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Lxv. By a lone wall a lonelier column rears A gray and grief - worn aspect of old days, "Tis the last remnant of the wreck of years, And looks as with the wild bewilder'd gaze Of one to stone converted by amaze, Yet still with consciousness, and there it stands Making a marvel that it not decays,
When the coeval pride of human hands, Levell d 15) Aventicum, hath strew'd her subject
LXVI. And there – oh! sweet and sacred be the name!Julia the daughter, the devoted — gave Her youth to Heaven; her heart, beneath a claim Nearest to Heaven's, broke o'er a father's grave. Justice is sworn 'gainst tears, and hers would
crave The life she lived in; but the judge was just, And then she died on him she could not save.
Their tomb was simple, and without a bust, And held within their urn one mind, one heart, one dust 16).
LXVII. But these are deeds which should not pass away, And names that must not wither, though the
earth Forgets her empires with a just decay, The enslavers and the enslaved, their death and The high, the mountain-majesty of worth Should be, and shall, survivor of its woe, And from its immortality look forth
In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow 17), Imperishably pure beyond all things below.
LXVII. Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face, The mirror where the stars and mountains view The stillness of their aspect in each trace Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue:
There is too much of man here, to look through
old, Ere mingling with the herd had penn'd me in their
LXIX. To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind; All are not fit with them to stir and toil, Nor is it discontent to keep the mind Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil In the hot throng, where we become the spoil Of our infection, till too late and long We may deplore and struggle with the coil, In wretched' interchange of wrong for wrong Midst a contentious world, striving where none are strong.
Lxx. There, in a moment, we may plunge our years In fatal penitence, and in the blight Of our own soul turn all our blood to tears, And colour things to come with hues of Night; The race of life becomes a hopeless flight To those that walk 'in darkness: on the sea, The boldest steer but where their ports invite, But there are wanderers o'er Eternity Whose bark drives on and on, and anchor'd ne'er shall be.
LXXI. Is it not better, then, to be alone, And love Earth only for its earthly sake? By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone 18), Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake, Which feeds it as a mother who doth make A fair but froward infant her own care, Kissing its cries away as these awake;
Is it not better thus our lives to wear, Than join the crushing crowd, doom'd to inflict
LXXII. I life not in myself, but I become Portion of that around me; and to me High mountains are a feeling, but the hum Of human cities torture: I can see Nothing to loathe in nature, save to be A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, Class'd among creatures, when the soul can flee, And with the sky, the peak, the heaving plain Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in vain.
LXXIII. And thus I am absorb’d, and this is life: I look upon the peopled desert past, As on a place of agony and strife, Where, for some sin, to Sorrow I was cast, To act and suffer, but remount at last With a fresh pinion; which I feel to spring, Though young, yet waxing vigorous, as the blast Which it would cope with, on delighted wing, Spurning the clay.cold bonds which round our being cling
LXXIV. And when, at length, the mind shall be all free From what it hates in this degraded form, Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be Existent happier in the fly and worm, When elements to elements conform, And dust is as it should be, shall I not Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more warm?
The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each spot? Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal lot?
Lxxv. Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part Of me and of my soul, as I of them? Is not the love of these deep in my heart With a pure passion? should I not contemn All objects, if compared with these? and steem A tide of suffering, rather than forego Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm
Of those whose eyes are only turn'd below, Gazing, upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?
LXXVI. But this is not my theme; and I return To that which is immediate, and require Those who find contemplation in the urn, To look on One, whose dust was once all fire, A native of the land where I respire The clear air for a while - a passing guest, Where he became a being, whose desire Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest, The which to gain and keep, he sacrificed all rest.
LXXVII. Here the self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau, The apostle of affliction, he who threw Enchantment over passion, and from woe Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew The breath which made him wretched; yet he knew How to make madness beautiful, and cast O’er erring deeds and thoughts a heavenly hue Of words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past
which o'er them shed tears feelingly and fast.
In him existence, and o’erflowing teems
But to that gentle touch, through brain and breast Flash'd the thrillid spirit's love - devouring heat In thật absorbing sigh perchance more blest, Thau vulgar minds may be with all they seek possest 19).
LXXX. His life was one long war with self-sought foes, Or friends by him self- banish'd; for his mind Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind 'Gainst whom he raged with fury strange and
blind. But he was phrensied, wherefore, who
may know? Since cause might be which skill could never find;
But he was phrensied by disease or woe, To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reason. ing show.
LXXXI. For then he was inspired, and from him came, As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore, Those oracles which set the world in flame, Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more: Did he not this for France? which lay before Bow'd to the inborn tyranny of years? Broken and trembling to the yoke she bore,
Till by the voice of him and his compeers Roused up to too much wrath, which follows o’er.
the veil they
LXXXII. They made themselves a fearful monument ! The wreck of old opinions — things which grew, Breathed from the bird of time:
rent, And what behind it lay all earth shall view. But good with ill they also overthrew, Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild Upon the same foundation, and renew Dungeons and thrones, which the same hour
re-fill'd, As heretofore, because ambition was self-will’d.