Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Chamouni
By Sydney Dobell (1824–1874)
 
                            IF
Thou hast known anywhere amid a storm
Of thunder, when the Heavens and Earth were moved,
A gleam of quiet sunshine that hath saved
Thine heart; or where the earthquake hath made wreck,        5
Knowest a stream, that wandereth fair and sweet
As brooks go singing thro’ the fields of home;
Or on a sudden when the sea, distent
With windy pride, upriseth thro’ the clouds
To set his great head equal with the stars,        10
Hast sunk Hell-deep, thy noble ship a straw
Betwixt two billows; or in any wild
Barbaric, hast, with half-drawn breath, passed by
The sleeping savage, dreadful still in sleep,
Scarred by a thousand combats, by his side        15
His rugged spouse—in aught but sex a chief—
Their babe between; or where the stark roof-tree
Of a burnt home blackened and sear lies dark,
Betwixt the gaunt-ribbed ruin, hast thou seen
The rose of peace; or in some donjon deep,        20
Rent by a giant in the blasted rock
And proof against his peers,—hast thou beheld
Prone in the gloom, naked and shining sad
In her own light of loveliness, a fair
Daughter of Eve: Then as thou seest God        25
In some material likeness, less and more,
Thou hast seen Chamouni, ’mid sternest Alps
The gentlest valley; bright meandering track
Of summer when she winds among the snows
From Land to Land.        30
 
 
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