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MEMORIALS OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT, 1820

XIX. EFFUSION

IN PRESENCE OF THE PAINTED TOWER OF TELL, AT ALTORF

          WHAT though the Italian pencil wrought not here,
          Nor such fine skill as did the meed bestow
          On Marathonian valour, yet the tear
          Springs forth in presence of this gaudy show,
          While narrow cares their limits overflow.
          Thrice happy, burghers, peasants, warriors old,
          Infants in arms, and ye, that as ye go
          Homeward or schoolward, ape what ye behold!
          Heroes before your time, in frolic fancy bold!

          And when that calm Spectatress from on high                 10
          Looks down--the bright and solitary Moon,
          Who never gazes but to beautify;
          And snow-fed torrents, which the blaze of noon
          Roused into fury, murmur a soft tune
          That fosters peace, and gentleness recalls;
          'Then' might the passing Monk receive a boon
          Of saintly pleasure from these pictured walls,
          While, on the warlike groups, the mellowing lustre falls.

          How blest the souls who when their trials come
          Yield not to terror or despondency,                         20
          But face like that sweet Boy their mortal doom,
          Whose head the ruddy apple tops, while he
          Expectant stands beneath the linden tree:
          He quakes not like the timid forest game,
          But smiles--the hesitating shaft to free;
          Assured that Heaven its justice will proclaim,
          And to his Father give its own unerring aim.


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