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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI. 1876–79.

Switzerland: Alps, The

An Alpine Picture

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

STAND here and look, and softly hold your breath

Lest the vast avalanche come crashing down!

How many miles away is yonder town

Set flower-wise in the valley? Far beneath—

A scimitar half drawn from out its sheath—

The river curves through meadows newly mown;

The ancient water-courses are all strown

With drifts of snow, fantastic wreath on wreath;

And peak on peak against the turquoise-blue

The Alps like towering campanili stand,

Wondrous, with pinnacles of frozen rain,

Silvery, crystal, like the prism in hue.

O, tell me, love, if this be Switzerland—

Or is it but the frost-work on the pane?