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NEAR THE SAME LAKE.
For see, Laverna! mark the far-famed Pile,
It is, a Christian Fortress, garrisoned
In faith and hope, and dutiful obedience, Powers manifold we have that intervene
By a few Monks, a stern society, To stir the heart that would too closely screen
Dead to the world and scorning earth-born joys. Her peace from images to pain allied.
Nay—though the hopes that drew, the fears that What wonder if at midnight, by the side
drove, Of Sanguinetto or broad Thrasymene,
St. Francis, far from Man's resort, to abide The clang of arms is heard, and phantoms glide,
Among these sterile heights of Apennine, Unhappy ghosts in troops by moonlight seen ;
Bound him, nor, since he raised yon House, have And singly thine, 0 vanquished Chief ! whose corse,
ceased Unburied, lay hid under heaps of slain :
To bind his spiritual Progeny, with rules
Stringent as flesh can tolerate and live;
Of mind, that dread heart-freezing discipline,
Illustrated, and mutually endeared.
Rapt though He were above the power of sense,
On sun, moon, stars, the nether elements,
And every shape of creature they sustain, Those louder cries give notice that the Bird,
Divine affections; and with beast and bird Although invisible as Echo's self,
(Stilled from afar—such marvel story tells Is wheeling hitherward. Thanks, happy Creature, By casual outbreak of his passionate words, For this unthought-of greeting !
And from their own pursuits in field or grove
While allured Drawn to his side by look or act of love
Humane, and virtue of his innocent life)
To that which our first Parents, ere the fall
Held with all kinds in Eden's blissful bowers.
Then question not that, ʼmid the austere Band,
Some true Partakers of his loving spirit Of Ilex, or, if better suited to the hour,
Do still survive, and, with those gentle hearts The lightsome Olive's twinkling canopy
Consorted, Others, in the power, the faith,
To catch from Nature's humblest monitors
With fasts, with vigils worn, depressed by years,
Upon a pine-tree's storm-uprooted trunk,
To be; by Faith, not sight, his soul must live; Seated alone, with forehead sky-ward raised, Else will the enamoured Monk too surely find Hands clasped above the crucifix he wore
How wide a space can part from inward peace Appended to his bosom, and lips closed
The most profound repose his cell can give.
The world forsaken, all its busy cares
And stirring interests shunned with desperate flight, A young Ascetic-Poet, Hero, Sage,
All trust abandoned in the healing might He might have been, Lover belike he was Of virtuous action; all that courage dares, If they received into a conscious ear
Labour accomplishes, or patience bearsThe notes whose first faint greeting startled me, Those helps rejected, they, whose minds perceive Whose sedulous iteration thrilled with joy
How subtly works man's weakness, sighs may heave My heart—may have been moved like me to think, For such a One beset with cloistral snares. Ah! not like me who walk in the world's ways, Father of Mercy! rectify his view, On the great Prophet, styled the Voice of One If with his vows this object ill agree; Crying amid the wilderness, and given,
Shed over it thy grace, and thus subdue Now that their snows must melt, their herbs and Imperious passion in a heart set free:flowers
That earthly love may to herself be true,
Give him a soul that cleaveth unto thee *.
What aim had they, the Pair of Monks, in size To carry thy glad tidings over heights
Enormous, dragged, while side by side they sate, Still loftier, and to climes more near the Pole. By panting steers up to this convent gate ?
How, with empurpled cheeks and pampered eyes, Voice of the Desert, fare-thee-well; sweet Bird ! Dare they confront the lean austerities If that substantial title please thee more,
Of Brethren who, here fixed, on Jesu wait Farewell !—but go thy way, no need hast thou In sackcloth, and God's anger deprecate Of a good wish sent after thee; from bower Through all that humbles flesh and mortifies? To bower as green, from sky to sky as clear, Strange contrast !-verily the world of dreams, Thee gentle breezes waft—or airs that meet Where mingle, as for mockery combined, Thy course and sport around thee softly fan- Things in their very essences at strife, Till Night, descending upon hill and vale,
Shows not a sight incongruous as the extremes Grants to thy mission a brief term of silence, That everywhere, before the thoughtful mind, And folds thy pinions up in blest repose.
Meet on the solid ground of waking life t.
AT THE EREMITE OR UPPER CONVENT OF CAMALDOLI.
AT THE CONVENT OF CAMALDOLI.
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
Grieve for the Man who hither came bereft,
“ VALLOMBROSA-I longed in thy shadiest wood
dream must cease
* See Note.
+ See note. # See for the two first lines, “Stanzas composed in the Simplon Pass,"
Its murmur how soft! as it falls down the steep,
Nor giving heed to aught that passed the while,
The laurelled Dante's favourite seat. A throne,
Be there of decoration to beguile here; In the cloud-piercing rocks doth her grandeur abide,
The mind, depressed by thought of greatness flown. In the pines pointing heavenward her beauty
As a true man, who long had served the lyre, austere;
I gazed with earnestness, and dared no more. In the flower-besprent meadows his genius we trace
But in his breast the mighty Poet bore Turned to humbler delights, in which youth might A Patriot's heart, warm with undying fire. confide,
Bold with the thought, in reverence I sate down, That would yield him fit help while prefiguring that And, for a moment, filled that empty Throne.
BEFORE THE PICTURE OF THE BAPTIST, BY RAPHAEL, When with life lengthened out came a desolate time,
IN THE GALLERY AT FLORENCE. And darkness and danger had compassed him round, The Baptist might have been ordain’d to cry With a thought he would flee to these haunts of his
Forth from the towers of that huge Pile, wherein prime,
His Father served Jehovah; but how win And here once again a kind shelter be found.
Due audience, how for aught but scorn defy And let me believe that when nightly the Muse
The obstinate pride and wanton revelry Did waft him to Sion, the glorified hill,
Of the Jerusalem below, her sin Here also, on some favoured height, he would choose And folly, if they with united din To wander, and drink inspiration at will.
Drown not at once mandate and prophecy?
Therefore the Voice spake from the Desert, thence Vallombrosa ! of thee I first heard in the page To Her, as to her opposite in peace, Of that holiest of Bards, and the name for my mind Silence, and holiness, and innocence, Had a musical charm, which the winter of age To Her and to all Lands its warning sent, And the changes it brings had no power to unbind. Crying with earnestness that might not cease, And now, ye Miltonian shades ! under you “Make straight a highway for the Lord-repent!” I repose, nor am forced from sweet fancy to part, While your leaves I behold and the brooks they
will strew, And the realised vision is clasped to my heart.
Rapt above earth by power of one fair face, Even so, and unblamed, we rejoice as we may
Hers in whose sway alone my heart delights, In Forms that must perish, frail objects of sense ;
I mingle with the blest on those pure heights Unblamed—if the Soul be intent on the day
Where Man, yet mortal, rarely finds a place.
With Him who made the Work that Work accords When the Being of Beings shall summon her hence. For he and he only with wisdom is blest
So well, that by its help and through his grace Who, gathering true pleasures wherever they grow,
I raise my thoughts, inform my deeds and words, Looks up in all places, for joy or for rest,
Clasping her beauty in my soul's embrace.
Thus, if from two fair eyes mine cannot turn,
AT FLORENCE.FROM MICHAEL ANGELO.
AT FLORENCE. — FROM M. ANGELO.
So fare they—the Man serving as her Slave.
AFTER LEAVING ITALY.
ETERNAL Lord! eased of a cumbrous load,
Fair Land! Thee all men greet with joy; how few,
AMONG THE RUINS OF A CONVENT IN THE APENNINES.
Altars that piety neglects ;
Which no devotion now respects;
Ye, too, wild Flowers ! that no one heeds,
As indignation mastered grief, my tongue
See, where his difficult way that Old Man wins
COMPOSED AT RYDAL ON MAY MORNING, 1838. IF with old love of you, dear Hills ! I share New love of many a rival image brought From far, forgive the wanderings of my thought : Nor art thou wronged, sweet May! when I compare Thy present birth-morn with thy last, so fair, So rich to me in favours. For my lot Then was, within the famed Egerian Grot To sit and muse, fanned by its dewy air
Mingling with thy soft breath! That morning too, In the delight of moral prudence schooled,
How feelingly at home the Sovereign ruled; Amid the sunny, shadowy, Colyseum ;
Best of the good—in pagan faith allied
Memorial Pillar! 'mid the wrecks of Time
By apter pencil, from the light had flown.
A Pontiff, Trajan here the Gods implores,
There greets an Embassy from Indian shores ; WHERE towers are crushed, and unforbidden weeds
Lo! he harangues his cohortsthere the storm O'er mutilated arches shed their seeds;
Of battle meets him in authentic form! And temples, doomed to milder change, unfold
Unharnessed, naked, troops of Moorish horse A new magnificence that vies with old;
Sweep to the charge; more high, the Dacian force, Firm in its pristine majesty hath stood
To hoof and finger mailed ;-yet, high or low, A votive Column, spared by fire and flood:
None bleed, and none lie prostrate but the foe; And, though the passions of man's fretful race
In every Roman, through all turns of fate,
Spirit in him pre-eminent, who guides,
Supports, adorns, and over all presides ; Or aught in Syrian deserts left to save
Distinguished only by inherent state From death the memory of the good and brave. From honoured Instruments that round him wait; Historic figures round the shaft embost
Rise as he may, his grandeur scorns the test Ascend, with lineaments in air not lost :
Of outward symbol, nor will deign to rest Still as he turns, the charmed spectator sees On aught by which another is deprest. Group winding after group with dream-like ease ;
-Alas! that One thus disciplined could toil Triumphs in sunbright gratitude displayed,
To enslave whole nations on their native soil ; Or softly stealing into modest shade.
So emulous of Macedonian fame, -So, pleased with purple clusters to entwine
That, when his age was measured with his aim, Some lofty elm-tree, mounts the daring vine;
He drooped, ʼmid else unclouded victories, The woodbine so, with spiral grace, and breathes And turned his eagles back with deep-drawn sighs: Wide-spreading odours from her flowery wreaths.
O weakness of the Great! O folly of the Wise!
Borne by the Muse from rills in shepherds' ears Where now the haughty Empire that was spread Murmuring but one smooth story for all years, With such fond hope ? her very speech is dead; I gladly commune with the mind and heart Yet glorious Art the power of Time defies, Of him who thus survives by classic art,
And Trajan still, through various enterprise, His actions witness, venerate his mien,
Mounts, in this fine illusion, toward the skies : And study Trajan as by Pliny seen;
Still are we present with the imperial Chief, Behold how fought the Chief whose conquering Nor cease to gaze upon the bold Relief sword
Till Rome, to silent marble unconfined, Stretched far as earth might own a single lord ; Becomes with all her years a vision of the Mind.