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

Switzerland: Simmenthal


By Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901)

FAR off the old snows ever new

With silver edges cleft the blue

Aloft, alone, divine;

The sunny meadows silent slept,

Silence the sombre armies kept,

The vanguard of the pine.

In that thin air the birds are still,

No ringdove murmurs on the hill

Nor mating cushat calls;

But gay cicalas singing sprang,

And waters from the forest sang

The song of waterfalls.

O Fate! a few enchanted hours

Beneath the firs, among the flowers,

High on the lawn we lay,

Then turned again, contented well,

While bright about us flamed and fell

The rapture of the day.

And softly with a guileless awe

Beyond the purple lake she saw

The embattled summits glow;

She saw the glories melt in one,

The round moon rise, while yet the sun

Was rosy on the snow.

Then like a newly singing bird

The child’s soul in her bosom stirred;

I know not what she sung;—

Because the soft wind caught her hair,

Because the golden moon was fair,

Because her heart was young.

I would her sweet soul ever may

Look thus from those glad eyes and gray,

Unfearing, undefiled:

I love her; when her face I see,

Her simple presence wakes in me

The imperishable child.