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Nature's Temperaments Post by :DREAMCHASR Category :Poems Author :George Borrow Date :July 2011 Read :862

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Nature's Temperaments

(From The Danish Of Oehlenslaeger)


Lo, a pallid fleecy vapour
Far along the East is spread;
Every star has quench'd its taper,
Lately glimmering over head.
On the leaves, that bend so lowly,
Drops of crystal water gleam;
Yawning wide, the peasant slowly
Drives afield his sluggish team.
Dreary looks the forest, lacking
Song of birds that slumber mute;
No rough swain is yet attacking,
With his bill, the beech's root.
Night's terrific ghostly hour
Backward through time's circle flies;
No shrill clock from moss-grown tower
Bids the dead men wake and rise.
Wearied out with midnight riot
Mystic Nature slumbers now;
Mouldering bodies rest in quiet,
'Neath their tomb-lids damp and low;
Sad and chill the wind is sighing
Through the reeds that skirt the pool,
All around looks dead or dying,
Wrapt in sorrow, clad in dool.


Roseate colours on heaven's high arch
Are beginning to mix with the blue and the gray,
Sol now commences his wonderful march,
And the forests' wing'd denizens sing from the spray.
Gaily the rose
Is seen to unclose
Each of her leaves to the brightening ray.
Waves on the lake
Rise, sparkle, and break:
O Venus, O Venus, thy shrine is prepar'd,
Far down in the valley o'erhung by the grove;
Where, all the day, Philomel warbles, unscar'd,
Her silver-ton'd ditty of pleasure and love.

Innocence smiling out-carrols the lark,
And the bosom of guilt becomes tranquil again;
Nightmares and visions, the fiends of the dark,
Have abandon'd the blood and have flown from the brain.
Higher the sun
Up heaven has run,
Beaming so fierce that we feel him with pain;
Man, herb, and flower,
Droop under his power.
O Venus, O Venus, thy shrine is prepar'd,
Far down in the valley o'erhung by the grove
Where, all the day, Philomel warbles, unscar'd,
Her silver-ton'd ditty of pleasure and love.


What darkens, what darkens?--'t is heaven's high roof:
What lightens?--'t is Heckla's flame, shooting aloof:
The proud, the majestic, the rugged old Thor,
The mightiest giant the North ever saw,
Transform'd to a mountain, stands there in the field,
With ice for his corslet, and rock for his shield;
With thunder for voice, and with fire for tongue,
He stands there, so frightful, with vapour o'erhung.
On that other side of the boisterous sea
Black Vulcan, as haughty as ever was he,
Stands, chang'd to a mountain, call'd Etna by name,
Which belches continually oceans of flame.
Much blood have they spilt, and much harm have they done,
For both, when the ancient religions were gone,
Combin'd their wild strength to destroy the new race,
Who were boldly beginning their shrines to deface.
O, Jesus of Nazareth, draw forth the blade
Of vengeance, and speed to thy worshippers' aid;
Beat down the old gods, cut asunder their mail--
Amen!--brother Christians, why look ye so pale.

(The end)
George Borrow's poem: Nature's Temperaments

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