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That level region, where no echo dwells,
Where the wild-boar retreats, when hunters chafe,
As from a danger. There, but not to rest,
But now a long farewell! Oft, while I live; If once again in England, once again 4 In my own chimney-nook, as Night steals on, With half-shut eyes reclining, oft, methinks, While the wind blusters and the drenching rain Clatters without, shall I recall to mind The scenes, occurrences, I met with here, And wander in Elysium; many a note Of wildest melody, magician-like Awakening, such as the CALABRIAN horn Along the mountain-side, when all is still, Pours forth at folding-time; and many a chant,
Solemn, sublime, such as at midnight flows
AND now a parting word is due from him
(If haply thou hast borne with him so long),
Where all was still awakening them that slept,
Nature denied him much,
For all things here, or grand or beautiful,
Though from his cheek, ere yet the down was there,
Full oft to wander where the Muses haunt,
"T is now long since; And now, while yet 't is day, would he withdraw, Who, when in youth he strung his lyre, addressed A former generation. Many an eye,
Bright as the brightest now, is closed in night,
a) J. J. ROUSSEAU. "J'arrive essoufflé, tout en nage; le cœur me bat; je vois de loin les soldats à leur poste; j'accours, je crie d'une voix étouffée. Il étoit trop tard." — Les Confessions, l. i.
(2) "Lines of eleven syllables occur almost in every page of Milton; but though they are not unpleasing, they ought not to be admitted into heroic poetry; since the narrow limits of our language allow us no other distinction of epic and tragic measures."— Johnson.
It is remarkable that he used them most at last. In the Paradise Regained they occur oftener than in the Paradise Lost in the proportion of ten to one; and let it be remembered that they supply us with another close, - another cadence, that they add, as it were, a string to the instrument; and, by enabling the poet to relax at pleasure, to rise and fall with his subject, contribute what is most wanted, compass, variety.
Shakspeare seems to have delighted in them, and in some of his soliloquies has used them four and five times in succession; an example I have not followed in mine. As in the following instance, where the subject is solemn beyond all others:
"To be, or not to be," &c.
They come nearest to the flow of an unstudied eloquence, and should therefore be used in the drama; but why exclusively? Horace, as we learn from himself, admitted the Musa Pedestris in his happiest hours, in those when he was most at his ease; and we cannot regret her visits. To her we are indebted for more than half he has left us; nor was she ever at his elbow in greater dishabille than when he wrote the celebrated Journey to Brundusium.
(3) BERNARD, Abbot of Clairvaux. "To admire or despise St. Bernard as he ought,” says Gibbon, "the reader, like myself, should have before the windows of his library that incomparable landscape."
(4) The following lines were written on the spot, and may serve perhaps to recall to some of my readers what they have seen in this enchanting country.
I love to watch in silence till the sun
Sets; and MONT BLANC, arrayed in crimson and gold,
That shadow, though it comes through pathless tracts,
Such moments are most precious. Yet there are
When once again he changes, once again
As though they were not and had never been!
(5) The Castle of Joux, in Franche-Comté.
(6) See the Odyssey, lib. xix. v. 597, and lib. xxiii. v. 19
(7) The retreat of Amadeus, the first Duke of Savoy. Voltaire thus addresses it from his windows:
"Ripaille, je te vois. O bizarre Amédée," &c.
The seven towers are now no longer a landmark to the voyager.
(9) He has given us a very natural account of his feelings at the conclusion of his long labor there: "It was on the night of the 27th of June, 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau or covered walk of acacias, which commands the lake and the mountains. The sky was serene, the moon was shining on the waters, and I will not dissemble my joy. But, when I reflected that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion," &c.
There must always be something melancholy in the moment of separation, as all have more or less experienced; none more, perhaps, than Cowper: "And now," says he, “I have only to regret that my pleasant work is ended. To the illustrious Greek I owe the smooth and easy flight of many thousand hours. He has been my companion at home and abroad, in the study, in the garden and in the field; and no measure of success, let my labors succeed as they may, will ever compensate to me the loss of the innocent luxury that I have enjoyed, as a translator of Iomer."
(10) The burial-place of Necker.
(11) The Lake of the Four Cantons.
(12) In the course of the year they entertain from thirty to thirty-five thousand travellers. Le Père Biselx, Prieur.
(13) Alluding to Barri, a dog of great renown in his day. He is here admirably represented by a pencil that has done honor to many of his kind, but to none who deserved it more. His skin is stuffed and preserved in the Museum of Berne.
(14) The Grande Chartreuse. It was indebted for its foundation to a miracle; as every guest may learn there from a little book that lies on the table in his cell, the cell allotted to him by the fathers.
"In this year the Canon died, and, as all believed, in the odor of sanctity; for who in his life had been so holy, in his death so happy? But how false are the judgments of men! For when the hour of his funeral had arrived, when the mourners had entered the church, the bearers set down the bier, and every voice was lifted up in the Miserere, suddenly, and as none knew how, the lights were extinguished, the anthem stopt! A darkness succeeded, a silence as of the grave; and these words came in sorrowful accents from the lips of the dead: 'I am summoned before a just God! ... A just God judgeth me! I am condemned by a just God!""