(From The Golden Legend)THIS is the highest point. Two ways the rivers
|Leap down to different seas, and as they roll|
|Grow deep and still, and their majestic presence|
|Becomes a benefaction to the towns|
|They visit, wandering silently among them,|| 5|
|Like patriarchs old among their shining tents.|
ELSIEHow bleak and bare it is! Nothing but mosses
|Grow on these rocks.|
PRINCE HENRY Yet are they not forgotten;
|Beneficent Nature sends the mists to feed them.|
ELSIESee yonder little cloud, that, borne aloft
|So tenderly by the wind, floats fast away|
|Over the snowy peaks! It seems to me|
|The body of St. Catherine, borne by angels!|
PRINCE HENRYThou art St. Catherine, and invisible angels
|Bear thee across these chasms and precipices,|| 15|
|Lest thou shouldst dash thy feet against a stone!|
ELSIEWould I were borne unto my grave, as she was,
|Upon angelic shoulders! Even now|
|I seem uplifted by them, light as air!|
|What sound is that?|
PRINCE HENRY The tumbling avalanches!
ELSIEHow awful, yet how beautiful!
PRINCE HENRY These are
|The voices of the mountains! Thus they ope|
|Their snowy lips, and speak unto each other,|
|In the primeval language, lost to man.|
ELSIEWhat land is this that spreads itself beneath us?
PRINCE HENRYItaly! Italy!
ELSIE Land of the Madonna!
|How beautiful it is! It seems a garden|