Of gentian, edelweiss, and Alpine roses?
“The Alpine Muse her iciest tears shall shed,
And ‘build a stone-man’ o’er your honour’d head,
Chamois and bouquetins the spot shall haunt,
With eagles, choughs, and lammergeyers gaunt;
The mountain marmots, marching o’er the snow,
Their yearly pilgrimage shall ne’er forego;
Tyndall himself, in grand, prophetic tones,
Shall calculate the movement of your bones;
And your renown shall live serene, eternal,
Embalmed in pages of the Alpine Journal!”
* * * * *
By reasoning such as this, year after
I overcome my men’s unreasoning fear:
Twice has my guide by falling stones been struck,
Yet still I trust his science and my luck.
A falling stone once cut my rope in twain;
We stopped to mend it, and marched on again.
Once a big boulder, with a sudden whack,
Severed my knapsack from my porter’s back.
Twice on a sliding avalanche I’ve slid,
While my companions in its depths were hid.
Daring all dangers, no disaster fearing,
I carry out my plan of mountaineering.
Thus have I conquered glacier, peak, and pass,
Aiguilles du Midi, Cols des Grandes Jorasses.
Thus shall I onward march from peak to peak,
Till there are no new conquests left to seek.
O the wild joy, the unutterable bliss
To hear the coming avalanche’s hiss!
Or place oneself in acrobatic pose,
While mountain missiles graze one’s sun-burnt nose!
And if some future season I be doom’d
To be by boulders crushed, or snow entombed,
Still let me upward urge my mad career,
And risk my limbs and life for honour dear!
Sublimely acquiescent in my lot,
I’ll die a martyr for—I know not what!
 Written in 1876.
I made an ascent of the Eiger
Last year, which has ne’er been surpassed;
’Twas dangerous, long, and laborious,
But almost incredibly fast.
We started at twelve from the Faulberg;
Ascended the Monch by the way;
And were well at the base of our mountain,
As the peak caught the dawn of the day.
In front of me Almer and Perren
Cut steps, each as big as a bucket;
While behind me there followed, as Herren,
George, Stephen, and Freshfield, and Tuckett.
We got to the top without trouble;
There halted, of course, for the view;
When clouds, sailing fast from the southward,
Veiled over the vault of dark blue.
The lightning shone playfully round us;
The thunder ferociously growled;
The hail beat upon us in bullets;
And the wind everlastingly howled.
We turned to descend to the Scheideck,
Eyes blinded, ears deafened, we ran,
In our panic and hurry, forgetting
To add a new stone to the man.