Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
IV. Inland Waters: Highlands
Calm on Lake Leman
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
From “Childe Harold,” Canto III.

  CLEAR, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
  With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
  Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
  Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.
  This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing        5
  To waft me from distraction; once I loved
  Torn ocean’s roar, but thy soft murmuring
  Sounds sweet as if a sister’s voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e’er have been so moved.
 
  It is the hush of night, and all between        10
  Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
  Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
  Save darkened Jura, whose capt heights appear
  Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
  There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,        15
  Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
  Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more:
 
  He is an evening reveller, who makes
  His life an infancy, and sings his fill;        20
  At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
  Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
  There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
  But that is fancy; for the starlight dews
  All silently their tears of love instil,        25
  Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature’s breast the spirit of her hues.
 
 
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