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They love their mountains and enjoy their storms.
No false desires, no pride-created wants,
Disturb the peaceful current of their time ;
And thro’ the restless ever-tortured maze
Of pleasure, or ambition, bid it rage, 850
Their rein-deer form their riches. These their tents,
Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth
Supply, their wholesome fare, and cheerful cups.
Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe
Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift 855
O'er hill and dale, heaped into one expanse
Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep,
With a blue crust of ice unbounded glazed.
By dancing meteors then, that ceaseless shake
A waving blaze refracted o'er the heavens, 860
And vivid moons, and stars that keener play
with doubled lustre from the glossy waste ;
Even in the depth of Polar Night, they find . . -
A wonderous day : enough to light the chase,
Or guide their daring steps to Finland-fairs. - 865 :
Wished Spring returns ; and from the hazy south,
While dim Aurora slowly moves before, -
The welcome sun, just verging up at first,
By small degrees extends the swelling curve :
Till seen at last for gay rejoicing months, . 870.
Still round and round, his spiral course he winds,
And as he nearly dips his flaming orb,
Wheels up again and reascends the sky.
Pn that glad season, from the lakes and floods,
Where pure * Niemi’s fairy mountains rise, 875
... • M. de Maupertuis, in his book on the Figure of the Earth, after having described the beautiful Lake and Mountain of Niemi in Lapland, says---" From this height we had opportunity
* And fringed with roses *Tenglio rolls his stream,
| They draw the copious fry. With these, at eve,
They cheerful-loaded to their tents repair;
Where, all day long in useful cares employed,
| Their kind unblemished wives the fireprepare. 880
Thrice happy race by poverty secured
From legal plunder and rapacious power :
| In whom fell interest never yet has sown
The seeds of vice : whose spotless swains ne'er knew
# Injurious deed, nor, blasted by the breath - 885
Of faithless love, their blooming daughters woe.
Still pressing on, beyond Tornéa’s lake,
And Hecla flaming thro' a waste of snow,
And farthest Greenland, to the pole itself,
Where, failing gradual, life at length goes out, 890
The Muse expands her solitary flight;
And, hovering o'er the wild stupendous scene,
Beholds new seas beneath t another sky.
Throned in his palace of cerulean ice,
Here Winter holds his unrejoicing court; 895
And thro’ his airy hall the loud misrule
Of driving tempests is forever heard :
Here the grim tyrant meditates his wrath ;
“several times to see those vapours rise from the Lake which “the people of the country call Haltios, and which they deem to “be the guardian Spirits of the Mountains. We had been fright“ed with stories of Bears that haunted this place, but saw “none. It seemed rather a place of resort for Fairies and Genii, “ than Bears.” * The same Author observes---" I was surprised to see upon “the banks of this river (the Tenglio) Roses of as lively a red as “any that are in our gardens.” | ? The other hemisphere.
Ships inclosed in the Ice.
Here arms his winds with all-subduing frost;
Moulds his fierce hail, and treasures up his snows,
With which he now oppresses half the globe.
Thence winding eastward to the Tartar's coast,
She sweeps the howling margin of the main;
Where undissolving, from the first of time,
Snows swell on snows amazing to the sky;
And icy mountains high on mountains piled,
Seem to the shivering sailor from afar,
Shapeless and white, an atmosphere of clouds.
Projected huge, and horrid, o'er the surge,
Alps frown on Alps; or, rushing hideous down,
As if old Chaos was again returned,
Wide-rend the deep, and shake the solid pole.
Ocean itself no longer can resist
The binding fury ; but, in all its rage
Of tempest taken by the boundless frost,
Is many a fathom to the bottom chained,
And bid to roar no more : a bleak expanse,
Shagged o'er with wavy rocks, cheerless, and void
Of every life, that from the dreary months
Flies conscious southward. Miserable they !
Who, here entangled in the gathering ice,
Take their last look of the descending sun ;
While, full of death, and fierce with tenfold frost,
The long long night, incumbent o'er their heads,
Falls horrible. Such was the * Briton’s fate,
As with first prow (what have not Briton's dared $)
He for the passage sought, attempted since
So much in vain, and seeming to be shut
* Sir Hugh Willoughby, sent by Queen Elizabeth to discover
By jealous Nature with eternal bars. -
In these fell regions, in Arzina caught, 930
And to the stony deep his idle ship
Immediate sealed, he with his hapless crew,
Each full exerted at his several task,
Froze into statues ; to the cordage glued
The sailor, and the pilot to the helm. 935
Hard by these shores, where scarce his freezing stream
Rolls the wild Oby, live the last of Men ;
And half enlivened by the distant sun,
That rears and ripens Man, as well as plants,
Here human Nature wears its rudest form. 940
Deep from the piercing season sunk in caves,
Here by dull fires, and with unjoyous cheer,
They waste the tedious gloom. Immersed in furs,
Doze the gross race. Nor sprightly jest, nor song,
Nortenderness they know ; nor aught of life, 945
Beyond the kindred bears that stalk without.
Till morn at length, her roses drooping all,
Sheds a long twilight brightening o'er the fields,
And calls the quivered savage to the chase.
What cannot active government perform, 9.5C)
New-moulding Man Wide-stretching from these shores
A people savage from remotest time,
A huge neglected empire, one vast Mind,
By Heaven inspired, from Gothic darknes called.
Immortal PETER first of monarchs . He 955
His stubborn country tamed, her rocks, her fens,
Her floods, her seas, her ill-submitting sons;
And while the fierce Barbarian he subdued,
To more exalted soul he raised the Man.
Ye shades of ancient heroes, ye who toiled 960
Thro' long successive ages to build up
A labouring plan of state, behold at once
The wonder done behold the matchless prince
who left his native throne, where reigned to then
A mighty shadow of unreal power ; -
Who greatly spurned the slothful pomp of courts ;
And, roaming every land, in every port,
His sceptre laid aside, with glorious hand
Unweary’d plying the mechanic tool,
Gathered the seeds of trade, of useful arts,
Of civil wisdom, and of martial skill.
Charged with the stores of Europe home he goes :
Then cities rise amid the illumined waste ;
O'er joyless deserts smiles the rural reign;
Far-distant flood to flood is social joined ;
The astonished Euxine hears the Baltic roar;
Proud navies ride on seas that never foamed
With daring keel before ; and armies stretch
Each way their dazzling files, repressing here
The frantic Alexander of the north,
And awing there stern Othman's shrinking sons.
Sloth flies the land, and Ignorance, and Vice
Of old dishonor proud : it glows around,
Taught by the Royal Hand that roused the whole,
One scene of arts, of arms, of rising trade :
For what his wisdom planned, and power enforced,
More potent still, his great example shewed.
Muttering, the winds at eve, with blunted point
| Blow hollow-blustering from the south. Subdued,
The frost resolves into a trickling thaw.
Spotted the mountains shine ; loose sleet descends,
And floods the country round. The rivers swell,
Of bonds impatient. Sudden from the hills,