Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Switzerland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI.  1876–79.
Switzerland: Glion
Obermann Once More
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
(See full text.)

GLION?—Ah, twenty years, it cuts
All meaning from a name!
White houses prank where once were huts;
Glion, but not the same!
And yet I know not. All unchanged        5
The turf, the pines, the sky!
The hills in their old order ranged!
The lake, with Chillon by!
And ’neath those chestnut-trees, where stiff
And stony mounts the way,        10
Their crackling husk-heaps burn, as if
I left them yesterday.
Across the valley, on that slope,
The huts of Avant shine;
Its pines under their branches ope        15
Ways for the tinkling kine.
Full-foaming milk-pails, Alpine fare,
Sweet heaps of fresh-cut grass,
Invite to rest the traveller there,
Before he climb the pass,—        20
The gentian-flowered pass, its crown
With yellow spires aflame,
Whence drops the path to Allière down,
And walls where Byron came,
By their green river who doth change        25
His birth-name just below;
Orchard and croft and full-stored grange
Nursed by his pastoral flow.
But stop!—To fetch back thoughts that stray
Beyond this gracious bound,        30
The cone of Jaman, pale and gray,
See in the blue profound!
Ah, Jaman! delicately tall
Above his sun-warmed firs,—
What thoughts to me his rocks recall!        35
What memories he stirs!
And who but thou must be, in truth,
Obermann! with me here?
Thou master of my wandering youth,
But left this many a year!        40
Yes, I forget the world’s work wrought,
Its warfare waged with pain!
An eremite with thee, in thought
Once more I slip my chain,
And to thy mountain-châlet come,        45
And lie beside its door,
And hear the wild bee’s Alpine hum,
And thy sad, tranquil lore.
Again I feel its words inspire
Their mournful calm,—serene,        50
Yet tinged with infinite desire
For all that might have been,
The harmony from which man swerved
Made his life’s rule once more!
The universal order served!        55
Earth happier than before!
*        *        *        *        *

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.