Helen Maria Williams

(1761 - 15 December 1827 / England)

Hymn Written Among The Alps


CREATION'S GOD ! with thought elate,
Thy hand divine I see
Impressed on scenes, where all is great,
Where all is full of thee!

Where stern the Alpine mountains raise
Their heads of massive snow;
When on the rolling storm I gaze,
That hangs-how far below!

Where on some bold, stupendous height,
The Eagle sits alone;
Or soaring wings his sullen flight
To haunts still more his own:

Where the sharp rock the Chamois treads,
Or, slippery summit scales;
Or where the whitening Snow-bird spreads
Her plumes to icy gales:

Where the rude cliff's steep column glows
With morning's tint of blue;
Or evening on the glacier throws
The rose's blushing hue:

Or where by twilight's softer light,
The mountain's shadow bends;
And sudden casts a partial night,
As black its form descends:

Where the full ray of noon alone
Down the deep valley falls:
Or where the sunbeam never shone
Between its rifted walls:

Where cloudless regions calm the soul,
Bid mortal cares be still,
Can passion's wayward wish controul,
And rectify the will:

Where midst some vast expanse the mind,
Which swelling virtue fires,
Forgets that earth it leaves behind,
And to it's heaven aspires:

Where far along the desart air
Is heard no creature's call:
And undisturbing mortal ear
The avalanches fall:

Where rushing from their snowy source,
The daring torrents urge
Their loud-toned waters headlong course,
And lift their feathered surge:

Where swift the lines of light and shade
Flit o'er the lucid lake:
Or the shrill winds its breast invade,
And its green billows wake:

Where on the slope, with speckled dye
The pigmy herds I scan;
Or soothed, the scattered Chalets spy,
The last abode of man:

Or where the flocks refuse to pass,
And the lone peasant mows,
Fixed on his knees, the pendent grass,
Which down the steep he throws:

Where high the dangerous pathway leads
Above the gulph profound,
From whence the shrinking eye recedes,
Nor finds repose around:

Where red the mountain-ash reclines
Along the clifted rock;
Where firm the dark unbending pines
The howling tempests mock:

Where, level with the ice-ribb'd bound
The yellow harvests glow;
Or vales with purple vines are crown'd
Beneath impending snow:

Where the rich min'rals catch the ray,
With varying lustre bright,
And glittering fragments strew the way
With sparks of liquid light:

Or where the moss forbears to creep
Where loftier summits rear
Their untrod snow, and frozen sleep
Locks all the uncolour'd year:

In every scene, where every hour
Sheds some terrific grace,
In Nature's vast o'erwhelming power,
THEE , THEE , my GOD , I trace!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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