Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.

Savoy: Chamouni (Chamonix), the Valley


By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

LAST, let us turn to Chamouny, that shields

With rocks and gloomy woods her fertile fields:

Five streams of ice amid her cots descend,

And with wild-flowers and blooming orchards blend,—

A scene more fair than what the Grecian feigns

Of purple lights and ever-vernal plains;

Here all the seasons revel hand in hand;

Mid lawns and shades by breezy rivulets fanned,

They sport beneath that mountain’s matchless height

That holds no commerce with the summer night.

From age to age, throughout his lonely bounds

The crash of ruin fitfully resounds;

Appalling havoc! but serene his brow,

Where daylight lingers on perpetual snow;

Glitter the stars above, and all is black below.