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Yea, he deserves to find himself deceived,
Who seeks a Heart in the unthinking Man.
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life
Impress their characters on the smooth forehead:
Nought sinks into the Bosom's silent depth.
Quick sensibility of Pain and Pleasure
Moves the light fluids lightly; but no Soul
Warmeth the inner frame.
Before Sun-rise, in the Vale of Chamouny.
Besides the Rivers, Arve and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of Mount Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides; and within a few paces of the Glaciers, the Gentiana Major grows in immense numbers, with its “ flowers of loveliest blue.”
HÁst thou a charm to stay the Morning-Star
In his steep course ? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron 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 gaz'd upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Did'st vanish from my thought : entranc'd 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 Thought, Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret Joy : Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfus'd, Into the mighty Vision passing—there As in her natural form, swell’d vast to Heaven!
Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret extacy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my Heart, awake!
Green Vales and icy Cliffs, all join my Hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole Sovran of the Vale
O 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
Co-herald ! wake, O wake, and utter praise !,
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth?
Who fill'd thy Countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee Parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad ! Who call’d you forth from night and utter death, From dark and icy caverns call'd you forth, Down those precipitous, black, jagged Rocks For ever shattered and the same for ever? 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 stopp'd 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 thé Suo
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 livery flowers that skirt th' eternal Frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the Eagle's nest !
Ye Eagles, play-mates of the Mountain-Storm!
Ye Lightnings, the dread arrows of the Clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God, and fill the Hills with Praise !
Once more, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing
Oft from whose feet the Avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering thro' 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 bow'd low
In adoration, upward from thy Base