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Littell's Living Age/Volume 169/Issue 2191/The Sentis

Left were the busy quays, the street,
The alleys where the lindens meet,
The lilies on the convent pond,
The convent vanes that soared beyond.

High up the towering hill we stand,
Round us the hush of fairy land;
Sheer down beneath our feet outlay
The town, the cape, the crescent bay;

The sombre haze of Baden’s wood,
The brimming lake’s broad gleaming flood,
Bavaria’s long low purple line,
The gentle inflow of the Rhine;

And bosky Austrian headlands steep
That pushed into the rippling deep;
While southward far swelled high over all
The Vorarlberg’s grey battered wall.

Then on we panted, keen to gain
The goal that crowns the climber's pain;
An opening in the pines, and lo!
The Sentis, with its cone of snow!

Across deep leagues of limpid air,
How close it looked! how ghostly fair!
A silent vision to bring tears
Of rapture through the ebbing years.

The pink flush fades as back we go,
And cold winds from the glaciers blow.
We parted: I passed on in haste,
‘Neath roaring fall and frozen waste,

Through valleys bleached with apple bloom,
By Thusis, and the gorge of gloom,
Swept sledge-borne o’er the Splugen wild
To lake-sides where the myrtle smiled;

And breathed at last in gales of balm
Where by the blue wave dreams the palm,
And sighted, sixty miles away,
Peter’s white peak in Corsica.

Yet ever with me, snow-besprent,
The phantom of the mountain went,
Lofty and sad, a giant lone,
Spellbound upon his stony throne.

I see it (as I saw it then),
Here by the burn in Sannox glen
Scarce sharper showed it that clear morn,
‘Mid the weird realm of alp and horn.