There, Death and Terror hold an endless reign,
Far up, from cruel cliffs of silver-grey
Grim glaciers break and cast their lives away
With groaning and unutterable pain;
Here, Life and Peace abide; with silver strain
Of bells the cattle through the pine-groves stray,
A soft wind sets the flowering firs asway
And fills the air with pollen’s golden rain.
Life! Death!—how narrow is the gulf between!
Yet none may dare to cross the dread crevasse—
Here, summer-meads beneficently green,
There, winter-heights that know no joy of grass,
While thundering out of sight to the ravine
All day the Jungfrau’s avalanches pass.
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 102)