Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/290

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But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The Palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,[1]
And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold Sublimity, where forms and falls[2]
The Avalanche—the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gather around these summits, as to show
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.


But ere these matchless heights I dare to scan,
There is a spot should not be passed in vain,—
Morat! the proud, the patriot field! where man
May gaze on ghastly trophies of the slain,
Nor blush for those who conquered on that plain;

Here Burgundy bequeathed his tombless host,
  1. [Compare the opening lines of Coleridge's Hymn before Sunrise in the Valley of Chamouni

    "Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
    In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
    On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!"

    The "thunderbolt" (line 6) recurs in Manfred, act i. so. 1—

    "Around his waist are forests braced,
    The Avalanche in his hand;
    But ere its fall, that thundering ball
    Must pause for my command."]

  2. Around in chrystal grandeur to where falls
    The avalanche—the thunder-clouds of snow