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The louder curses of despairing death,
Ascended not so high. Down from the cave
Pelayo hastes, the Asturians hasten down,
Fierce and immitigable down they speed
On all sides, and along the vale of blood
The avenging sword did mercy's work that hour.
COLERIDGE. Few writers have been the subject of such unmeasured praise and unmerited censure, as SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. It must, indeed, be confessed that some of his works are unworthy of his fame and his wondrous powers of mind; but all of them display a gigantic power of imagination, and a wonderful command of language. To him truly belong the “thoughts that breathe and words that burn." He died at Highgate, July 25th, 1834. HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNY'.
Hast thou a charm to stay the Morning-star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc?!
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form !
Risest from forth the silent Sea of Pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
o dread and silent mount ! 'I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy:
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused
Into the mighty vision passing-then,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn!
Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink:
Companion of the Morning-star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald: wake, wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shattered, and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?
Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty Voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! Silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen, full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds;
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !
Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks, Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast
Thou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou
That, as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow travelling, with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me,-Rise, O ever rise,
Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth!
Thou kingly Spirit, throned among the hills,
Thou dread Ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great Hierarché! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
MARK this holy chapel well!
The birth-place, this, of William Tells.
Here, where stands God's altar dread,
Stood his parents' marriage-bed.
Here first, an infant to her breast,
Him his loving mother prest;
And kissed the babe, and blessed the day,
And prayed, as mothers use to pray:
“ Vouchsafe him health, O God, and give
The child, thy servant, still to live!"
But God had destined to do more
Through him, than through an armed power.
God gave him reverence of laws,
Yet stirring blood in Freedom's cause
A spirit to his rocks akin,-
eye of the hawk, and the fire therein!
To Nature and to Holy Writ
Alone did God the boy commit:
Where flashed and roared the torrent oft
His soul found wings and soared aloft!
The straining oar and chamois' chase
Had formed his limbs to strength and grace:
On wave and wind the boy would toss,
Was great, nor knew how great he was!
He knew not that his chosen hand,
Made strong by God, his native land
Would rescue from the shameful yoke
-the which he broke!
The night is chill; the forest bare ;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek ;
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
THE DISSOLUTION OF FRIENDSHIP. Alas! they had been friends in youth: But whispering tongues can poison truth; And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain:
And to be wroth with one we love,
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother:
They parted—ne'er to meet again!
Bnt never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining;
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder:
A dreary sea now flows between.
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, LIKE his late friend COLERIDGE, has been the subject of extravagant praise and censure. The former may be justified by the exquisite fidelity with which he depicts natural scenery, the simple tenderness of his appeals to the heart, the noble philanthropy he inculcates, and the truly devout morality he teaches. The censure is wholly without excuse. In his dislike of artificial beauty, he may sometimes have written in a style too plain and simple ; but cold must be the heart that could blame a bard, whose every line shows him to possess all the affections of an amiable man, and all the benevolence of a sincere Christian.
LAMENT OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS,
ON THE EVE OF A NEW YEAR.
“ SMILE of the moon! for so I name
That silent greeting from above;
A gentle flash of light that came
From her whom drooping captives love!
Or art thou of still higher birth!
Thou that didst part the clouds of earth,
My torpor to reprove!
“ Bright boon of pitying heaven-alas!
I may not trust thy placid cheer!
Pondering that time to-night will pass
The threshold of another year;
For years to me are sad and dull;
My very moments are too full
Of hopelessness and fear.
“And yet, the soul-awakening gleam,
That struck perchance the farthest cone
Of Scotland's rocky wilds did seem
To visit me, and me alone ;
Me, unapproached by any friend,
Save those who to my sorrows lend
Tears due unto their own.
“ To-night, the church-tower bells will ring
Through these wide realms a festive peal;
To the new year a welcoming!
A tuneful offering for the weal
Of happy millions lulled in sleep;
While I am forced to watch and weep,
By wounds that may not heal.
“ Bom all too high, by wedlock raised
Still higher—to be cast thus low!
Would that mine eyes had never gazed
On aught of more ambitious show