Elegiac Stanzas

William Wordsworth

Lulled by the sound of pastoral bells, 
Rude Nature's Pilgrims did we go, 
From the dread summit of the Queen 
Of mountains, through a deep ravine, 
Where, in her holy chapel, dwells 
"Our Lady of the Snow." 

The sky was blue, the air was mild; 
Free were the streams and green the bowers; 
As if, to rough assaults unknown, 
The genial spot had 'ever' shown 
A countenance that as sweetly smiled-- 
The face of summer-hours. 

And we were gay, our hearts at ease; 
With pleasure dancing through the frame 
We journeyed; all we knew of care-- 
Our path that straggled here and there; 
Of trouble--but the fluttering breeze; 
Of Winter--but a name. 

If foresight could have rent the veil 
Of three short days--but hush--no more! 
Calm is the grave, and calmer none 
Than that to which thy cares are gone, 
Thou Victim of the stormy gale; 
Asleep on ZURICH'S shore! 

O GODDARD! what art thou?--a name-- 
A sunbeam followed by a shade! 
Nor more, for aught that time supplies, 
The great, the experienced, and the wise: 
Too much from this frail earth we claim, 
And therefore are betrayed. 

We met, while festive mirth ran wild, 
Where, from a deep lake's mighty urn, 
Forth slips, like an enfranchised slave, 
A sea-green river, proud to lave, 
With current swift and undefiled, 
The towers of old LUCERNE. 

We parted upon solemn ground 
Far-lifted towards the unfading sky; 
But all our thoughts were 'then' of Earth, 
That gives to common pleasures birth; 
And nothing in our hearts we found 
That prompted even a sigh. 

Fetch, sympathising Powers of air, 
Fetch, ye that post o'er seas and lands, 
Herbs, moistened by Virginian dew, 
A most untimely grave to strew, 
Whose turf may never know the care 
Of 'kindred' human hands! 

Beloved by every gentle Muse 
He left his Transatlantic home: 
Europe, a realised romance, 
Had opened on his eager glance; 
What present bliss!--what golden views! 
What stores for years to come! 

Though lodged within no vigorous frame, 
His soul her daily tasks renewed, 
Blithe as the lark on sun-gilt wings 
High poised--or as the wren that sings 
In shady places, to proclaim 
Her modest gratitude. 

Not vain is sadly-uttered praise; 
The words of truth's memorial vow 
Are sweet as morning fragrance shed 
From flowers 'mid GOLDAU'S ruins bred; 
As evening's fondly-lingering rays, 
On RIGHI'S silent brow. 

Lamented Youth! to thy cold clay 
Fit obsequies the Stranger paid; 
And piety shall guard the Stone 
Which hath not left the spot unknown 
Where the wild waves resigned their prey-- 
And 'that' which marks thy bed. 

And, when thy Mother weeps for Thee, 
Lost Youth! a solitary Mother; 
This tribute from a casual Friend 
A not unwelcome aid may lend, 
To feed the tender luxury, 
The rising pang to smother.

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