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Suggested on a Sabbath Morning in the Vale of Chamouny TO appease the gods, or public thanks to yield, Or to solicit knowledge of events Which in her breast Futurity concealed, And that the Past might have its true intents Feelingly told by living monuments,— Mankind of yore were prompted to devise Rites such as yet Persepolis presents Graven on her cankered walls, solemnities That moved in long array before admiring eyes. The Hebrews thus, carrying in joyful state Thick boughs of palm, and willows from the brook, Marched round the altar, to commemorate How, when their course they through the desert took, Guided by signs which ne’er the sky forsook, They lodged in leafy tents and cabins low; Green boughs were borne, while, for the blast that shook Down to the earth the walls of Jericho, Shouts rise, and storms of sound from lifted trumpets blow! And thus, in order, mid the sacred grove Fed in the Libyan waste by gushing wells, The priests and damsels of Ammonian Jove Provoked responses with shrill canticles; While, in a ship begirt with silver bells, They round his altar bore the hornéd God, Old Cham, the solar Deity, who dwells Aloft, yet in a tilting vessel rode, When universal sea the mountains overflowed. Why speak of Roman pomps? the haughty claims Of chiefs triumphant after ruthless wars; The feast of Neptune,—and the Cereal Games, With images, and crowns, and empty cars; The dancing Salii,—on the shields of Mars Smiting with fury; and a deeper dread Scattered on all sides by the hideous jars Of Corybantian cymbals, while the head Of Cybelé was seen, sublimely turreted! At length a spirit more subdued and soft Appeared to govern Christian pageantries: The cross, in calm procession borne aloft, Moved to the chant of sober litanies. Even such, this day, came wafted on the breeze From a long train,—in hooded vestments fair Enwrapt,—and winding, between Alpine trees Spiry and dark, around their house of prayer, Below the icy bed of bright Argentiere. Still in the vivid freshness of a dream, The pageant haunts me as it met our eyes! Still, with those white-robed shapes,—a living stream,— The glacier pillars join in solemn guise For the same service, by mysterious ties; Numbers exceeding credible account Of number, pure and silent votaries Issuing or issued from a wintry fount; The impenetrable heart of that exalted mount! They, too, who send so far a holy gleam While they the church engird with motion slow, A product of that awful mountain seem, Poured from his vaults of everlasting snow; Not virgin lilies marshalled in bright row, Not swans descending with the stealthy tide, A livelier sisterly resemblance show, Than the fair forms, that in long order glide, Bear to the glacier band,—those shapes aloft descried. Trembling, I look upon the secret springs Of that licentious craving in the mind To act the God among external things, To bind, on apt suggestion, or unbind; And marvel not that antique Faith inclined To crowd the world with metamorphosis, Vouchsafed in pity or in wrath assigned; Such insolent temptations wouldst thou miss, Avoid these sights, nor brood o’er fable’s dark abyss!
William Wordsworth's other poems:
Poems of another poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):
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