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The Apennines: Florence. Apostrophe to Italy; illustrious men
Fiesole: Apostrophe to Nature: to the Air. The Vale of Amo, and
If thouwert aught, Time-hallowed phantom, Muse! Save the creation of immortal mind, Here, throned apart, thy temple would'st thou choose: Oli ! never on Parnassus' heights enshrined, 'Mid Ida's woods, or Delphic shades reclined, Was a sublimer, worthier Altar thine Than where I stand, companion of the Wind, Cloud-folded on the stormy Apennine !— Than where I feel thee linked with Nature's life and mine.
Else, wherefore, Vision of the Soul! wert thou Embodied ever from mankind apart, Throned on the mountain's heaven-encircled brow? Save that the Poet felt thou wert and art From Nature's forms created by the heart: The crag, the cloud, the spirit-stirring Air! All elements that kindred Power impart; Thou, who her gentler communings would'st share, The vale, or brooklet seek, and thou shalt find her there!
Stand—for unseen beneath a world lies shrouded: An upper and a nether heaven; behold Above—the boundless azure spreads unclouded: Beneath—the mists voluminous enrolled In wave-like ridges, fold enwrapped o'er fold: Now, broken, feathering up the mountain's side In billowy wreaths of gusty vapour rolled; Now, through its yawning gorges spreading wide, Like smoke whose eddying palls those rocky cauldrons hide;
IV. Upwards from their all-fathomless chasms seething As from the Abyss of Hell! lo, dimly seen, Hung round their sides the blasted pines stretch
wreathing Their arms with a forlorn and witch-like mien; Above—beneath—the Quiet how serene! The Motion and the Silence ! the bright Sun Casting o'er yon cloud-waves its dazzling sheen; A solemn Sea ! still fluctuating on, As heaved the waves o'er earth ere yet from Chaos won.
Lo, Life's true isthmus, thou who standest here, Rising between the two eternities; The infinite of yonder azure sphere: The floating Ocean of the Cloud that lies Beneath thee, and the world o'ercanopies: Thou, the sole link between that earth and heaven; How thy grand isolation magnifies Thy spirit to the mighty Vision given! Away, each lowlier thought, each earthlicr memory driven.
Hark—on the air the Goatherd's simple bell!
Lo, the Wind entering yon cloudy Oceau,