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SKETCH OF THE ALPS
The sun--beams streak the azure skies,
And line with light the mountain's brow:
With hounds and horns the hunters rise,
And chase the roebuck thro' the snow.
From rock to rock, with giant-bound,
High on their iron poles they pass;
Mute, lest the air, convuls'd by sound,
Rend from above a frozen mass. *
* There are passes in the Alps, where the guides tell you to move on with speed, and say nothing, lest the agitation of the air should loosen the snows above. Gray, sect. v. let. 4.
The goats wind slow their wonted way,
Up craggy steeps and ridges rude;
Mark'd by the wild wolf for his prey,
From désert cave or hanging wood.
And while the torrent thunders loud,
And as the echoing cliffs reply,
The huts peep o'er the morning-cloud,
Perch'd, like an eagle's nest, on high.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
With my lov'd lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danc'd in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay
Sung in the silent green-wood shade;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.