THE Caucas lies before my feet! I stand where
Glaciers gleam, beside a precipice rock-ribbed;
An eagle that has soared from off some distant cliff,
Lawless as I, sweeps through the radiant air!
Here I see streams at their sources up-welling,
The grim avalanches unrolling and swelling!
The soft cloudy convoys are stretched forth below,
Tattered by thronging mad torrents descending;
Beneath them the naked rocks downward are bending,
Still deeper, the wild shrubs and sparse herbage grow;
But yonder the forests stand verdant in flora
And birds are a’twitter in choiring chorus.
Yonder, cliff-nested-are dwellings of mortals,
There pasture the lambs in sweet blossoming meadows–
There couch the herds in the cool deepening shadows–
There roar the Aragua’s blue sparkling waters,
And lurketh the bandit safe hid in lone caverns,
Where Terek, wild sporting, is cutting the azure!
It leaps and it howls like some ravening beast
At first sight of feeding, through grating of iron–
It roars on the shore with a furious purring,
It licks on the pebbles with eagerest greed.
Vain struggle and rancor and hatred, alas!
‘Tis enchained and subdued by the unheeding mass.