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.
 
Introductory to Switzerland
My Alpenstock
Henry Glassford Bell (1803–1874)
 
BEST of artists! mark for me,
  On my trusty alpenstock,
All the proper things, d’ ye see,
  Every mountain, every rock:
 
That when I go home therewith,        5
  Friends may know that I have been
Quite as high as Albert Smith,
  Or balloon of Mr. Green.
 
Mark it with the Righi first;
  Some say that ’s an easy hill,        10
Yet I own the place accurst
  Found me at the bottom still.
 
Then the Brunig, mark it strong,
  Truth itself can’t take offence,
All that height I came along,        15
  Rattling in the diligence.
 
Mark it with the Yungfrau next,
  Very few have ventured on her;
That I did not I am vext,
  For I meant it, on my honor!        20
 
From Martigny by Tête Noir,
  Or the Col de Balme they pace;
I said only “au revoir,”
  When I saw the kind of place:
 
But I saw it; therefore paint it,        25
  Paint in letters bold and broad;
’T is a pleasant proverb, ain’t it,
  That a wink ’s as good ’s a nod.
 
Artist, deeply now indent
  Scheideck where I played the fool,        30
Sore and saddle-sick I went
  Up and down upon a mule.
 
Mark the Ghemmi; all confess,
  He who has ascended it
Need not talk of breathlessness,        35
  Is for any mountain fit:
 
I went there and hired my guide,
  With a fear I don’t conceal,
But the scheme went all aside,
  For a nail ran up my heel.        40
 
Mark it lastly with Mont Blanc,
  Though it made me gasp and quake,
With a kind of mortal pang,
  Just to view it from the lake.
 
Thanks, my artist! now I go        45
  Back to London with delight,
For my alpenstock will show
  What becomes a man of might.
 
When I take it to my club,
  Jones himself will cease to sneer;        50
Brown will own, the spiteful cub,
  That my legs are no small beer.
 
 
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