Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT HOCHFINSTERMUNZ, by JOHN LAWSON STODDARD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AT HOCHFINSTERMUNZ, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Once more between its walls of pines
Last Line: And, dying, trust thee for the rest.
Subject(s): Love; Mythology - Classical; Nature; Pan (mythology); Soul; Switzerland; Swiss

Once more between its walls of pines
I see the long ravine expand
To where the ice-world's crystal lines
Define the realm of Switzerland.

Once more, a thousand feet below,
I watch the river's silver sheen,
As, foaming in its fettered flow,
It rushes from the Engadine.

Forever young, forever old,
This gorge, where stream with forest blends,
These glittering peaks, these glaciers cold, --
Are all to me familiar friends.

I know, alas, their towering forms
Of unresponsive rocks and snow
Are heartless as their wintry storms,
And heed not if I come or go;

Yet none the less I love to trace
Their stainless crests along the sky,
And, as I greet each well-known face,
Each seems in turn to make reply.

So potent is the subtle spell
That clothes such masses with a mind;
So strong the instincts which impel
Their lover answering love to find!

What if in truth there really be
A soul within them to adore;
Some half-revealed Divinity,
Whose presence haunts us evermore?

Some Power, to read our hearts, and know
How this wild beauty moves our tears;
Some God that, as our spirits grow,
Shall be discerned in after years?

Instinctively did earlier man
See fauns and dryads in the trees,
And find in universal Pan
The soul of Nature's mysteries.

All is divine, -- the bird that sings,
The flowers that bloom, the waves that roll;
One Spirit quickens men and things,
And stirs alike the sun and soul.

Great Nature's God! however styled,
I love thee, and upon thy breast
Would gladly lie, -- a grateful child,
And, dying, trust thee for the rest.

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