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And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapp'd itmit fell to the ground.
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to forrow resign'd.
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile !
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
The Duchess of Devonshire.
THE PASSAGE OF
MOUNT ST. GOTHARD,
ADDRESSED TO HER CHILDREN. Mount St. Gothard is a Mountain of the Alps, and one of the
highest in Switzerland; said by some to be 17,000 Feet above the Level of the Sea, though others say it does not exceed 10,000.
plains, where three-fold harvests press the
ground, Ye climes, where genial gales incessant (weil, Where art and nature Med profusely round
Their rival wonders_Italy, farewel. Still may thy year in fullest splendor shine!
Its icy darts in yain may winter throw
To thee, a parent, fister, I consign,
And wing'd with health, I woo thy gales to blow. Yet pleas'd, Helvetia's rugged brows I fee,
And thro their craggy steeps delighted roam ; Pleas'd with a people, honest, brave, and free,
Whilst every step conducts me nearer home. I wander where Tesino madly flows,
From cliff to cliff in foaming eddies tost; On the rude mountain's barren breast he rose,
in Po's broad wave now hurries to be loft. His shores, neat huts and verdant pastures fill,
And hills, where woods of pine the storms defy ; While, fcorning vegetation, higher still,
Rise the bare rocks co-eval with the sky. Upon his banks a favour'd spot I found,
Where Ihade and beauty tempted to repose : Within a grove, by mountains circled round,
By rocks o'erhung, my rustic seat I chose. Advancing thence, by gentle pace and Now,
Unconscious of the way my footsteps preft, Sudden, supported by the hills below,
St. GOTHARD's summit rose above the rest. 'Midft towering cliffs, and tracks of endless cold,
Th'industrious path pervades the rugged stone, And seemsHelvetia, let thy toils be told
A granite girdle o'er the mountain thrown. No haunt of man the weary traveller greets,
No vegetation (miles upon the moor, Save where the flow'ret breathes uncultur'd sweets,
Swe where the patient Monk receives the poor.
Yet let not these rude paths be coldly trac’d,
Let not these wilds with liftless steps be trod, Here fragrance scorns not to perfume the waste,
Here Charity uplifts the mind to God, His humble board the holy man prepares,
And simple food, and wholesome lore bestows,
And paiņts the perils of impending snows.
Where frequent crosses mark the traveller's fate;
And silent bends, where tottering ruins wait. Yet ʼmidst those ridges, 'midst that drifted fnow,
Can Nature deign her wonders to display i Here Adularia shines with vivid glow,
And gems of chryftal sparkle to the day. Here too, the hoary mountain's brow to grace,
Five silver lakes, in tranquil ftate are seen; While from their waters, many a stream we trace,
That 'scap'd from bondage, roll the rocks between. Here flows the Reufs to seek her wedded love,
And, with the Rhine, Germanic climes explore; Her stream I mark'd, and saw her wildly move
Down the bleak mountain, thro' the craggy shore. My weary footsteps hop'd for rest in vain,
For steep on steep, in rude confufion rofe ; At length I paus'd above a fertile plain
That promis'd shelter and foretold repose. Fair runs the streamlet o'er the pasture green,
Its margin gay, with flocks and cattle (pread;
Embowering trees the peaceful village screen,
And guard from snow each dwelling'sjutting shed. Sweet vale! whose bofom, wastes and cliffs surround,
Let me awhile thy friendly shelter share ! Emblem of life ! where some bright hours are found
Amidst the darkest, drearieft years of care. Delv'd thro' the rock, the secret passage bends;
And beauteous horror strikes the dazzled fight; Beneath the pendant bridge the stream descends,
Calm, till it tombles o'er the frowning height. We view the fearful pass; we wind along
The path that marks the terrors of our way; 'Midft beetling rocks, and hanging woods among,
The torrent pours, and breathes its glittering (pray. Weary at length serener scenes we hail
More cultur'd groves o'er hade the grassy meads, The neat, tho' wooden hamlets, deck the vale,
And Altorf's spires recall heroic deeds. But tho' no more amidst those scenes I roam,
My fancy long each image shall retainThe flock returning to its welcome home,
And the wild carol of the cowherd's Atrain. Lucérnia's lake its glasly surface shews,
Whilst Nature's varied beauties deck its fide; Here rocks and woods its narrow waves inclose,
And there its spreading bosom opens wide. And hail the chapel ! hail the piatform wild!
Where TELL directed the avenging dart, With well-strung arm, that first preserv'd his child,
Then wing'd the arrow to the tyrant's heart.
Across the lake, and deep embower'd in wood,
Behold another hallow'd chapel stands,
And lamp'd the FREEDOM of their native land.
No blood demanded, and no Naves encbain'd; Her rule was gentle and her voice was truth,
By focial order form’d, by laws restrain'd. We quit the lake and cultivation's toil,
With Nature's charms combin'd, adorns the way, And well-earn'd wealth improves the ready foil,
And fimple manners still maintain their fway. Farewel, Helvetia! from whose lofty breaft,
Proud Alps arise, and copious rivers flow; Where fource of streams, eternal glaciers rest,
And peaceful fcience gilds the plains below. Oft on thy rocks the wond'ring eyes
Thy vallies oft the raptur'd bofom seek ; There, Nature's hand her boldest work displays,
Here, bliss domestic beams on every cheek. Hope of my life! dear Children of my heart !
That anxious heart, to each fond feeling true, To you still pants each pleasure to impart,
And more, ohtransport! reach its Home and You!