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XIII.

NEAR THE SAME LAKE.

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XIV.

For see, Laverna! mark the far-famed Pile,
High on the brink of that precipitous rock,
Implanted like a Fortress, as in truth

It is, a Christian Fortress, garrisoned
For action born, existing to be tried,

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
But who is He !—the Conqueror. Would he force

Stringent as flesh can tolerate and live;
His way to Rome? Ah, no,-round hill and plain His milder Genius (thanks to the good God
Wandering, he haunts, at fancy's strong command, That made us) over those severe restraints
This spot—his shadowy death-cup in his hand.

Of mind, that dread heart-freezing discipline,
Doth sometimes here predominate, and works
By unsought means for gracious purposes ;
For earth through heaven, for heaven, by changeful

earth,

Illustrated, and mutually endeared.
THE CUCKOO AT LAVERNA.
MAY 25TH, 1837.

Rapt though He were above the power of sense,
List—'twas the Cuckoo.-0 with what delight Familiarly, yet out of the cleansed heart
Heard I that voice! and catch it now, though faint, Of that once sinful Being overflowed
Far off and faint, and melting into air,

On sun, moon, stars, the nether elements,
Yet not to be mistaken. Hark again!

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
From vale to hill, from hill to vale led on,

Humane, and virtue of his innocent life)
We have pursued, through various lands, a long He wont to hold companionship so free,
And pleasant course ; flower after flower has blown, So pure, so fraught with knowledge and delight,
Embellishing the ground that gave them birth As to be likened in his Followers' minds
With aspects novel to my sight; but still

To that which our first Parents, ere the fall
Most fair, most welcome, when they drank the dew From their high state darkened the Earth with fear,
In a sweet fellowship with kinds beloved,

Held with all kinds in Eden's blissful bowers.
For old remembrance sake. And oft—where Spring
Display'd her richest blossoms among files

Then question not that, ʼmid the austere Band,
Of orange-trees bedecked with glowing fruit Who breathe the air he breathed, tread where he trod,
Ripe for the hand, or under a thick shade

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,
Oft have I heard the Nightingale and Thrush Of a baptized imagination, prompt
Blending as in a common English grove

To catch from Nature's humblest monitors
Their love-songs; but, where'er my feet mightroam, Whate'er they bring of impulses sublime.
Whate'er assemblages of new and old,
Strange and familiar, might beguile the way, Thus sensitive must be the Monk, though pale
A gratulation from that vagrant Voice

With fasts, with vigils worn, depressed by years,
Was wanting;—and most happily till now. Whom in a sunny glade I chanced to see,

XVI.

CONTINUED.

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.
By the joint pressure of his musing mood
And habit of his vow. That ancient Man-
Nor haply less the Brother whom I marked,
As we approached the Convent gate, aloft

The world forsaken, all its busy cares
Looking far forth from his aerial cell,

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,
Revive, their obstinate winter pass away,

Give him a soul that cleaveth unto thee *.
That awful name to Thee, thee, simple Cuckoo,
Wandering in solitude, and evermore
Foretelling and proclaiming, ere thou leave
This thy last haunt beneath Italian skies

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.

XVII.

AT THE EREMITE OR UPPER CONVENT OF CAMALDOLI.

XV.

XVIII.

AT THE CONVENT OF CAMALDOLI.

AT VALLOMBROSA.

Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd embower [.

PARADISE Lost.

Grieve for the Man who hither came bereft,
And seeking consolation from above;
Nor grieve the less that skill to him was left
To paint this picture of his lady-love:
Can she, a blessed saint, the work approve?
And 0, good Brethren of the cowl, a thing
So fair, to which with peril he must cling,
Destroy in pity, or with care remove.
That bloom—those eyes can they assist to bind
Thoughts that would stray from Heaven? The

“ VALLOMBROSA-I longed in thy shadiest wood
To slumber, reclined on the moss-covered floor !"
Fond wish that was granted at last, and the Flood,
That lulled me asleep, bids me listen once more.

dream must cease

* See Note.

+ See note. # See for the two first lines, “Stanzas composed in the Simplon Pass,"

XIX.

AT FLORENCE.

XX.

Its murmur how soft! as it falls down the steep,
Near that Cell-yon sequestered Retreat high in

air-
Where our Milton was wont lonely vigils to keep UNDER the shadow of a stately Pile,
For converse with God, sought through study and The dome of Florence, pensive and alone,
prayer.

Nor giving heed to aught that passed the while,
I stood, and gazed upon a marble stone,

The laurelled Dante's favourite seat. A throne,
The Monks still repeat the tradition with pride,
And its truth who shall doubt? for his Spirit is In just esteem, it rivals ; though no style

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.

Place
Where, if Sin had not entered, Love never had died.

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.
To the Fountain whence Time and Eternity flow.

Thus, if from two fair eyes mine cannot turn,
I feel how in their presence doth abide
Light which to God is both the way and guide ;
And, kindling at their lustre, if I burn,
My noble fire emits the joyful ray
That through the realms of glory shines for aye.

XXI.

AT FLORENCE.FROM MICHAEL ANGELO.

XXII.

AT FLORENCE. — FROM M. ANGELO.

So fare they—the Man serving as her Slave.
Ere long their fates do each to each conform :
Both pass into new being,—but the Worm,
Transfigured, sinks into a hopeless grave;
His volant Spirit will, he trusts, ascend
To bliss unbounded, glory without end.

XXV.

AFTER LEAVING ITALY.

ETERNAL Lord! eased of a cumbrous load,
And loosened from the world, I turn to Thee;
Shun, like a shattered bark, the storm, and flee
To thy protection for a safe abode.
The crown of thorns, hands pierced upon the tree,
The meek, benign, and lacerated face,
To a sincere repentance promise grace,
To the sad soul give hope of pardon free.
With justice mark not Thou, O Light divine,
My fault, nor hear it with thy sacred ear;
Neither put forth that way thy arm severe;
Wash with thy blood my sins; thereto incline
More readily the more my years require
Help, and forgiveness speedy and entire.

Fair Land! Thee all men greet with joy; how few,
Whose souls take pride in freedom, virtue, fame,
Part from thee without pity dyed in shame :
I could not—while from Venice we withdrew,
Led on till an Alpine strait confined our view
Within its depths, and to the shore we came
Of Lago Morto, dreary sight and name,
Which o'er sad thoughts a sadder colouring threw.
Italia ! on the surface of thy spirit,
(Too aptly emblemed by that torpid lake)
Shall a few partial breezes only creep?-
Be its depths quickened; what thou dost inherit
Of the world's hopes, dare to fulfil; awake,
Mother of Heroes, from thy death-like sleep!

XXIII.

XXVI.

AMONG THE RUINS OF A CONVENT IN THE APENNINES.
Ye Trees! whose slender roots entwine

Altars that piety neglects ;
Whose infant arms enclasp the shrine

Which no devotion now respects;
If not a straggler from the herd
Here ruminate, nor shrouded bird,
Chanting her low-voiced hymn, take pride
In aught that ye would grace or hide-
How sadly is your love misplaced,
Fair Trees, your bounty run to waste !

CONTINUED.

Ye, too, wild Flowers ! that no one heeds,
And ye—full often spurned as weeds
In beauty clothed, or breathing sweetness
From fractured arch and mouldering wall —
Do but more touchingly recal
Man's headstrong violence and Time's fleetness,
Making the precincts ye adorn
Appear to sight still more forlorn.

As indignation mastered grief, my tongue
Spake bitter words; words that did ill agree
With those rich stores of Nature's imagery,
And divine Art, that fast to memory clung-
Thy gifts, magnificent Region, ever young
In the sun's eye, and in his sister's sight
How beautiful! how worthy to be sung
In strains of rapture, or subdued delight!
I feign not; witness that unwelcome shock
That followed the first sound of German speech,
Caught the far-winding barrier Alps among.
In that announcement, greeting seemed to mock
Parting; the casual word had power to reach
My heart, and filled that heart with conflict strong.

XXIV.

XXVII.

IN LOMBARDY.

See, where his difficult way that Old Man wins
Bent by a load of Mulberry leaves !--most hard
Appears his lot, to the small Worm's compared,
For whom his toil with early day begins.
Acknowledging no task-master, at will
(As if her labour and her ease were twins)
She seems to work, at pleasure to lie still ;-
And softly sleeps within the thread she spins.

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

XXVIII.

Mingling with thy soft breath! That morning too, In the delight of moral prudence schooled,
Warblers I heard their joy unbosoming

How feelingly at home the Sovereign ruled; Amid the sunny, shadowy, Colyseum ;

Best of the good—in pagan faith allied
Heard them, unchecked by aught of saddening hue, To more than Man, by virtue deified.
For victories there won by flower-crowned Spring,
Chant in full choir their innocent Te Deum.

Memorial Pillar! 'mid the wrecks of Time
Preserve thy charge with confidence sublime-
The exultations, pomps, and cares of Rome,
Whence half the breathing world received its doom;
Things that recoil from language; that, if shown

By apter pencil, from the light had flown.
THE PILLAR OF TRAJAN.

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,
Have never ceased to eddy round its base, Is Roman dignity in violate;
Not injured more by touch of meddling hands

Spirit in him pre-eminent, who guides,
Than a lone obelisk, ʼmid Nubian sands,

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.

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