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: Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen
Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884)
 
I.
A LOWLY hut, stone piled and redly stained
With all of accident cold years have brought;
A mother and her child in silent thought
Sitting beside the river scarce contained
From kissing with its gray and brattling foam        5
Their feet, where monstrous over their lone home
Yon awful Alp in battlemented wall
Rears his sad forehead, from whose piny crest
The torrent springs to light and happier life!
It spurns the cloud where the unheeded call        10
Of birds is joyous mid the blinding strife
Of avalanches in the still deep noon,
Veiling the pines, and the convulséd tune
Of gray streams hushing in their arrowy fall.
 
II.
A temple for the Father, which his hand
        15
Hath reared for these his lowliest worshippers,
Arched with Heaven’s sapphire and with whispering firs,
Garnishing these walls sublime which ever stand
With many-colored shape of column fair,
And granite peak dim in the glittering air!        20
A lowly flock who need no pealing swell
Of choristers within quaint minster aisles,
Where God hath shamed all boastful human piles,
And whose cloud swings their awful Sabbath bell;
While silently they bow the thankful eye,        25
And kneel to Him whose hymn is there so well
Sung by his torrents leaping from the sky;
Thus live they, shut as in a holy cell,
Gracing their simple lives with natural piety.
 
 
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