Hark, the horal tempest nears,
Sounding but for spirit ears,
Lo! the new-born day appears;
Clang the rocky portals, climb
Phoebus’ wheels with thund’rous chime:
Breaks with tuneful noise the light!
Blare of trumpet, clarion sounding,
Eye-sight dazing, ear astounding!
Hear not the unheard; take flight!
Into petaled blossoms glide
Deeper, deeper, still to bide,
In the clefts, ’neath thickets! ye,
If it strike you, deaf will be.
Life’s pulses reawakened freshly bound,
The mild ethereal twilight fain to greet.
Thou, Earth, this night wast also constant found,
And, newly-quickened, breathing at my feet,
Beginnest now to gird me with delight;
A strong resolve dost rouse, with noble heat
Aye to press on to being’s sovereign height.
The world in glimmering dawn still folded lies;
With thousand-voiced life the woods resound;
Mist-wreaths the valley shroud; yet from the skies
Sinks heaven’s clear radiance to the depths profound;
And bough and branch from dewy chasms rise,
Where they had drooped erewhile in slumber furled;
Earth is enamelled with unnumber’d dyes,
Leaflet and flower with dew-drops are impearled;
Around me everywhere is paradise.
Gaze now aloft! Each mountain’s giant height
The solemn hour announces, herald-wise;
They early may enjoy the eternal light,
To us below which later finds its way.
Now are the Alpine slopes and valleys dight
With the clear radiance of the new-born day,
Which, downward, step by step, steals on
apace.—It blazes forth,—and, blinded by the ray,
With aching eyes, alas! I veil my face.
So when a hope, the heart hath long held fast,
Trustful, still striving toward its highest goal,
Fulfilment’s portals open finds at
last;—Sudden from those eternal depths doth roll
An over-powering flame;—we stand aghast!
The torch of life to kindle we were
fain;—A fire-sea,—what a fire!—doth round us close;
Love is it? Is it hate? with joy and pain,
In alternation vast, that round us glows?
So that to earth we turn our wistful gaze,
In childhood’s veil to shroud us once again!
So let the sun behind me pour its rays!
The cataract, through rocky cleft that roars,
I view, with growing rapture and amaze.
From fall to fall, with eddying shock, it pours,
In thousand torrents to the depths below,
Aloft in air up-tossing showers of spray.
But see, in splendor bursting from the storm,
Arches itself the many-colored bow,
And ever-changeful, yet continuous form,
Now drawn distinctly, melting now away,
Diffusing dewy coolness all around!
Man’s efforts there are glassed, his toil and strife;
Reflect, more true the emblem will be found:
This bright reflected glory pictures life!