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O'er their low pastoral valleys might the tide
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
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
Sacred be Grütli's field !—their vigil keeping
Bower'd 'midst the rustling pines, or by the torrent-spray.
Now had endurance reach'd its bounds !—They came
And Man's high soul supreme o'er mighty Nature shining.
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.
And three, that seem’d as chieftains of the band,
For he had walk’d with God, beside the mountain streams.
And his grey hairs, in happier times, might well
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
It was a home to die for l—as it rose,