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Zermatt: To the Matterhorn

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Zermatt: To the Matterhorn

(June–July 1897)

Thirty-two years since, up against the sun,

Seven shapes, thin atomies to lower sight,

Labouringly leapt and gained thy gabled height,

And four lives paid for what the seven had won.

They were the first by whom the deed was done,

And when I look at thee, my mind takes flight

To that day’s tragic feat of manly might,

As though, till then, of history thou hadst none.

Yet ages ere men topped thee, late and soon

Thou didst behold the planets lift and lower;

Saw’st, maybe, Joshua’s pausing sun and moon,

And the betokening sky when Cæsar’s power

Approached its bloody end; yea, even that Noon

When darkness filled the earth till the ninth hour.

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