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Where'er was dipped the toiling oar,

The waves danced round us as before,

As lightly, though of altered hue, 15

'Mid recent coolness, such as falls

At noontide from umbrageous walls

That screen the morning dew.

No vapour stretched its wings; no cloud

Cast far or near a murky shroud; 20

The sky an azure field displayed;

'Twas sunlight sheathed and gently charmed,

Of all its sparkling rays disarmed,

And as in slumber laid,—

Or something night and day between, 25

Like moonshine—but the hue was green;
Still moonshine, without shadow, spread
On jutting rock, and curved shore,
Where gazed the peasant from his door
And on the mountain's head. 30

It tinged the Julian steeps—it lay,

Lugano! on thy ample bay;

The solemnising veil was drawn

O'er villas, terraces, and towers;

To Albogasio's olive bowers, 35

Porlezza's verdant lawn.

But Fancy with the speed of fire

Hath past to Milan's loftiest spire,

And there alights 'mid that aerial host

Of Figures human and divine,1 40

White as the snows of Apennine

Indurated by frost.

Awe-stricken she beholds the array
That guards the Temple night and day;

1 See Note.

Angels she sees—that might from heaven have
flown, 45

And Virgin-saints, who not in vain
Have striven by purity to gain
The beatific crown—

Sees long-drawn files, concentric rings

Each narrowing above each;—the wings, 50

The uplifted palms, the silent marble lips

The starry zone of sovereign height1

All steeped in this portentous light!

All suffering dim eclipse!

Thus after Man had fallen (if aught 55

These perishable spheres have wrought

May with that issue be compared)

Throngs of celestial visages,

Darkening like water in the breeze,

A holy sadness shared. 60

Lo! while I speak, the labouring Sun

His glad deliverance has begun:

The cypress waves her sombre plume

More cheerily; and town and tower,

The vineyard and the olive-bower, 65

Their lustre re-assume!

O Te, who guard and grace my home

While in far-distant lands we roam,

What countenance hath this Day put on for

While we looked round with favoured eyes, 70
Did sullen mists hide lake and skies
And mountains from your view?

Or was it given you to behold

Like vision, pensive though not cold, 74

1 Above the highest circle of figures is a zone of metallic stars.

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From the smooth breast of gay Winandermere?
Saw ye the soft yet awful veil
Spread over Grasmere's lovely dale,
Helvellyn's brow severe?

I ask in vain—and know far less

If sickness, sorrow, or distress 80

Have spared my Dwelling to this hour;

Sad blindness! but ordained to prove

Our faith in Heaven's unfailing love

And all-controlling power.



How blest the Maid whose heart—yet free
From Love's uneasy sovereignty—
Beats with a fancy running high,
Her simple cares to magnify;
Whom Labour, never urged to toil, 5

Hath cherished on a healthful soil;
Who knows not pomp, who heeds not pelf;
Whose heaviest sin it is to look
Askance upon her pretty Self
Reflected in some crystal brook; 10

Whom grief hath spared—who sheds no tear
But in sweet pity; and can hear
Another's praise from envy clear.

11. Such (but O lavish Nature! why That dark unfathomable eye, 15

Where lurks a Spirit that replies
To stillest mood of softest skies,
Yet hints at peace to be o'erthrown,
Another's first, and then her own ?)

Such, haply, yon Italian Maid, *o

Our Lady's laggard Votaress,
Halting beneath the chestnut shade
To accomplish there her loveliness:
Nice aid maternal fingers lend;
A Sister serves with slacker hand; 25

Then, glittering like a star, she joins the festal band.


How blest (if truth may entertain

Coy fancy with a bolder strain)

The Helvetian Girl—who daily braves,

In her light skiff, the tossing waves, 30

And quits the bosom of the deep

Only to climb the rugged steep!

—Say whence that modulated shout!

From Wood-nymph of Diana's throng?

Or does the greeting to a rout 35

Of giddy Bacchanals belong?

Jubilant outcry! rock and glade

Resounded—but the voice obeyed

The breath of an Helvetian Maid.

rv. Her beauty dazzles the thick wood; 40

Her courage animates the flood;
Her steps the elastic green-sward meets «
Returning unreluctant sweets;
The mountains (as ye heard) rejoice
Aloud, saluted by her voice! 45

Blithe Paragon of Alpine grace,
Be as thou art—for through thy veins
The blood of Heroes runs its race!
And nobly wilt thou brook the chains
That, for the virtuous, Life prepares; 50

The fetters which the Matron wears;
The patriot Mother's weight of anxious cares!


"Sweet Highland Girl!' a very shower

Of beauty was thy earthly dower,"

When thou didst flit before mine eyes, 55

Gay vision under sullen skies,

While Hope and Love around thee played,

Near the rough Falls of Inversneyd!

Have they, who nursed the blossom, seen,

No breach of promise in the fruit? 60

Was joy, in following joy, as keen

As grief can be in griefs pursuit?

When youth had flown did hope still bless

Thy goings—or the cheerfulness

Of innocence survive to mitigate distress? 65


But from our course why turn—to tread
A way with shadows overspread;
Where what we gladliest would believe
Is feared as what may most deceive?
Bright Spirit, not with amaranth crowned 70
But heath-bells from thy native ground,
Time cannot thin thy flowing hair,
Nor take one ray of light from Thee;
Tor in my Fancy thou dost share
The gift of immortality; 75

And there shall bloom, with Thee allied,
Tha Votaress by Lugano's side;
And that intrepid Nymph, on XJri's steep



Ambition — following down this far-famed slope 1 See address to a Highland GirI. P. 83.

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