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: Martigny
Morning in Martigny
Thomas Buchanan Read (1822–1872)
 
’T IS sunrise on Saint Bernard’s snow,
’T is dawn within the vale below;
And in Martigny’s streets appear
The mule and noisy muleteer;
And tinklings fill the rosy air,        5
Until the mountain pass seems there,
Up whose steep pathway scarcely stirs
The long, slow line of travellers;
And in the shadowy town is heard
The sound of many a foreign word.        10
 
Old men are there, whose locks are white
As yonder cloud which veils the height;
And maidens, whose young cheeks are kissed
  By ringlets flashing bright or dark,
Whose hearts are light as yonder mist        15
  That holds the music of the lark,—
And youths are there with jest and laugh,
Each bearing his oft-branded staff
To chronicle, when all is done,
The dangerous heights his feet have won.        20
 
So toils through life the pilgrim soul
  Mid rocky ways and valleys fair;
At every base or glorious goal
  His staff receives the record there,—
The names that shall forever twine,        25
And blossom like a fragrant vine,
Or, like a serpent, round it cling
Eternally to coil and sting.
 
 
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