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

Austria: Leopoldsberg


By Magnus Sabiston

SOON as the first faint twilight of the coming morn gave sign,

Sobieski took his charger, and he rode along the line;

He saw his army all prepared and ready for the fray:

Their ranks were put in motion at the dawning of the day;

And troop by troop, and file by file, the winding columns pressed

Up the high Leopoldsberg, and halted on its crest.

The sun rose, and a flood of light o’er heaven and earth he threw;

But a soft sea of silvery mist hid all below from view;

The vapors yielded to his beams, and, floating far and wide,

They vanished like a vision as they reached the mountain’s side;

And the glorious panorama they for a while concealed,

In all its morning freshness and beauty was revealed.

Far to the south the Styrian Alps ’gainst the blue heaven arose,

Their sides veiled in faint purple haze, their summits white with snows;

The Carpathian mountains, eastward, half hid in mist were seen:

And the spires of distant Presburg, and the Leytha’s slopes of green;

And the majestic Danube, like a flood of liquid gold,

Reflecting the sun’s splendor, through the great valley rolled,

Which, in the distance, stretched away, by mountain walls confined,—

The beaten path of nations, the highway of mankind.

Beneath them lay Vienna, still enwreathed in mist and smoke:

Its walls breached by the Moslems’ guns, whose thunders ceaseless broke;

And their tents in countless thousands stretched mile after mile around,

And, like a second city, spread o’er all the neighboring ground.