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There in the sunshine, 'mid their native snows,
Children, let loose from school, contend to use
The cross-bow of their fathers; and o'errun
The rocky field where all, in every age,
Assembling sit, like one great family,
Forming alliances, enacting laws;
Each cliff and head-land and green promontory
Graven to their eyes with records of the past
That prompt to hero-worship, and excite
Even in the least, the lowliest, as he toils,
A reverence nowhere else or felt or feigned ;
Their chronicler great Nature; and the volume
Vast as her works -- above, below, around !
The fisher on thy beach, THERMOPYLÆ,
Asks of the lettered stranger why he came,
First from his lips to learn the glorious truth!
And who that whets his scythe in RUNNEMEDE,
Though but for them a slave, recalls to mind
The barons in array, with their great charter ?
Among the everlasting Alps alone,
There to burn on as in a sanctuary,
Bright and unsullied lives the ethereal flame;
And ’mid those scenes unchanged, unchangeable,
Why should it ever die ?


STILL by the LEMAN Lake, for many a mile,
Among those venerable trees I went,
Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets,
Singing some national song by the wayside.

But now the fly was gone, the gnat was come ;
Now glimmering lights from cottage-windows broke.
'T was dusk; and, journeying upward by the RHONE,
That there came down, a torrent from the Alps,
I entered where a key unlocks a kingdom ;
The road and river, as they wind along,
Filling the mountain pass. There, till a ray
Glanced through my lattice, and the household-stir
Warned me to rise, to rise and to depart,
A stir unusual, and accompanied
With many a tuning of rude instruments,
And many a laugh that argued coming pleasure,
Mine host's fair daughter for the nuptial rite
And nuptial feast attiring — there I slept,
And in my dreams wandered once more, well pleased.
But now a charm was on the rocks and woods
And waters; for, methought, I was with those
I had at morn and even wished for there.


Night was again descending, when my mule,
That all day long had climbed among the clouds,
Higher and higher still, as by a stair
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me,
Stopped, to the joy of both, at that low door,
That door which ever, as self-opened, moves
To them that knock, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanor welcomed me,

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All meekness, gentleness, though large of limb;
And a lay-brother of the hospital,
Who, as we toiled below, had heard by fits
The distant echoes gaining on his ear,
Came and held fast my stirrup in his hand
While I alighted. Long could I have stood,
With a religious awe contemplating
That house, the highest in the ancient world,
And destined to perform from age to age
The noblest service, welcoming as guests
All of all nations and of every faith ;
A temple, sacred to Humanity !
It was a pile of simplest masonry,
With narrow window and vast buttresses,
Built to endure the shocks of time and chance;
Yet showing many a rent, as well it might,
Warred on forever by the elements,
And in an evil day, nor long ago,
By violent men — when on the mountain-top
The French and Austrian banners met in conflict.

On the same rock beside it stood the church,
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity;
The vesper-bell, for 't was the vesper hour,
Duly proclaiming through the wilderness,
" All ye who hear, whatever be your work,
Stop for an instant move your lips in prayer !
And, just beneath it, in that dreary dale, -
If dale it might be called, so near to heaven,-
A little lake, where never fish leaped up,
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow;
A star, the only one in that small sky,
On its dead surface glimmering. ’T was a place

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Resembling nothing I had left behind,
As if all worldly ties were now dissolved ;
And, to incline the mind still more to thought,
To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore
Under a beetling cliff stood half in gloom
A lonely chapel destined for the dead,
For such as, having wandered from their way,
Had perished miserably. Side by side,
Within they lie, a mournful company,
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them;
Their features full of life, yet motionless
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
Though the barred windows, barred against the wolf,
Are always open! - But the North blew cold;
And, bidden to a spare but cheerful meal,
I sate among the holy brotherhood
At their long board. The fare indeed was such
As is prescribed on days of abstinence,
But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine;
And through the floor came up, an ancient crone
Serving unseen below; while from the roof
(The roof, the floor, the walls, of native fir)
A lamp hung flickering, such as loves to fling
Its partial light on apostolic heads,
And sheds a grace on all. Theirs Time as yet
Had changed not. Some were almost in the prime;
Nor was a brow o'ercast. Seen as they sate,
Ranged round their ample hearth-stone in an hour
Of rest, they were as gay, as free from guile,
As children; answering, and at once, to all
The gentler impulses, to pleasure, mirth;
Mingling, at intervals, with rational talk

Music; and gathering news from them that came,
As of some other world. But when the storm
Rose, and the snow rolled on in ocean-waves,
When on his face the experienced traveller fell,
Sheltering his lips and nostrils with his hands,
Then all was changed; and, sallying with their pack
Into that blank of nature, they became
Unearthly beings. “ Anselm, higher up,
Just where it drifts, a dog howls loud and long,
And now, as guided by a voice from Heaven,
Digs with his feet. That noble vehemence,
Whose can it be, but his who never erred ? 13
A man lies underneath! Let us to work!
But who descends MONT VELAN? Tis La Croix.
Away, away ! if not, alas ! too late.
Homeward he drags an old man and a boy,
Faltering and falling, and but half awaked,
Asking to sleep again.” Such their discourse. .

Oft has a venerable roof received me;
St. BRUNO's once 14 -- where, when the winds were hushed,
Nor from the cataract the voice came up,
You might have heard the mole work underground,
So great the stillness there ; none seen throughout,
Save when from rock to rock a hermit crossed
By some rude bridge -- or one at midnight tolled
To matins, and white habits, issuing forth,
Glided along those aisles interminable,15
All, all observant of the sacred law
Of Silence. Nor is that sequestered spot,
Once called “ Sweet Waters," now "The Shady Vale,
To me unknown; that house so rich of old,
So courteous, and, by two that passed that way,

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