Much the greatest part of this poem was composed during my walks upon the banks of the Loire in the years 1791, 1792. I will only notice that the description of the valley filled with mist, beginning--"In solemn shapes," was taken from that beautiful region of which the principal features are Lungarn and Sarnen. Nothing that I ever saw in nature left a more delightful impression on my mind than that which I have attempted, alas! how feebly, to convey to others in these lines. Those two lakes have always interested me especially, from bearing, in their size and other features, a resemblance to those of the North of England. It is much to be deplored that a district so beautiful should be so unhealthy as it is.





However desirous I might have been of giving you proofs of the high place you hold in my esteem, I should have been cautious of wounding your delicacy by thus publicly addressing you, had not the circumstance of our having been companions among the Alps, seemed to give this dedication a propriety sufficient to do away any scruples which your modesty might otherwise have suggested.

In inscribing this little work to you, I consult my heart. You know well how great is the difference between two companions lolling in a post-chaise, and two travellers plodding slowly along the road, side by side, each with his little knapsack of necessaries upon his shoulders. How much more of heart between the two latter!

I am happy in being conscious that I shall have one reader who will approach the conclusion of these few pages with regret. You they must certainly interest, in reminding you of moments to which you can hardly look back without a pleasure not the less dear from a shade of melancholy. You will meet with few images without recollecting the spot where we observed them together; consequently, whatever is feeble in my design, or spiritless in my colouring, will be amply supplied by your own memory.

With still greater propriety I might have inscribed to you a description of some of the features of your native mountains, through which we have wandered together, in the same manner, with so much pleasure. But the sea-sunsets, which give such splendour to the vale of Clwyd, Snowdon, the chair of Idris, the quiet village of Bethgelert, Menai and her Druids, the Alpine steeps of the Conway, and the still more interesting windings of the wizard stream of the Dee, remain yet untouched. Apprehensive that my pencil may never be exercised on these subjects, I cannot let slip this opportunity of thus publicly assuring you with how much affection and esteem
I am, dear Sir,
Most sincerely yours,
London, 1793.

Happiness (if she had been to be found on earth) among the charms of Nature--Pleasures of the pedestrian Traveller--Author crosses France to the Alps--Present state of the Grande Chartreuse--Lake of Como--Time, Sunset--Same Scene, Twilight---Same Scene, Morning; its voluptuous Character; Old man and forest-cottage music--River Tusa--Via Mala and Grison Gipsy--Sckellenen-thal--Lake of Uri--Stormy sunset--Chapel of William Tell--Force of local emotion--Chamois-chaser--View of the higher Alps--Manner of life of a Swiss mountaineer, interspersed with views of the higher Alps--Golden age of the Alps--Life and views continued--Ranz des Vaches, famous Swiss Air--Abbey of Einsiedlen and its pilgrims--Valley of Chamouny--Mont Blanc--Slavery of Savoy--Influence of liberty on cottage-happiness--France--Wish for the Extirpation of slavery--Conclusion.