ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYN
Written at Rydal Mount. The lady was Miss Blackett, then
residing with Mr. Montagu Burgoyne at Fox-Ghyll. We were tempted
to remain too long upon the mountain; and I, imprudently, with the
hope of shortening the way, led her among the crags and down a
steep slope which entangled us in difficulties that were met by
her with much spirit and courage.
INMATE of a mountain-dwelling,
Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed
From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;
Awed, delighted, and amazed!
Potent was the spell that bound thee
Not unwilling to obey;
For blue Ether's arms, flung round thee,
Stilled the pantings of dismay.
Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows;
What a vast abyss is there!
Lo! the clouds, the solemn shadows,
And the glistenings--heavenly fair!
And a record of commotion
Which a thousand ridges yield;
Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean
Gleaming like a silver shield!
Maiden! now take flight;--inherit
Alps or Andes--they are thine!
With the morning's roseate Spirit,
Sweep their length of snowy line;
Or survey their bright dominions
In the gorgeous colours drest
Flung from off the purple pinions,
Evening spreads throughout the west!
Thine are all the coral fountains
Warbling in each sparry vault
Of the untrodden lunar mountains;
Listen to their songs!--or halt,
To Niphates' top invited,
Whither spiteful Satan steered;
Or descend where the ark alighted,
When the green earth re-appeared;
For the power of hills is on thee,
As was witnessed through thine eye
Then, when old Helvellyn won thee
To confess their majesty!