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Normale Version: ON THE MOUNTAINS. (2)
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ON THE MOUNTAINS.

1.

NATURA BENIGNA.

WHAT power is this ? What witchery wins my feet
To peaks so sheer they scorn the cloaking snow,
All silent as the emerald gulfs below,
Down whose ice-walls the wings of twilight beat ?
What thrill of earth and heaven most wild, most sweet
What answering pulse the guardian senses know,
Comes leaping from the ruddy eastern glow
Where, far away, the skies and mountains meet ?
Mother, 'tis I once more : I know thee well,
Yet thy voice comes, an ever-new surprise !
O Mother and Queen, beneath the olden spell
Of silence, gazing from thy hills and skies !
Dumb Mother, struggling with the Years to tell
The secret at thy heart through helpless eyes !


2.

NATURA MALIGNA.

THE Lady of the Hills with crimes untold
Followed my feet, with azure eyes of prey ;
By glacier-brink she stood, by cataract-spray,
When mists were dire, or avalanche-echoes rolled.
At night she glimmered in the death-wind cold,
And if a footprint shone at break of day,
My flesh would quail, but straight my soul would say :
'Tis hers whose hand God's mightier hand doth hold.
I trod her snow-bridge, for the moon was bright,
Her icicle-arch across the sheer crevasse,
When lo, she stood ! God bade her let me pass ;
Then fell the bridge ; and, in the sallow light
Adown the chasm, I saw her, cruel-white,
And all my wondrous days as in a glass.
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