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Time was, he thought poetic powers divine Would ever make their happy owners shine, Exempt from vulgar toils, and common cares, And every curse wbich poor dependence shares; While wealth and honour, emulous, would pour Their favours round them jo a golden shower : But ah! the idle vision, long believed, Vanished, at length, and left him undeceived ; Then wisely spurniug false poetic pride, To bumbler arts his talents he applied;' Nor scorned what bards as drudgery dare despise, Who blame the world, which oft, they say, denies Its aid indulgent to the rhyming race, Nor own their want of prudence, or of grace; Though better 'twere, when hopes fallacious fail, To quit the pen, and choose the trustier flail.'. This useful lesson, early, learned the swain, Whose little history swells this hasty strain ; Hence, Heaven assisted, though estranged from wealthRaiment and food are his, and peace, and health. To some peculiarities inclined, He yet retains an independent mind; But-conscious still of imperfection-prone, With due bumility, his faults to own; Nor yet so vain is he to frame pretence To the least boon of liberal providence. And though allowed no longer wild to stray On the sweet banks of Stour, or Froom, or Wey, Full oft be ponders o'er those calm delights Of rural life;---and, when the Muse invites, At leisure intervals, bis mind unbends With soothing numbers; or with lettered friends, dan In whose society his heart o'erflows, Nor dares withhold the gratitude it owes ; While yet the tale of rustic days will charm with
The listening circle; and their hero warm, · Whose ardent bosom, still to feeling true, Respects old friends, though highly blessed with new.
. Her faults were mine...her virtues were her own :
VERY sumnjer I take a little excursion: in 1819 29 I went through the wildest and most secluded
I parts of Switzerland; I took up my residence during one stormy night, in a convent of Capuchin Friars, not far from Altorf, the birthplace of the celebrated William Téll. In the course of the evening one of the fathers related :
a story, in the most impressive manner, and um
in a style that produced a very strong effect on my mind. It relates to an ancient family, now extinct.
His soul was wild, impetuous, and uncontrollable. He had a keen perception of the faults and vices of others, without the power of correcting his own ; alike sensible of the nobility, and of the darkness of his moral constitution, although unable to cultivate the one to the exclusion of the other.
In extreme youth, he led a lonely and secluded life in the solitude of a Swiss valley, in company with an only brother, some years older than himself, and a young fe. male relative; who had been educated with thein from her birth. They lived under the care of an aged uncle, the guardian of those extensive domains which the brothers were destined jointly to inherit.
A peculiar melancholy, cherished and increased by the utter seclusion of that sublime region, had, during the period of their infancy, preyed upon the mind of their father, and finally produced the most dreadful result. The fear of a similar tendency induced their protector to remove them, at an early age, from the solitude of their native country. The elder was sent to a Geripan aniversily, and the youngest completed his education in one of the Italian schools.
After the lapse of many years, the old guardian died, and the elder of the brothers returned to his native valley; he there formed an attachment to the lady with whom he had passed his infancy; and she, after some fear ful forebodings, which were vufortunately silenced by the voice of duty and of gratitude, accepted of his love, and became his wife.
'In the mean time the younger brother had left Italy, and travelled over the greater part of Europe. He mingled with the world, and gave full scope to every impulse of his feelings. But that world, with the exception of certain hours of boisterous passion and excitement, afforded him little pleasure, and made no lasting impression upon his heart. His greatest joy was in the wildest impulses of the imagination.
His spirit, though mighty and unbounded, from bis early habits and education, naturally tended to repose; he thought with delight on the sun rising among the Alpine snows, or gilding the peaks of the rugged hills with its evening rays. But within him he felt a fire burniug for ever, and which the snows of his native mountains could not quench. He feared that he was alone in the world, and that no being, kindred to his own, had been created; but in his soul there was an image of angelic perfection, which he believed existed not on earth, but without which he knew he could not be happy. Despairing to find it in populous cities, he retired to his paternal domain. On again entering upon the scenes of his infancy, many new and singular feelings were experienced; he is enchanted with the surpassing beauty of the scenery, and wonders that he should have rambled so long and so far from it, The noise and the bustle of the world were immediately forgotten on contemplating
• The silence;that is in the starry sky).
The sleep that is among the lonely hills. A light, as it were, broke around him, and exhibited a strange and momentary gleam of joy and of misery mingled together. He entered the dwelling of his infancy with delight, and met his brother with emotion. But his dark and troubled eye betokened a fearful change when he beheld the other playmate of bis infancy. Though beautiful as the imagination could conceive, she appeared otherwise tban he expected. Her form and face were associated with some of his wildest reveries; his feelings of affection were united with many undefinable sensations; he felt as if she was not the wife of his brother, although he knew her to be so, and his soul sickened at the thought.
"He passed the night in a feverish state of joy and horror. From the window of a lonely tower he beheld the moon shining amid the bright blue of an Alpine sky, and diffusing a calm and beautiful light on the silvery snow. The eagle owl uttered her long and plaintive note from
the castellated summit, which overbung the valley, and the feet of the wild chamois were heard rebounding from the neighbouring rocks; these accorded with the gentle feelings of his mind, but the strong spirit which so fre. quently overcame him, listeneil with intepse delight to the dreadful roar of an immense torrent, wbich was precipitated from the summit of an adjoining cliff, among broken rocks and pines, overturned and uprooted, or to tbe still mightier voice of the avalauche, suddenly descending with the accumulated snows of a hundred years. In the morning he met the object of his unhappy passion. Her eyes were dim with tears, and a cloud of sorrow had darkened the light of her lovely countenance.
For some time there was a mutual coustraint in their manner, which both were afraid to acknowledge, and neither was able to dispel. Even the uncontrollable spirit of the wanderer was oppressed and overcome, and he wished he had never returned to the dwelling of his ancestors. The lady was equally aware of the awful peril of their situation, and without the knowledge of her husband, she prepared to depart from the castle, and take the veil in a convent situated in a neighbouring valley.
With this resolution she departed on the following morping; but, in crossing an Alpine pass, which conducted by a pearer route to the adjoining valley, she was enveloped in mists and vapour, and lost all knowledge of the surroundiog country. The clouds closed in around her, and a tremendous ihunder storm took place in the valley beneath. While breathing a silent prayer to beaven for this providential escape, strange sounds were heard, as of some disembodied voice floating among the clouds; suddenly she perceived, within a few paces, the figure of the wanderer tossing his arms in the air, his eye inflamed, and bis general aspect wild and distracted; he then appeared meditating a deed of sin, she rushed towards bim, and, clasping him in her arms, dragged him back. wards just as he was about to precipitate bimself into the gulph below,
Overcome by bodily fatigue, and agitation of mind, they remained for some time in a state of insensibility. The brother first revived from his stupor, and finding her whose image was pictured in his soul, lying by his side, with her arms resting upon his shoulder: he believed for a moment that he must have executed the dreadful deed he had meditated, and had wakened in heaven. The gen.
tle form of the lady was again re-animated, and slowly she opened her beautiful eyes. She questioned him regarding the purpose of his visit to that desolate spot; a full explanation of their mutual sensations took place, and they confesesd the passion which consumed them.
"The sun was now high in heaven; the clouds of the morning had ascended to the loftiest Alps; and the mists
into their airy elements dissolved were. As the god of day advanced dark vallies were suddenly illuminated, and lovely lakes brightened like mirrors among the hills, their waters sparkling with the fresh breeze of the morning. The most beautiful clouds were sailing in the air, some breaking on the mountain tops, and others resting on the sombre pines, or slumbering on the unilluminated vallies. The shrill whistle of the marmot was no longer heard, and the chamois had bounded to its inaccessible retreat. The vast range of the neighbouring Alps was next distinctly visible, and presented to the eyes of the beholders, 'glory beyond all glory ever seen.'
In the mean time a change had taken place in the feelings of the mountain pair, which was powerfully strengthened by the glad face of nature. The glorious hues of earth and sky seemed indeed to sanction and rejoice in their mutual happiness. The darker spirit of the brother had now fearfully overcome him. The dreaming predictions of his most imaginative years appeared realized in their fullest extent, and the voice of prudence and of nature was inaudible amidst the intoxication of his joy. The object of his affection rested in his arms in a state of listless happiness, listening with enchanted ear to his wild and impassioned eloquence, and careless of all other sight or sound.
She too had renounced her morning vows, and the convent was unthought of, and forgotten. Crossing the mountains by wild and unfrequented paths, they took up their abode in a deserted cottage, formerly frequented by goatherds, and the hunters of the roe. On looking down for the last time from the mountain top, on that delight. ful valley in which she had so long lived in innocence and peace; the lady thought of her departed mother, and her heart would have died within her, but the wild glee of the brother again rendered ber insensible to all other sensations, and she yielded to the sway of her fatal passion...
There they lived secluded from the world, and supported, even through evil, by the intensity of their pas