"Thrice he rose, and thrice / His feet recoil'd; and still the livid flame / Lengthen'd and quiver'd as the moaning wind / Pass'd thro' the rushy crevice, while his heart / Beat, like the death-watch, in his shudd'ring breast."
— Robinson [Née Darby], Mary [Perdita] (1758-1800)
Half petrified the scene, when not a star
Gleam'd o'er the bleak infinity of space,
Sudden the Hermit started from his couch
With painful agitation. On his cheek
The blanch'd interpreter of horror mute
Sat terribly impressive! In his breast
The ruddy fount of life convulsive flow'd,
And his broad eyes, fix'd motionless as death,
Gaz'd vacantly aghast! His feeble lamp
Was wasting rapidly; the biting gale
Pierc'd the thin texture of his narrow cell;
And silence, like a fearful centinel
Marking the peril which awaited near,
Conspir'd with sullen night to wrap the scene
In tenfold horrors. Thrice he rose, and thrice
His feet recoil'd; and still the livid flame
Lengthen'd and quiver'd as the moaning wind
Pass'd thro' the rushy crevice, while his heart
Beat, like the death-watch, in his shudd'ring breast.
(Cf. pp. 91-2 in 1800 Lyrical Tales)
See Lyrical Tales, by Mrs. Mary Robinson. (London: Printed for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster-Row, by Biggs and Co. Bristol, 1800). <Link to ECCO> -- poem is titled "The Hermit of Mont-Blanc"