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And who commanded (and the silence came),
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow Adown enormous ravines slope amainTorrents, 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, 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 ! 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 depth of clouds, that veil thy breastThou 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,
LINES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM
AT ELBINGERODE, IN THE HARTZ FOREST. I
STOOD on Brocken's* sovran height, and
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
* The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in North Germany.
In low and languid mood ;* for I had found
My native Land !
When I have gazed
Southey's Hymn to the Penates.
ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM
ON THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY, 1796. SWEET WEET Flower! that peeping from thy russet
stem Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering
Month Hath borrowed Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee With blue voluptuous eye) alas, poor Flower ! These are but flatteries of the faithless year. Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave, E’en now the keen North-East is on its way. Flower that must perish ! shall I liken thee To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth Nipped by consumption mid untimely charms ? Or to Bristowa's bard,* the wondrous boy ! An amaranth, which Earth scarce seemed to own, Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong Beat it to Earth? or with indignant grief Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope, Bright flower of Hope killed in the opening bud ? Farewell, sweet blossom ! better fate be thine And mock my boding! Dim similitudes Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour From anxious self, Life's cruel task-master! And the warm wooings of this sunny day Tremble along my frame, and harmonize The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument.
THE EOLIAN HARP.
COMPOSED AT CLEVEDON, SOMERSETSHIRE. MY pensive Sara ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown With white-flowered jasmin, and the broad-leaved
myrtle, (Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !) And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light, Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be) Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents Snatched from yon bean-field! and the world so
hushed! The stilly murmur of the distant sea Tells us of silence.
And that simplest lute, Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark ! How by the desultory breeze caressed, Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover, It
pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes Over delicious surges sink and rise, Such a soft floating witchery of sound As twilight Eltins make, when they at eve Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land, Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers, Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise, Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing ! O the one life within us and abroad, Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,