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Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The spirit he loves remains ;
And I, all the while, bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when, with never a stain,
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams, Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.
THE north-east spends his rage; he now shut up
Within his iron cave, th' effusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining ether; but, by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep,
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom:
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves
Of aspen tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffused
In glassy breath, seem through delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promised sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields;
And softly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effusion, o'er the freshen'd world.
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard,
By such as wander through the forest walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves.
HERE the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread,
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread.
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter, lingering, chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast,
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
Yet still, ev'n here, content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though small, He sees his little lot the lot of all.
Cheerful at morn he wakes from short repose,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep ;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
And drags the struggling savage into day.
At night returning, every labour sped,
He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board;
And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus every good his native wilds impart, Imprints the patriot passion on his heart; And ev❜n those hills that round his mansion rise, Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies. Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms, And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms; And, as a child, when scaring sounds molest, Clings close and closer to the mother's breast, So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar But bind him to his native mountains more.
IF aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
O nymph reserved, while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits in yon western tent whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed bat, With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing, Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some soften'd strain,
Whose numbers stealing through thy dark'ning vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return!