« ZurückWeiter »
From top of your granite of Africa,
Say, what shall be said of you some day?
What shall be said, O grim St. Mark,
Savage old beast so crossed and churled,
By the after men from the under world ?
What shall be said as they search along,
And sail these seas for some sign or spark
Of the old dead fires of the dear old days,
When men and story have gone
ways, Or even your city and name from song ? Why, sullen old monarch of stilled St. Mark, Strange men of the West, wise-mouthed and strong, Will come some day, and gazing long And mute with wonder, will say of thee: “ This is the Saint! High over the dark, Foot on the Bible, and great teeth bare, Tail whipped back, and teeth in the air, Lo! this is the Saint, and none but he.”
WHILE slow on Miniato's height I roam,
And backward look to Brunelleschi's dome,
'Tis strange to think that here on many a day
Old Michael Angelo has paced his way:
And watching Florence, in his bosom found
A nobler world than that which lies around.
To him, perhaps, the ghost of Dante came
At sunset, with his pride of mournful fame.
By me the twain, the bard and sculptor, stand,
With strong lip gazing and uplifted hand:
The great, the sad, fighters in ages past,
With their full peace fill e'en the weak at last.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF
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 Arvé 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 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, wert blending with my thought,
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
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 !
Thou, too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depths 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 travelling 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.
THE BASTILLE AND THE STARLING.
The Bastille — the terror is in the word. Make the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastille is but another word for a tower, and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of. But with pen, and ink, and paper, and patience, albeit a man can't get
I had some occasion (I forget what) to step into the
court-yard as I settled this account; and I walked
down stairs in no small triumph with the conceit of my
reasoning. Beshrew the sombre pencil! said I vaunt-
ingly. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has
magnified herself and blackened : reduce them to their
proper size and hue, she overlooks them. 'Tis true the
Bastille is not an evil to be despised. But strip it of its
towers — fill up the fosse — unbarricade the door —
call it simply a confinement — the evil vanishes, and
you bear the other half without complaint.
I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy by