twines;

And Silence loves its purple roof of vines.
The loitering traveller hence, at evening, sees
From rock-hewn steps the sail between the

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Tend the small harvest of their garden glades;
Or stops the solemn mountain-shades to view
Stretch o'er the pictured mirror broad and blue,
And track the yellow lights from steep to steep,
As up the opposing hills they slowly creep.
Aloft, here, half a village shines, arrayed
In golden light; half hides itself in shade:
While, from amid the darkened roofs, the spire,
Restlessly flashing, seems to mount like fire:
There, all unshaded, blazing forests throw
Rich golden verdure on the lake below.
Slow glides the sail along the illumined shore,
And steals into the shade the lazy oar:
Soft bosoms breathe around contagious sighs,
And amorous music on the water dies.

To every charm, and last and chief to you,
Ye lovely maidens that in noontide shade
To all that binds the soul in powerless trance,
Rest near your little plots of wheaten glade;
Lip-dewing song, and ringlet-tossing dance:
Where sparkling eyes and breaking smiles
The sylvan cabin's lute-enlivened gloom.

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Alas! the very murmur of the streams
Breathes o'er the failing soul voluptuous
dreams,

While Slavery, forcing the sunk mind to dwell
On joys that might disgrace the captive's cell,
Her shameless timbrel shakes on Como's marge,
And lures from bay to bay the vocal barge.

Yet are thy softer arts with power indued
To soothe and cheer the poor man's solitude.
By silent cottage-doors, the peasant's home
Left vacant for the day, I loved to roam.
But once I pierced the mazes of a wood
In which a cabin undeserted stood;
There an old man an olden measure scanned

On a rude viol touched with withered hand.
As lambs or fawns in April clustering lie
Under a hoary oak's thin canopy,
Stretched at his feet, with stedfast upward eye
His children's children listened to the sound;
-A Hermit with his family around!

But let us hence; for fair Locarno smiles
Embowered in walnut slopes and citron isles:
Or seek at eve the banks of Tusa's stream,
Where, 'mid dim towers and woods, her waters
gleam.

From the bright wave, in solemn gloom, retire
The dull-red steeps, and, darkening stiil, aspire
To where afar rich orange lustres glow
Round undistinguished clouds, and rocks, and

snow:

Or, led where Via Mala's chasms confine

How blest, delicious scene! the eye that The indignant waters of the infant Rhine,

greets

Thy open beauties, or thy lone retreats;
Beholds the unwearied sweep of wood that

scales

Thy cliffs; the endless waters of thy vales;
Thy lowly cots that sprinkle all the shore,
Each with its household boat beside the door:
Thy torrents shooting from the clear-blue sky;
Thy towns, that cleave, like swallows' nests, on
high;

Hang o'er the abyss, whose else impervious

gloom

His burning eyes with fearful light illume.

The mind condemned, without reprieve, to go
O'er life's long deserts with its charge of woe,
With sad congratulation joins the train
Where beasts and men together o'er the plain
Move on-a mighty caravan of pain:
Hope, strength, and courage, social suffering
brings,

That glimmer hoar in eve's last light, descried
Dim from the twilight water's shaggy side,
Whence lutes and voices down the enchanted-There be whose lot far otherwise is cast:

Freshening the wilderness with shades and
springs.

woods

Steal, and compose the oar-forgotten floods; -Thy lake, that, streaked or dappled, blue or grey,

"Mid smoking woods gleams hid from morning's

ray

Slow-travelling down the western hills, to
enfold

Its green-tinged margin in a blaze of gold;
Thy glittering steeples, whence the matin bell
Calls forth the woodman from his desert cell,
And quickens the blithe sound of oars that pass
Along the steaming lake, to carly mass.
But now farewell to each and all--adieu

Name of one of the valleys of the Chartreuse.

Sole human tenant of the piny waste,
By choice or doom a gipsy wanders here,
A nursling babe her only comforter;
Lo, where she sits beneath yon shaggy rock,
A cowering shape half hid in curling smoke!
When lightning among clouds and mountain

snows

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Or on her fingers counts the distant clock,
Or, to the drowsy crow of midnight cock,
Listens, or quakes while from the forest's gulf
Howls near and nearer yet the famished wolf.

From the green vale of Urseren smooth and wide

Descend we now, the maddened Reuss our guide;
By rocks that, shutting out the blessed day,
Cling tremblingly to rocks as loose as they;
By cells upon whose image, while he prays,
The kneeling peasant scarcely dares to gaze;
By many a votive death-cross planted near,
And watered duly with the pious tear,
That faded silent from the upward eye
Unmoved with each rude form of peril nigh;
Fixed on the anchor left by Him who saves
Alike in whelming snows, and roaring waves.

But soon a peopled region on the sight
Opens a little world of calm delight;
Where mists, suspended on the expiring gale,
Spread roof-like o'er the deep secluded vale,
And beams of evening slipping in between,
Gently illuminate a sober scene :-
Here, on the brown wood-cottages they sleep,
There, over rock or sloping pasture creep.
On as we journey, in clear view displayed,
The still vale lengthens underneath its shade
Of low-hung vapour: on the freshened mead
The green light, sparkles;-the dim bowers

recede.

While pastoral pipes and streams the landscape full,

And bells of passing mules that tinkle dull,
In solemn shapes before the admiring eye
Dilated hang the misty pines on high,
Huge convent domes with pinnacles and towers,
And antique castles seen through gleamy

showers.

From such romantic dreams, my soul, awake!
To sterner pleasure, where, by Uri's lake
In Nature's pristine majesty outspread,
Winds neither road nor path for foot to tread:
The rocks rise naked as a wall, or stretch

Far o'er the water, hung with groves of beech;
Aerial pines from loftier steeps ascend,
Nor stop but where creation seems to end.
Yet here and there, if 'mid the savage scene
Appears a scanty plot of smiling green,
Up from the lake a zigzag path will creep
To reach a small wood-hut hung boldly on the
steep.

--Before those thresholds (never can they know
The face of traveller passing to and fro,)
No peasant leans upon his pole, to tell
For whom at morning tolled the funeral bell;
Their watch-dog ne'er his angry bark foregoes,
Touched by the beggar's moan of human woes;
The shady porch ne'er offered a cool seat
To pilgrims overcome by summer's heat.

Yet thither the world's business finds its way
At times, and tales unsought beguile the day,
And there are those fond thoughts which
Solitude,

However stern, is powerless to exclude.

There doth the maiden watch her lover's sail
Approaching, and upbraid the tardy gale;
At midnight listens till his parting oar,
And its last echo, can be heard no more.

And what if ospreys, cormorants, herons cry,
Amid tempestuous vapours driving by,
Or hovering over wastes too bleak to rear
That common growth of earth, the foodful ear;
Where the green apple shrivels on the spray,
And pines the unripened pear in summer's
kindliest ray;

Contentment shares the desolate domain

With Independence, child of high Disdain.
Exulting 'mid the winter of the skies,

Shy as the jealous chamois, Freedom flies,
And grasps by fits her sword, and often eyes;
And sometimes, as from rock to rock she bounds
The Patriot nymph starts at imagined sounds,
And, wildly pausing, oft she hangs aghast,
Whether some old Swiss air hath checked her
haste

Or thrill of Spartan fife is caught between the blast.

Swoln with incessant rains from hour to hour,
All day the deepening floods a murmur pour:
The sky is veiled, and every cheerful sight:
Dark is the region as with coming night;
But what a sudden burst of overpowering light!
Triumphant on the bosom of the storm,
Glances the wheeling eagle's glorious form!
Eastward, in long perspective glittering, shine
The wood-crowned cliffs that o'er the lake
recline;

Those lofty cliffs a hundred streams unfold,
At once to pillars turned that flame with gold:
The west, that burns like one dilated sun,
Behind his sail the peasant shrinks, to shun
A crucible of mighty compass, felt
By mountains, glowing till they seem to melt.

But, lo! the boatman, overawed, before
The pictured fane of Tell suspends his oar;
Confused the Marathonian tale appears,
While his eyes sparkle with heroic tears.
And who, that walks where men of ancient days
Have wrought with godlike arm the deeds of
praise

Feels not the spirit of the place control,
Or rouse and agitate his labouring soul?
Or wild Aosta lulled by Alpine rills,
Say, who, by thinking on Canadian hills,

On Zutphen's plain or on that highland dell, Through which rough Garry cleaves his way, can tell

What high resolves exalt the tenderest thought
Of him whom passion rivets to the spot,
Where breathed the gale that caught Wolfe's
And the last sunbeam fell on Bayard's eye,
happiest sigh,
Where bleeding Sidney from the retired,
cup
And glad Dundee in "faint huzzas" expired?
But now with other mind I stand alone
Upon the summit of this naked cone,
And watch the fearless chamois-hunter chase
His prey, through tracts abrupt of desolate

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