Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
Savoy: Chamouni (Chamonix), the Valley
Chamouny at Sunrise
Friederike Brun (1765–1835)
Translated by Charles Timothy Brooks

FROM the deep shadow of the silent fir-grove
I lift my eyes, and trembling look on thee,
Brow of eternity, thou dazzling peak,
From whose calm height my dreaming spirit mounts
And soars away into the infinite!        5
Who sank the pillar in the lap of earth,
Down deep, the pillar of eternal rock,
On which thy mass stands firm, and firm hath stood
While centuries on centuries rolled along?
Who reared, up-towering through the vaulted blue,        10
Mighty and bold, thy radiant countenance?
Who poured you from on high with thunder-sound,
Down from old winter’s everlasting realm,
O jagged streams, o’er rock and through ravine?
And whose almighty voice commanded loud,        15
“Here shall the stiffening billows rest awhile!”
Whose finger points yon morning-star his course?
Who fringed with blossom-wreaths the eternal frost?
Whose name, O wild Arveiron, does thy din
Of waves sound out in dreadful harmonies?        20
“Jehovah!” crashes in the bursting ice;
Down through the gorge the rolling avalanche
Carries the word in thunder to the vales.
“Jehovah!” murmurs in the morning breeze,
Along the trembling tree-tops; down below        25
It whispers in the purling, silvery brooks.

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