Let them fade—but we’ll pray that
the age, in whose flight,
Of ourselves and our friends the remembrance shall die
May rise o’er the world, with the gladness and light
Of the morning that withers the stars from the sky.
“Innocent child and snow-white flower.”
Innocent child and snow-white flower!
Well are ye paired in your opening hour.
Thus should the pure and the lovely meet,
Stainless with stainless, and sweet with sweet.
White as those leaves, just blown apart,
Are the folds of thy own young heart;
Guilty passion and cankering care
Never have left their traces there.
Artless one! though thou gazest now
O’er the white blossom with earnest brow,
Soon will it tire thy childish eye;
Fair as it is, thou wilt throw it by.
Throw it aside in thy weary hour,
Throw to the ground the fair white flower;
Yet, as thy tender years depart,
Keep that white and innocent heart.
Supposed to be written at A hamlet near the foot of Mont Blanc.
Not from the sands or cloven rocks,
Thou rapid Arve! thy waters flow;
Nor earth, within her bosom, locks
Thy dark unfathomed wells below.
Thy springs are in the cloud, thy stream
Begins to move and murmur first
Where ice-peaks feel the noonday beam,
Or rain-storms on the glacier burst.
Born where the thunder and the blast,
And morning’s earliest light are born,
Thou rushest swoln, and loud, and fast,
By these low homes, as if in scorn:
Yet humbler springs yield purer waves;
And brighter, glassier streams than thine,
Sent up from earth’s unlighted caves,
With heaven’s own beam and image shine.
Yet stay; for here are flowers and trees;
Warm rays on cottage roofs are here,
And laugh of girls, and hum of bees—
Here linger till thy waves are clear.
Thou heedest not—thou hastest on;
From steep to steep thy torrent falls,
Till, mingling with the mighty Rhone,
It rests beneath Geneva’s walls.
Rush on—but were there one with me
That loved me, I would light my hearth
Here, where with God’s own majesty
Are touched the features of the earth.
By these old peaks, white, high, and vast,
Still rising as the tempests beat,
Here would I dwell, and sleep, at last,
Among the blossoms at their feet.