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How beautiful art thou,
In silvery locks !

How terrible art thou,
When the cliffs are resounding in thunder around !

Thee feareth the fir-tree;
Thou crushest the fir-tree
From its root to its crown.
The cliffs flee before thee;

The cliffs thou engraspest,
And hurlest them, scornful, like pebbles adown.

The sun weaves around thee

The beams of its splendor;
It painteth with hues of the heavenly iris,
The uprolling clouds of the silvery spray.

Why speedest thou downward,

Toward the green sea ?
Is it not well by the nearer heaven?
Not well by the sounding cliff ?
Not well by the o’erhanging forest of oaks?

O hasten not so

Toward the green sea!
Youth ! ( now thou art strong, like a god!

Free like a god!
Beneath thee is smiling the peacefullest stillness,
The tremulous swell of the slumberous sea ;
Now silvered o'er by the swimming moonshine;
Now golden and red in the light of the west.

Youth, O what is this silken quiet ;
What is the smile of the friendly moonlight-
The purple and gold of the evening sun,
To him whom the feeling of bondage oppresses ?

Now streamest thou wild

As thy heart may prompt !
But below oft ruleth the fickle tempest,
Oft the stillness of death, in the subject sea!

O hasten not so

Toward the green sea!
Youth, 0 now thou art strong, like a god,

Free, like a god!
Translation of W. W. Story.

Fr. LEOP. STOLBERG, 1750-1919. A RIVER.


Hal. I think I can promise you green meadows, shady trees, the song of the nightingale, and a full, clear river,

Poiet. This last is, in my opinion, the most poetical object in nature. I will not fail to obey your summons. Pliny has, as well as I recollect. compared a river to human life. I have never read the passage in his works but I have been a hundred times struck with the analogy, particularly amid mountain scenery. The river, small and clear at its origin, gushes forth from rocks, falls into deep glens, and wantons and meanders through a wild and picturesque country, nourishing only the uncultivated tree or flower by its dew or spray. In this, its state of infancy and youth, it may be compared to the human mind, in which fancy and strength of imagination are predominant—it is more beautiful than useful. When the different rills or torrents join, and descend into the plain, it becomes slow and stately in its motions ; it is applied to move machinery, to irrigate meadows, and to bear upon its bosom the stately barge; in this mature state it is deep, strong, useful. As it flows on toward the sea, it loses its force and its motion, and at last, as it were, becomes lost, and mingled with the mighty abyss of waters.

Hal. One might pursue the metaphor still further, and say that in its origin--its thundering and foam, when it carries down clay from the bank, and becomes impure—it resembles the youthful mind affected by dangerous passions. And the influence of a lake, in calming and clear. ing the turbid water, may be compared to the effect of reason in more mature life, when the tranquil, deep, cool, and unimpassioned mind is freed from its fever, its troubles, bubbles, noise, and foam. And, above all, the sources of a river, which may be considered as belonging to the atmosphere-and its termination in the ocean, may be regarded as imaging the divine origin of the human mind, and its being ultimately returned to, and lost in, the Infinite and Eternal Intelligence from which it originally sprung.



Life glides away, Lorenzo, like a brook ;
Forever changing, unperceiv'd the change.
In the same brook none ever bathed him twice:
To the same life none ever twice awoke.
We call the brook the same; the same we think

Our life, though still more rapid in its flow;
Nor mark the much irrevocably laps’d,
And mingled with the sea ; or shall we say
(Retaining still the brook to bear us on)
That life is like a vessel on the stream ?
In life embark d, we smoothly down the tide
Of time descend, but not on time intent;
Amus’d, unconscious of the gliding wave;
Till on a sudden we perceive a shock;
We start, awake, look out; our bark is burst!

EDWARD YOUNG, 1691-1755



A traveler, when nearly exhausted by thirst, being guided by the croaking of a frog to a spring of water, afterward vowed to the Nymphs a bronze image of the little creature.

The servant of the Nymphs, the singer dank,
Pleased with clear fountains—the shower-loving frog,
Imaged in brass-hath a wayfaring man
Placed here, a votive gift-because it served
To quench the fever of the traveler's thirst.
For the amphibious creature's well-timed song,
Croaked from its dewy grot, the wandering steps
Of him who searched for water hither drew;
Not heedless of the guiding voice, he found
The longed-for draught from the sweet cooling spring.

Translation of W. Har,


Little streams are light and shadow,
Flowing through the pasture meadow-
Flowing by the green way-side,
Through the forest dim and wild,
Through the hamlet still and small,
By the cottage, by the hall,
By the ruin'd abbey still,
Turning here and there a mill,
Bearing tribute to the river-
Little streams, I love you ever.

Summer music is there flowing-
Flowering plants in them are growing ;

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