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Page 207 - It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent.
Page 203 - Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! Ye! With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul To make these felt and feeling, well may be Things that have made me watchful ; the far roll Of your departing voices, is the knoll Of what in me is sleepless, — if I rest. But where of ye, oh tempests ! is the goal ? Are ye like those within the human breast? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest?
Page 201 - Clear, placid Leman ! thy contrasted lake," With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring. This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft me from distraction ; once I loved Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring Sounds sweet as if a Sister's voice reproved, That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
Page 202 - And this is in the night : — Most glorious night! Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be A sharer in thy fierce and far delight, — A portion of the tempest and of thee ! How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea ! And the big rain comes dancing to the earth ! And now again 'tis black, — and now, the glee Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.
Page xlix - Above me are the Alps, The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps, And throned Eternity in icy halls Of cold sublimity...
Page 202 - The sky is changed ! — and such a change ! Oh night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman ! Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder ! Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue, And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!
Page 213 - But this is not all ; the feeling with which all around Clarens, and the opposite rocks of Meillerie, is invested, is of a still higher and more comprehensive order than the mere sympathy with individual passion ; it is a sense of the existence of love in its most extended and sublime capacity, and of our own participation of its good and of its glory : it is the great principle of the universe, which is there more condensed, but not less manifested ; and of which, though knowing ourselves a part,...
Page 202 - Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way, The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand : For here, not one, but many, make their play, And fling their thunderbolts from hand to hand, Flashing and cast around : of all the band, The brightest through these parted hills hath...
Page 200 - Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted, Love was the very root of the fond rage Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed ; Itself expired, but leaving them an age...