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VIII.

O'er their low pastoral valleys might the tide
Of years have flow'd, and still, from sire to son,
Their names and records on the green earth died,
As cottage-lamps, expiring, one by one,
In the dim glades, when midnight hath begun
To hush all sound.—But silent on its height,
The snow-mass, full of death, while ages run
Their course, may slumber, bath'd in rosy light,

Till some rash voice or step disturb its brooding might.

IX. So were they roused—th’ invading step had past Their cabin-thresholds, and the lowly door, Which well had stood against the Föhnwind’s” blast, Could bar Oppression from their homes no more. —Why, what had she to do where all things wore Wild Grandeur's impress?—In the storm's free way, How dared she list her pageant crest before

Th’ enduring and magnificent array Of sovereign Alps, that wing'd their eagles with the day

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This might not long be borne—the tameless hills Have voices from the cave and cataract swelling, Fraught with His name, whose awful presence fills Their deep lone places, and forever telling That He hath made man free —and they whose dwelling Was in those ancient fastnesses, gave ear; The weight of sufferance from their hearts repelling, They rose—the forester, the mountaineer— Oh! what hath earth more strong than the good peasant

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Sacred be Grütli's field !—their vigil keeping
Through many a blue and starry summer-night,
There, while the sons of happier lands were sleeping,
Had those brave Switzers met; and in the sight
Of the just God, who pours forth burning might
To gird the oppress'd, had given their deep thoughts
way,
And brac'd their spirits for the patriot-fight,
With lovely images of homes, that lay

Bower'd 'midst the rustling pines, or by the torrent-spray.

XII.

Now had endurance reach'd its bounds !—They came
With courage set in each bright earnest eye,
The day, the signal, and the hour to name,
When they should gather on their hills to die,
Or shake the Glaciers with their joyous cry
For the land's freedom.—"Twas a scene, combining
All glory in itself—the solemn sky,
The stars, the waves their soften’d light enshrining,

And Man's high soul supreme o'er mighty Nature shining.

XIII.

Calmly they stood, and with collected mien, Breathing their souls in voices firm but low, As if the spirit of the hour and scene, With the wood's whisper, and the wave's sweet flow, Had temper'd in their thoughtful hearts the glow Of all indignant feeling. To the breath Of Dorian flute, and lyre-note soft and slow, E’en thus, of old, the Spartan from its sheath Drew his devoted sword, and girt himself for death.

XIV.

And three, that seem’d as chieftains of the band,
Were gather'd in the midst on that lone shore
By Uri's lake—a father of the land,”
One on his brow the silent record wore
Of many days, whose shadows had pass'd o'er
His path amongst the hills, and quench'd the dreams
Of youth with sorrow.—Yet from memory's lore
Still his life's evening drew its loveliest gleams,

For he had walk’d with God, beside the mountain streams.

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And his grey hairs, in happier times, might well
To their last pillow silently have gone,
As melts a wreath of snow.—But who shall tell
How life may task the spirit —He was one,
Who from its morn a freeman's work had done,
And reap'd his harvest, and his vintage press'd,
Fearless of wrong;-and now, at set of sun,
He bow’d not to his years, for on the breast
Of a still chainless land, he deem'd it much to rest.

XVI.

But for such holy rest strong hands must toil, Strong hearts endure —By that pale elder's side, Stood one that seem’d a monarch of the soil, Serene and stately in his manhood's pride, Werner,” the brave and true !—If men have died, Their hearths and shrines inviolate to keep, He was a mate for such.-The voice, that cried Within his breast, “Arise !” came still and deep From his far home, that smil'd, e'en then, in moonlight

sleep.

XVII.

It was a home to die for l—as it rose,
Through its vine-foliage sending forth a sound
Of mirthful childhood, o'er the green repose
And laughing sunshine of the pastures round;
And he whose life to that sweet spot was bound,
Rais'd unto Heaven a glad, yet thoughtful eye,
And set his free step firmer on the ground,
When o'er his soul its melodies went by,
As through some Alpine pass, a breeze of Italy.

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