Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Switzerland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI.  1876–79.
 
Switzerland: Unterwalden
Battle of Unterwalden
James Montgomery (1771–1854)
 
(From The Wanderer of Switzerland)

FROM the valley we descried,
As the Gauls approached our shores,
Keels that darkened all the tide,
Tempesting the lake with oars.
 
Then the mountain-echoes rang        5
With the clangor of alarms:
Shrill the signal-trumpet sang;
All our warriors leaped to arms.
 
On the margin of the flood,
While the frantic foe drew nigh;        10
Grim as watching wolves we stood,
Prompt as eagles stretched to fly.
 
In a deluge upon land
Burst their overwhelming might;
Back we hurled them from the strand,        15
Oft returning to the fight.
 
Fierce and long the combat held;
Till the waves were warm with blood,
Till the booming waters swelled
As they sank beneath the flood.        20
 
For on that triumphant day
Underwalden’s arms once more
Broke Oppression’s black array,
Dashed invasion from her shore.
 
Gaul’s surviving barks retired,        25
Muttering vengeance as they fled:
Hope in us, by conquest fired,
Raised our spirits from the dead.
 
From the dead our spirits rose,
To the dead they soon returned;        30
Bright, on its eternal close,
Underwalden’s glory burned.
 
 
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