« AnteriorContinuar »
Take away the lights, too;
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
THEY were right, those old German Min
breezy country air, dashed with brine from nesingers, - to sing the pleasant summer-time! the meadows! how pleasant, above all, the What a time it is! How June stands illumi- flowers, — the manifold, beautiful flowers ! nated in the calendar! The windows are all It is no longer day. Through the trees wide open; only the Venetian blinds closed. rises the red moon, and the stars are scarcely Here and there a long streak of sunshine
In the vast shadow of night, the coolstreams in through a crevice. We hear the ness and the dews descend.
I sit at the open low sound of the wind among the trees; and, window to enjoy them; and hear only the as it swells and freshens, the distant doors clap voice of the summer wind. Like black hulks, to, with a sudden sound. The trees are heavy the shadows of the great trees ride at anchor with leaves; and the gardens full of blossoms, on the billowy sea of grass. I cannot see the red and white. The whole atmosphere is laden red and blue flowers, but I know that they are with perfume and sunshine. The birds sing. there. Far away in the meadow gleams the The cock struts about, and crows loftily. In- silver Charles, The tramp of horses' hoofs sects chirp in the grass.
Yellow buttercups sounds from the wooden bridge. Then all is stud the green carpet like golden buttons, and still, save the continuous wind of the summer the red blossoms of the clover like rubies. The night. Sometimes I know not if it be the elm-trees reach their long, pendulous branches wind, or the sound of the neighboring sea. almost to the ground. White clouds sail The village clock strikes; and I feel that I am aloft; and vapors fret the blue sky with silver not alone. threads. The white village gleams afar against How different is it in the city! It is late, the dark hills. Through the meadow winds and the crowd is gone. You step out upon the the river, - careless, indolent. It seems to balcony, and lie in the very bosom of the cool, love the country, and is in no haste to reach dewy Night, as if you folded her garments
The bee only is at work, — the hot about you. Beneath lies the public walk with and angry bee. All things else are at play ; trees, like a fathomless, black gulf, into whose he never plays, and is vexed that any one silent darkness the spirit plunges and floats should.
with some beloved spirit clasped in its People drive out from town to breathe, and embrace. The lamps are still burning up and to be happy. Most of them have flowers in down the long street. People go by, with grotheir hands ; bunches of apple-blossoms, and tesque shadows, now foreshortened, and now still oftener lilacs. Ye denizens of the crowded lengthening away into the darkness and vancity, how pleasant to you is the change from ishing, while a new one springs up behind the the sultry streets to the open field, fragrant walker, and seems to pass him, revolving like with clover-blossoms ! how pleasant the fresh, the sail of a windmill. The iron gates of the
“Come, golden Evening ! in the west
Enthrone the storm-dispelling sun, And let the triple rainbow rest
O’er all the mountain-tops. 'T is done;The tempest ceases; bold and bright,
The rainbow shoots from hill to hill; Down sinks the sun; on presses night; –
Mont Blanc is lovely still !
I breathe again, I freely breathe;
There take thy stand, my spirit; — spread
The world of shadows at thy feet; And mark how calmly, overhead,
The stars, like saints in glory, meet. While hid in solitude sublime,
Methinks I muse on Nature's tomb, And hear the passing foot of Time
Step through the silent gloom.
All in a moment, crash on crash,
From precipice to precipice,
Thee, Leman's Lake, once more I trace, Like Dian's crescent far beneath,
As beautiful as Dian's face:
All that thy waves reflect I love,
Looks fairer than above.
Safe on thy banks again I stray;
The trance of poesy is o’er, And I am here at dawn of day,
Gazing on mountains as before, Where all the strange mutations wrought
Were magic feats of my own mind; For, in that fairy land of thought,
Whate'er I seek, I find.” 1
1 James Montgomery.
TELL me, my soul, why art thou restless ? Why dost thou look forward to the future with such strong desire? The present is thine, — and the past; - and the future shall be! Oh that thou didst look forward to the great hereafter with half the longing wherewith thou longest for an earthly future, — which a few days, at most, will bring thee! to the meeting of the dead, as to the meeting of the absent ! Thou glorious spirit-land! Oh that I could behold thee as thou art, — the region of life and light and love, and the dwelling-place of those beloved ones whose being has flowed onward, like a silver-clear stream into the solemnsounding main, into the ocean of Eternity !
Such were the thoughts that passed through the soul of Flemming, as he lay in utter solitude and silence on the rounded summit of one of the mountains of the Furca Pass, and gazed, with tears in his eyes, and ardent longing in his heart, into the blue, swimming heaven overhead, and at the glaciers and snowy mountain-peaks around him. Highest and whitest of all stood the peak of the Jungfrau, which seemed near him, though it rose afar off from the bosom of the Lauterbrunner Thal. There it stood, holy and high and pure, the bride of heaven, veiled and clothed in white, and lifting the thoughts of the beholder heavenward. Oh, he little thought then, as he gazed at it with longing and delight, how soon a form was to arise in his own soul, as holy and high and pure as this, and like this point heavenward !
Thus lay the traveller on the mountain summit, reposing his weary limbs on the short, brown grass, which more resembled moss than grass. He had sent his guide forward, that he might be alone. His soul within him was wild with a fierce and painful delight. The mountain air excited him ; the mountain solitudes enticed, yet maddened him. Every peak, every sharp, jagged iceberg, seemed to pierce him. The silence was awful and sublime. It was
like that in the soul of a dying man, when he hears no more the sounds of earth. He seemed to be laying aside his earthly garments. The heavens were near unto him; but between him and heaven every evil deed he had done arose gigantic, like those mountain-peaks, and breathed an icy breath upon him. Oh, let not the soul that suffers dare to look Nature in the face, where she sits majestically aloft in the solitude of the mountains ! for her face is hard and stern, and turns not in compassion upon her weak and erring child. It is the countenance of an accusing archangel, who summons us to judgment. In the valley she wears the countenance of a Virgin Mother, looking at us with tearful eyes, and a face of pity and love !
But yesterday Flemming had come up the valley of the Saint Gothard Pass, through Amsteg, where the Kerstelenbach comes dashing down the Maderaner Thal, from its snowy cradle overhead. The road is steep, and runs on zigzag terraces. The sides of the mountains are barren cliffs; and from their cloudcapt summits, unheard amid the roar of the great torrent below, come streams of snowwhite foam, leaping from rock to rock, like the mountain chamois. As you advance, the scene grows wilder and more desolate. There is not a tree in sight, not a human habitation. Clouds, black as midnight, lower upon you from the ravines above; and the mountain torrent beneath is but a sheet of foam, and sends up an incessant roar. A sudden turn in the road brings you in sight of a lofty bridge, stepping from cliff to cliff with a single stride. A mighty cataract howls beneath it, like an evil spirit, and fills the air with mist; and the mountain wind claps its hands and shrieks through the narrow pass, Ha! ha! This is the Devil's Bridge. It leads the traveller across the fearful chasm, and through a mountain gallery into the broad, green, silent meadow of Andermath.