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Unbounded o'er the world ; and, mingling thick,
A formless grey confusion.covers all,
As when of old (so sung the Hebrew Bard),
Light, uncollected, through the chaos urged
Its infant way ; nor Order yet had drawn
His lovely train from out the dubious gloom.
These roving mists, that constant now. begin
To smoke along the hilly country, these
With weighty rains, and melted Alpine snows,
The mountain-cisterns fill, those ample stores
Of water, scooped among the hollow rocks ;
Whence gush the streams, the ceaseless fountains play,
And their unfailing wealth the rivers draw.
Some sages say, that where the numerous wave
Forever lashes the resounding shore,
Drilled through the sandy stratum, every way,
The waters with the sandy stratum rise ;
Amid whose angles infinitely strained,
They joyful leave their jaggy salts behind,
And clear and sweeten, as they soak along.
Nor stops the restless fluid, mounting still,
Though oft amidst the irriguous vale it springs ;
But to the mountain courted by the sand,
That leads it darkling on in faithful maze,
Far from the parent-main, it boils again
Fresh into day; and all the glittering hill
Is bright with spouting rills. But hence this vain
Amusive dream ! why should the waters love
To take so far a journey to the hills,
When the sweet vallies offer to their toil,
Inviting quiet, and a nearer bed ?
Or if, by blind ambition led astray,
They must aspire ; why should they sudden stop, 760
Among the broken mountain's rushy dells,
And, ere they gain its highest peak, desert
Th' attractive sand that charmed their course so long?
Besides, the hard agglomerating salts,
The spoil of ages, would impervious choke
Their secret channels ; or, by slow degrees,
High as the hills protrude the swelling vales :
Old ocean too, sucked thro'the porous globe,
Had long ere now forsook his horrid bed,
And brought Deucalion's watery times again. 770
Say then, where lurk the vast eternal springs,
That, like Creating Nature, lie concealed
From mortal eye, yet with their lavish stores
Refresh the globe, and all its joyous tribes ?
O thou pervading Genius, given to man,
To trace the secrets of the dark abyss,
Olay the mountains bare ! and wide display
Their hidden structure to th' astonished view !
Strip from the branching Alps their piny load ;
The huge incumbrance of horrific woods
780 From Asian Taurus, from Imaus stretched Athwart the roving Tartar's zullen bounds ; Give opening Hemus to my searching eye, And high Olympus pouring many a stream! O from the sounding summits of the north,
785 The Dofrine Hills, thro'Scandinavia rolled To farthest Lapland and the frozen main ; From lofty Caucasus far seen by those Who in the Caspian and black Euxine toil ; From cold Riphean Rocks, which the wild Russ 790
Believes the * stony girdle of the world ;
And all the dreadful mountains wrapt in storm,
Whence wide Siberia draws her lonely floods ;
sweep th' eternal snows! Hung o'er the deep
That ever works beneath his sounding base,
Bid Atlas, propping heaven, as Poets feign,
His subterranean wonders spread! unveil
The miny caverns, blazing on the day,
Of Abysinia's cloud-compelling cliffs,
And of the bending + Mountains of the Moon !
O'ertopping all these giant sons of earth,
Let the dire Andes, from the radiant Line
Stretched to the stormy seas that thunder round
The southern pole, their hideous deeps unfold !
Amazing scene ! Behold! the glooins disclose !
I see the rivers in their infant beds!
Deep, deep, I hear them labouring to get free!
I see the leaning strata, artful ranged ;
The gaping fissures to receive the rains,
The melting snows, and ever-dripping fogs.
Strowed bibulous above, I see the sands,
The pebbly gravel next, the layers then
Of mingled moulds, of more retentive earths,
The guttered rocks, and mazy-running clefts ;
That, while the stealing moisture they transmit,
Retard its motion, and forbid its waste.
Beneath th' incessant weeping of these drains
* The Muscovites call the Riphean mountains “Weliki Camenypoys,' that is, the great stony girdle :' because they suppose them to encompass the whole earth.
† A range of mountains in Africa, that surround almost all Monomotapa.
see the rocky siphons stretched immense, The mighty reservoirs of hardened chalk, ;
Or stiff-compacted clay; capacious formed. ??
D'erflowing thence the congregated stores,
The crsytal treasures of the liquid world,
Thro' the stirred sands a bubbling passage burst į
And welling out, around the middle steep,
Or from the bottoms of the bosomed hills,
In pure effusion flow. United, thus,
Th'exhaling sun the vapour-burdened air,
The gelid mountains that to rain condensed
These vapours in continual current draw,
And send them o'er the fair-divided earth,
In bounteous rivers to the deep again,
A social commerce hold, and firm support
The full-adjusted harmony of things.
When Autumn scatters his departing gleams,
Warned of approaching Winter, gathered play
The swallow-people ; and tossed wide around,
O'er the calm sky, in convolution swift,
The feathered eddy floats ; rejoicing once,
Ere to their wintry slumbers they retire ;
In clusters clung, beneath the mouldering bank,
And where, unpierced by frost, the cavern sweats ;
Or rather into warmer climes conveyed,
With other kindred birds of season, there
They twitter cheerful, till the vernal months
Invite them welcome back ; for, thronging, now
Innumerous wings are in commotion all.
Where the Rhine loses his majestic force
In Belgian plains, won from the raging deep,
By diligence amazing, and the strong
Unconquerable hand of Liberty,
850 The stork-assembly meets ; for many a day, Consulting deep, and various, ere they take Their arduous voyage thro' the liquid sky. And now their ront designed, their leaders chose, Their tribes adjusted, cleaned their vigorous wings ; 853 And many a circle, many a short essay, Wheeled round and round, in congregation full The figured flight ascends ; and, riding high The aërial billows, mixes with the clouds.
Or where the northern ocean, in vast whirls, 860 Boils round the naked melancholy isles Of farthest Thulè, and th’ Atlantic surge Pours in among the stormy Hebrides ; Who can recount what transınigrations there Are annual made ? what nations come and go ?
865 And how the living clouds on clouds arise ? Infinite wings ! till all the plume-dark air, And rude-resounding shore are one wild cry.
Here the plain harmless native his small flock, And herd diminutive of many hues,
870 Tends on the little island's verilant swell, The shepherd's sea-girt reign : or to the rocks, Dire-clinging, gathers his ovarious food; Or sweeps the fishy shore ; or treasures up The plumage, rising full, to form the bed
875 Of luxury. And here a while the Muse, High-hovering o'er the broad cerulean scene, Sees CALEDONIA, in romantic view ; Her airy mountains, from the waving main, Invested with a keen difusive sky,
880 Breathing the sonl acute ; her forests huge,