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

Switzerland: Alps, The

The Alps

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

(From Ode on the Ascent of the Alps)

HERE rest, my soul, from meteor dreams;

And thou, my song, find rest. The streams

That left at morn yon mountain’s brow

Are sleeping with Locarno now.

Though heaven in rapture finds her peace,

Earth seeks, perforce, from joy release.

Gaze on those skies at once o’er all the earth

Dissolving in a bath of purple dews,

And spread thy soul abroad as widely forth

Till love thy soul, as heaven the snows, suffuse.

Gaze, gaze on heaven; and mark, his clouds among,

The sun, emerging in his luminous might:

Gaze on the earth; and mark, o’er all, Mont Blanc,

Answering that sinking orb with light for light:

He sinks,—is set,—but upwards without end

Two mighty beams, diverging,

Like hands in benediction raised, extend;

From the great deep a crimson mist is surging;

The peaks all round are funeral pyres

On which the flaming day expires;

Strange gleams, each moment ten times bright,

Shoot round, transfiguring as they smite

All spaces of the empyreal height,—

Deep gleams, high words which God to man doth speak;

From peak to solemn peak in order driven

They speed,—a loftier vision dost thou seek?

Rise then,—to Heaven!