The Peasant Of The Alps

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From the novel of Celestina.
Where cliffs arise by winter crown’d,
And through dark groves of pine around,
Down the deep chasms the snow-fed torrents foam,
Within some hollow, shelter’d from the storms,
The Peasant of the Alps his cottage forms,
And builds his humble, happy home.
Unenvied is the rich domain,
That far beneath him on the plain
Waves its wide harvests and its olive groves;
More dear to him his hut with plantain thatch’d,
Where long his unambitious heart attach’d,
Finds all he wishes, all he loves.
There dwells the mistress of his heart,
And Love , who teaches every art,
Has bid him dress the spot with fondest care;
When borrowing from the vale its fertile soil,
He climbs the precipice with patient toil,
To plant her favourite flowerets there.
With native shrubs, a hardy race,
There the green myrtle finds a place,
And roses there the dewy leaves decline;
While from the crags abrupt, and tangled steeps,
With bloom and fruit the Alpine berry peeps,
And, blushing, mingles with the vine.
His garden’s simple produce stored,
Prepared for him by hands adored,
Is all the little luxury he knows.
And by the same dear hands are softly spread,
The Chamois’ velvet spoil that forms the bed,
Where in her arms he finds repose.

But absent from the calm abode,
Dark thunder gathers round his road,
Wild raves the wind, the arrowy lightnings flash,
Returning quick the murmuring rocks among,
His faint heart trembling as he winds along;
Alarm’d–he listens to the crash
Of rifted ice!–Oh, man of woe!
O’er his dear cot–a mass of snow,
By the storm sever’d from the cliff above,
Has fallen–and buried in its marble breast,
All that for him–lost wretch–the world possest,
His home, his happiness, his love!
Aghast the heart-struck mourner stands,
Glazed are his eyes–convulsed his hands,
O’erwhelming anguish checks his labouring breath;
Crush’d by despair’s intolerable weight,
Frantic he seeks the mountain’s giddiest height,
And headlong seeks relief in death.
A fate too similar is mine,
But I–in lingering pain repine,
And still my lost felicity deplore;
Cold, cold to me is that dear breast become
Where this poor heart had fondly fix’d its home,
And love and happiness are mine no more.


– Charlotte Smith



Parting At Morning

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Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain’s rim:
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.


– Robert Browning

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Yes, It Was The Mountain Echo

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Yes, it was the mountain Echo,
Solitary, clear, profound,
Answering to the shouting Cuckoo,
Giving to her sound for sound!

Unsolicited reply
To a babbling wanderer sent;
Like her ordinary cry,
Like–but oh, how different!

Hears not also mortal Life?
Hear not we, unthinking Creatures!
Slaves of folly, love, or strife–
Voices of two different natures?

Have not ‘we’ too?–yes, we have
Answers, and we know not whence;
Echoes from beyond the grave,
Recognised intelligence!

Such rebounds our inward ear
Catches sometimes from afar–
Listen, ponder, hold them dear;
For of God,–of God they are.


– William Wordsworth

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Sunrise On The Hills

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I stood upon the hills, when heaven’s wide arch
Was glorious with the sun’s returning march,
And woods were brightened, and soft gales
Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.
The clouds were far beneath me; bathed in light,
They gathered mid-way round the wooded height,
And, in their fading glory, shone
Like hosts in battle overthrown.
As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance.
Through the gray mist thrust up its shattered lance,
And rocking on the cliff was left
The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft.
The veil of cloud was lifted, and below
Glowed the rich valley, and the river’s flow
Was darkened by the forest’s shade,
Or glistened in the white cascade;
Where upward, in the mellow blush of day,
The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.

I heard the distant waters dash,
I saw the current whirl and flash,
And richly, by the blue lake’s silver beach,
The woods were bending with a silent reach.
Then o’er the vale, with gentle swell,
The music of the village bell
Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills;
And the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,
Was ringing to the merry shout,
That faint and far the glen sent out,
Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke,
Through thick-leaved branches, from the dingle broke.

If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills! No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.


– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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