On Hearing the “Ranz des Vaches” on the Top of the Pass of St. Gothard

I LISTEN – but no faculty of mine
Avails those modulations to detect,
Which, heard in foreign lands, the Swiss affect
With tenderest passion ; leaving him to pine
(So fame reports) and die ; his sweet-breathed kine
Remembering, and green Alpine pastures decked
With vernal flowers. Yet may we not reject
The tale as fabulous. – Here while I recline,
Mindful how others love this simple Strain
Even here, upon this glorious mountain (named
Of God himself from dread pre-eminence)
Aspiring thoughts, by memory reclaimed,
Yield to the Music’s touching influence,
And joys of distant home my heart enchain.

(William Wordsworth, Memorials of a tour on the continent, 1820)


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