"Earth, With Her Thousand Voices, Praises God"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Coleridge, in the Vale of Chamonix, or Chamouni, stands at early dawn before the great mass of Mont Blanc and is so mightily affected by the scene that he is moved to hymn the glory of God, Whose handwork the mountain is. The rivers Arve and Arveiron roar ceaselessly at the base of the mountain, which rises in silence so profound as to make him raise his voice in praise. The wonder of the mighty foundations of the mass, sunk deep into the earth; its face snow-covered, bathed with the rosy light of early morning; its parentage of many streams that perpetually gush forth from its caves of ice; its ice falls, like silent cataracts; all speak to the poet of God. The brilliant blue gentians that flourish up to the edge of the ice, the wild goats leaping upon the crags, the eagles sporting with the mountain storm, and the lightning, like arrows, also proclaim the reality of God. The avalanche that plunges unheard by human ears into the clouds that sometimes veil the mountain, and above all, the great mountain itself, like a kingly spirit enthroned amid the encircling hills, is conjured by the poet to tell the sky, the stars, and the rising sun that the earth in all its forms praises God.

Thou too, hoar Mount with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalance, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast–
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before me–Rise, O ever rise,
Rise like a cloud of incense from the Earth!
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.