To the Mountain Winds.

⸻How divine
The liberty, for frail, for mortal man,
To ream at large among unpeopled glens,
And mountainous retirements, only trod
By devious footsteps !— Regions consecrate
To oldest time !— And, reckless of the storm
That keeps the raven quiet in his nest,
Be as a presence or a motion—One
Among the many there.
Mountain winds ! oh ! whither do ye call me ?1
Vainly, vainly would my steps pursue !2
Chains of care to lower earth enthral me,3
Wherefore thus my weary spirit woo ?4
Oh ! the strife of this divided being !5
Is there peace where ye are borne on high ?6
Could we soar to your proud eyries fleeing,7
In our hearts would haunting memories die ?8
Those wild places are not as a dwelling9
Whence the footsteps of the loved are gone !10
Never from those rocky halls came swelling11
Voice of kindness in familiar tone !12
Surely music of oblivion sweepeth13
In the pathway of your wanderings free ;14
And the torrent, wildly as it leapeth,15
Sings of no lost home amidst its glee.16
There the rushing of the falcon’s pinion,17
Is not from some hidden pang to fly ;18
All things breathe of power and stern dominion19
Not of hearts that in vain yearnings die.20
Mountain winds ! oh ! is it, is it only21
Where man’s trace hath been, that so we pine ?22
Bear me up, to grow in thought less lonely,23
Even at nature’s deepest, loneliest shrine !24
Wild, and mighty, and mysterious singers !25
At whose tone my heart within me burns ;26
Bear me where the last red sunbeam lingers,27
Where the waters have their secret urns !28
There to commune with a loftier spirit29
Than the troubling shadows of regret ;30
There the wings of freedom to inherit,31
Where the enduring and the wing’d are met,32
Hush, proud voices ! gentle be your falling !33
Woman’s lot thus chainless may not be ;34
Hush ! the heart your trumpet sounds are calling,35
Darkly still may grow—but never free !36