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LXVI.

But thou, Clitumnus ! in thy sweetest wave 43
Of the most living crystal that was e'er
The haunt of river nymph, to gaze and lave
Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost rear
Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer
Grazes; the purest god of gentle waters !
And most serene of aspect, and most clear;

Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters !

LXVII.

And on thy happy shore a Temple still,
Of small and delicate proportion, keeps,
Upon a mild declivity of hill,
Its memory of thee ; beneath it sweeps
Thy current's calmness ; oft from out it leaps
The finny darter with the glittering scales,
Who dwells and revels in thy glassy deeps ;

While, chance, some scatter'd water-lily sails
Down where the shallower wave still tells its bubbling

tales.44

LXVIII.

Pass not unblest the Genius of the place !
If through the air a zephyr more serene
Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
Along his margin a more eloquent green,
If on the heart the freshness of the scene
Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust
Of weary life a moment lave it clean

With Nature's baptism,—-'tis to him ye must
Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.

LXIX

The roar of waters !—from the headlong height
Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice;
The fall of waters ! rapid as the light
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss ;
The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss,
And boil in endless torture; while the sweat
Of their great agony, wrung out from this

Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,

LXX.

And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again
Returns in an unceasing shower, which round,
With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain,
Is an eternal April to the ground,
Making it all one emerald :-how profound
The gulf! and how the giant element
From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,

Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful vent

LXXI.

To the broad column which rolls on, and shows
More like the fountain of an infant sea
Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes
Of a new world, than only thus to be
Parent of rivers, which flow gushingly,
With many windings, through the vale:-Look back!
Lo! where it comes like an eternity,

As if to sweep down all things in its track, Charming the eye with dread,-a matchless cataract,45

LXXII.

46

Horribly beautiful! but on the verge,
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn,
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like Hope upon a death-bed, and, unworn
Its steady dyes, while all around is torn
By the distracted waters, bears serene
Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn :

Resembling, ʼmid the torture of the scene,
Love watching Madness with unalterable mien.

LXXIII.

Once more upon the woody Apennine,
The infant Alps, which—had I not before
Gazed on their mightier parents, where the pine
Sits on more shaggy summits, and where roar 47
The thundering lauwine-might be worshipp'd more ;
But I have seen the soaring Jungfrau rear
Her never-trodden snow, and seen the hoar

Glaciers of bleak Mont Blanc both far and near,
And in Chimari heard the thunder-hills of fear,

LXXIV.

Th’ Acroceraunian mountains of old name;
And on Parnassus seen the eagles fly
Like spirits of the spot, as 'twere for fame,
For still they soar'd unutterably high :
I've look'd on Ida with a Trojan's eye;
Athos, Olympus, Ætna, Atlas, made
These hills seem things of lesser dignity,

All, save the lone Soracte's height, display'd
Not now in snow, which asks the lyric Roman’s aid

LXXV.

For our remembrance, and from out the plain
Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break,
And on the curl hangs pausing: not in vain
May he, who will, his recollections rake,
And quote in classic raptures, and awake
The hills with Latian echoes ; I abhorr'd
Too much, to conquer for the poet's sake,

The drill'd dull lesson, forced down word by word ** In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to record

LXXVI.

Aught that recalls the daily drug which turn'd
My sickening memory; and, though Time hath taught
My mind to meditate what then it learn'd,
Yet such the fix'd inveteracy wrought
By the impatience of my early thought,
That, with the freshness wearing out before
My mind could relish what it might have sought,

If free to choose, I cannot now restore
Its health ; but what it then detested, still abhor.

LXXVII.

Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
Not for thy faults, but mine ; it is a curse
To understand, not feel thy lyric flow,
To comprehend, but never love thy verse ;
Although no deeper Moralist rehearse
Our little life, nor Bard prescribe his art,
Nor livelier Satirist the conscience pierce,

Awakening without wounding the touch'd heart, Yet fare thee well—upon Soracte's ridge we pari.

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