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BRook and road Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy pass, And with them did we journey several hours At a slow step. The immeasurable height of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls, And in the narrow rent, at every turn, Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Back drizzling crags that spake by the wayside As if a voice were in them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens, Timult and peace, the darkness and the light— Where all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree, Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, 0 first, and last, and midst, and without end.
Han this effulgence disappeared
Sooner transport, purer love,
Of beamy radiance, that imbues,
And if there be whom broken ties
Such hues from their celestial Urn
* The multiplication of mountain-ridges described at the commencement of the third Stanza of this Ode, as a kind of Jacob's Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or sunny haze;—in the present instance by the latter cause. Allusions to the Ode, entitled ‘Intimations of Immortality,' pervade the last stanza of the foregoing Poem.
t In these lines I am under obligation to the exquisite picture of “Jacob's Dream,” by Mr. Allston, now in America. It is pleasant to make this public acknowledgment to a man of genius, whom I have the honour to rank among my friends.
Dread Power whom peace and calmness serve
TO THE C L OU DS.
ARMY of Clouds: ye wingéd Host in troops
The lingering world, when time hath ceased to be.
Luminous or gloomy, welcome to the vale
A humble walk Here is my body doomed to tread, this path, A little hoary line and faintly traced, Work, shall we call it, of the shepherd's foot Or of his flock 4–joint vestige of them both. I pace it unrepining, for my thoughts Admit no bondage and my words have wings. Where is the Orphean lyre, or Druid harp, | To accompany the verse? The mountain blast Shall be our hand of music; he shall sweep The rocks, and quivering trees, and billowy lake, | And search the fibres of the caves, and they | Shall answer, for our song is of the clouds And the wind loves them; and the gentle gales— Which by their aid re-clothe the naked lawn With annual verdure, and revive the woods, And moisten the parched lips of thirsty flowers— Love them; and every idle breeze of air Bends to the favourite burthen. Moon and stars Keep their most solemn vigils when the clouds Watch also, shifting peaceably their place Like bands of ministering spirits, or when they lie, As if some Protean art the change had wrought, In listless quiet o'er the ethereal deep Scattered, a Cyclades of various shapes And all degrees of beauty. O ye lightnings: Ye are their perilous offspring; and the sunSource inexhaustible of life and joy, And type of man's far-darting reason, therefore In old time worshipped as the god of verse, A blazing intellectual deity— Loves his own glory in their looks, and showers Upon that unsubstantial brotherhood Visions with all but beatific light Enriched — too transient were they not renewed From age to age, and did not while we gaze In silent rapture, credulous desire Nourish the hope that memory lacks not power To keep the treasure unimpaired. Vain thought Yet why repine, created as we are For joy and rest, albeit to find them only | Lodged in the bosom of eternal things”
The Ear addressed, as occupied by a spiritual functionary, in rommunion with sounds, individual, or combined in studied annony. —Sources and effects of those sounds (to the close of fill Stania),—The power of music, whence proceeding, exemshird in the idiot—Origin of music, and its effect in early *-how produced (to the middle of 10th Stanza). —The mid recalled to sounds acting casually and severally.—Wish *ddlth Stanza) that these could be united into a scheme **tem for moral interests and intellectual contemplation.— Sanza 12th) The Pythagorean theory of numbers and music, with their supposed power over the motions of the universe— *** *nant with such a theory.—wish expressed on Ilh Sanza) realized, in some degree, by the representhon of all sounds under the form of thanksgiving to the Creator. -*Santa, the destruction of earth and the planetary syson-the survival of audible harmony, and its support in the Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ.
3. Ye Voices, and ye Shadows, And Images of voice—to hound and horn From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, reborn, On with your pastime till the church-tower bells A greeting give of measured glee 3. And milder echoes from their cells Repeat the bridal symphony. Then, or far earlier, let us rove Where mists are breaking up or gone, And from aloft look down into a cove Besprinkled with a careless quire, Happy Milk-maids, one by one Scattering a ditty each to her desire, A liquid concert matchless by nice Art, A stream as if from one full heart.
4. Blest be the song that brightens The blind Man's gloom, exalts the Veteran's mirth. Unscorned the Peasant's whistling breath, that lightens His duteous toil of firrowing the green earth. For the tired Slave, Song lists the languid oar, And bids it aptly fall, with chime That beautifics the fairest shore, And mitigates the harshest clime. Yon Pilgrims see— in lagging file They move; but soon the appointed way A choral Ave Marie shall beguile, And to their hope the distant shrine Glisten with a livelier ray: Nor friendless He, the Prisoner of the Mine, Who from the well-spring of his own clear breast Can draw, and sing his griefs to rest.
5. When civic renovation Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste Best eloquence avails not, Inspiration Mounts with a tune, that travels like a blast Piping through cave and battlemented tower; Then starts the Sluggard, pleased to meet That voice of Freedom, in its power Of promises, shrill, wild, and sweet! Who, from a martial pageant, spreads Incitements of a battle-day, Thrilling the unweaponed crowd with plumeless heads, Even She whose Lydian airs inspire Peaceful striving, gentle play Of timid hope and innocent desire Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move Fanned by the plausive wings of Love.
How oft along thy mazes,
O Thou, through whom the Temple rings with praises,
7. As Conscience, to the centre Of Being, smites with irresistible pain, So shall a solemn cadence, if it enter The mouldy vaults of the dull Idiot's brain, Transmute him to a wretch from quiet hurled – Convulsed as by a jarring din; And then aghast, as at the world Of reason partially let in By concords winding with a sway Terrible for sense and soul . Or, awed he weeps, struggling to quell dismay. Point not these mysteries to an Art Lodged above the starry pole; Pure modulations flowing from the heart Of divine Love, where Wisdom, Beauty, Truth, With Order dwell, in endless youth 3
8. Oblivion may not cover All treasures hoarded by the Miser, Time. Orphean Insight! Truth's undaunted Lover, To the first leagues of tutored passion climb, When Music deigned within this grosser sphere Her subtle essence to enfold, And Voice and Shell drew forth a tear Softer than Nature's self could mould. Yet strenuous was the infant Age: Art, daring because souls could feel, Stirred nowhere but an urgent equipage Of rapt imagination sped her march Through the realms of woe and weal: Hell to the lyre bowed low; the upper arch Rejoiced that clamorous spell and magic verse Her wan disasters could disperse.
9. The Girt to King Amphion That walled a city with its melody Was for belief no dream; thy skill, Arion: Could humanise the creatures of the sea, Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves, Leave for one chant; — the dulcet sound Steals from the deck o'er willing waves,
And listening Dolphins gather round.
The pipe of Pan, to Shepherds
For terror, joy, or pity,
By one pervading Spirit