Зображення сторінки

The depths of that green solitude

Its torrents could not tame, Though stillness lay, with eve's last smile, Round those calm fountains of the Nile.

Night came with stars :across his soul

There swept a sudden change,
Ev'n at the pilgrim's glorious goal,

A shadow dark and strange,
Breath'd from the thought, so swift to fall
O’er triumph's hour_And is this all ?

No more than this !-what seem'd it now

First by that spring to stand ?
A thousand streams of lovelier flow

Bath'd his own mountain land !
Whence, far o'er waste and ocean track,
Their wild sweet voices call'd him back.

They call’d him back to many a glade,

His childhood's haunt of play, Where brightly through the beechen shade

Their waters glanc'd away ; They calld him, with their sounding waves, Back to his fathers' hills and graves.

But darkly mingling with the thought

Of each familiar scene,
Rose up a fearful vision, fraught

With all that lay between;
The Arab's lance, the desert's gloom,
The whirling sands, the red simoom!

Where was the glow of power and pride ?

The spirit born to roam ?
His weary heart within him died

With yearnings for his home;
All rainly struggling to repress
That gush of painful tenderness.

He wept—the stars of Afric's heaven

Beheld his bursting tears,
Ev'n on that spot where fate had given

The meed of toiling years.
-Oh happiness ! how far we filee
Thine own sweet paths in search of thee !*

* The arrival of Bruce at what he considered to be the source of the Nile, was followed almost immediately by feelings thus suddenly fluctuating from triumph to despondence. See his Travels in Abyssinia.


Yes, thou hast met the sun's last smile,

From the haunted hills of Rome; By many a bright Ægean isle,

Thou hast seen the billows foam :

From the silence of the Pyramid

Thou hast watch'd the solemn flow Of the Nile, that with its waters hid

The ancient realm below:

Thy heart hath burn'd as shepherds sung

Some wild and warlike strain, Where the Moorish horn once proudly rung

Through the pealing hills of Spain :

And o'er the lonely Grecian streams

Thou bast heard the laurels moan, With a sound yet murmuring in thy dreams

Of the glory that is gone.

But go thou to the pastoral vales

Of the Alpine mountains old,
If thou wouldst hear immortal tales

By the wind's deep whispers told !

Go, if thou lov'st the soil to tread,

Where man hath nobly striven, And life, like incense, hath been shed,

An offering unto Heaven.

For o'er the snows, and round the pines,

Hath swept a noble flood;
The nurture of the peasant's vines

Hath been the martyr's blood!

A spirit, stronger than the sword,

And loftier than despair,
Through all the heroic region pour’d,

Breathes in the generous air.

A memory clings to every steep

Of long-enduring faith, And the sounding streams glad record keep

Of courage unto death.

Ask of the peasant where his sires

For truth and freedom bled,
Ask, where were lit the torturing fires,

Where lay the holy dead;

And he will tell thee, all around,

On fount, and turf, and stone,
Far as the chamois' foot can bound,

Their ashes have been sown !

Go, when the sabbath bell is heard *

Up through the wilds to float,
When the dark old woods and caves are stirr'd

To gladness by the note ;

[ocr errors]

When forth, along their thousand rills,

The mountain people come,

* See “Gilly's Researches amongst the Mountains of Piedmont," for an interesting description of a sabbath day in the upper regions of the Vaudois. The inhabitants of these Protestant valleys, who, like the Swiss, repair with their flocks and herds, to the summits of the hills during the summer, are followed thither by their pastors, and at that season of the year, assembled on the sacred day, to worship in the open air.

« НазадПродовжити »