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Curling in silv'ry eddies: there the pine
Stretches his giant limbs, scorch'd by the fires
Of Heav'n, and stands to guard yon narrow pass,
An aged warrior, cover'd o'er with wounds.
More distant the brown woods around me rise,
Range over range, a sylvan theatre,
Their tops illumin’d by a flood of light,
The rest deep sunk in shade; whilst far above
The broad bare peaks shoot boldly to the clouds,
Flinging from their bleak bosoms the last hues
Of day; yellow and purple melting soft
Into the russet tints that sleep below.

Within the windings of yon wood, which glides
With easy curve along the mountain's side,
The Muses dwelt; a grotto canopied
With clust'ring ivy and luxuriant vines,
And cool'd by sacred waters dropping through
The arched roof, receiv'd them : there they laid
Their graceful limbs, and, whilst th’ascending sun
Fir’d the whole firmament, at ease reclin'd,
And tun'd their harps, and wove the myrtle wreath
For their dark hair, or in their slumbers view’d

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Ecstatic visions: so the noon-tide pass'd ;- .
But when pale ev’ning from the western hills 245
Let fall her purple mantle, throwing wide
Its shadowy folds o'er tree, and rock, and vale,
Then forth the Sisters wander’d; each to scenes,
Or sad or cheerful, which their fancy lov’d.
Daughter of mirth and joy, Thalia spread
To every breeze her flow'r-embroider'd vest,
And, lightly bounding o'er the dewy herb,
With half-reverted eyes, and snowy arms,
Floating upon the air, led the glad choir
Of nymphs and swains to the soft oaten pipe, : 255
Breathing its measur’d cadencies; but thou,
Melpomene, apart from all retir’d,
Thy ringlets bound with the green sedge, thy robe
Compos’d in simple folds around thy limbs,
Sat’st musing on the solitary height

Of some gray cliff, thy brow knit into thought,
Thy dark eyes rais’d to Heay’n, save when they turn'd
To view the tempest gath’ring its brown wreaths
Of vapour, or the torrent rolling far
The tide of ruin o'er the vale below.

265 275

What, though no more, celestial Maids, as erst,
Reveal'd to mortal eye, ye guard the path
Of the lone trav'ller though no more he stays
His footsteps to behold your airy forms .
Sinking into the clouds of liquid light

Which float round ev’ning's breast; yet still he hears
Your voices mingling with the mountain stream ;
And as the breeze sweeps the close myrtle copse,
Or rushes through the cavern's vaulted side,
It wafts the echoes of your harps, and charms
His list’ning ear with the wild melody.

Here let me rest upon the highest browThe toil is past; and all this mighty mound, This awful barrier, whence Nature looks In silent grandeur o'er the prostrate world, 280 Lies at my feet; rapid as thought the eye Expatiates round the vast circumference, And o’er the varied landscape glancing roams Delighted, resting, in its flight, on hill, Valley, and rock, and riv'let's devious course Now seen, now lost, and forest, with dark zone Circling the mountain's breast. This is a scene


285 290

Form’d to exalt the mind to serious joys,
And solemn meditation : Nature here
Wears not a smile upon her lips to lure
Pleasure's soft vot’ries, they would scorn her chaste,
Her mild enjoyments; they, in fragrant groves,
And flow'ry meads, and shady bow'rs, may hold
Their frantic orgies; but she calls the sons
Of Virtue, those whose spirits soar beyond 295
The narrow prison of their earthly frame,
To scenes more glorious; those whose souls are sooth'd
With more than human visions, them she leads
Amidst her solitudes, till all their thoughts,
Refin’d by contemplation of her works,
Become, like her, pure, simple, and sublime.

Here are thy haunts, Penëus ; on this rock
Thou lay'st thy giant limbs, and to the fall
Of thine own fountain slumb’rest; round thee wait
Thy ministers, the Naiads, plac'd to guard 305
Thy crystal treasures; these from thy retreat
Repel each noxious reptile ; those across
Thy waters spread a verdant canopy
Of vines and myrtles, to preserve its source


305 315

Cool and serene, or, from the limpid depths 310
Breathing their murmurs, with the gurgling notes
Cheer the faint traveller ; whilst others guide
The melting snows, and teach them to preserve
Their devious way along the sunny rill,
Or headlong torrent, till they meet thy tide,
Bright and unsullied, in the plains below.
How bold and how triumphant is thy course,
Monarch of Grecian streams, when from the gloom
Of cliffs emerging, and the dark defiles
Of Pindus, deep thou rollest on thy wave, 820
Swell’d with the storms of winter, and the might
Of tributary rivers, sweeping down
Each mound and bank, weak barriers of thy pow'r,
And o’er Thessalia's plains expanding wide,
Like a vast ocean; and how beautiful,
When gently murm'ring o'er thy pebbly bed,
Thou spreadest thy broad surface to the rays
Of morning, bearing on thy tranquil breast
Each scene which, in thy long and varied way,
Delights thee: now the rugged heights on which 330
Pale Superstition rais’d the convent's cell


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