To Ulrich Lauener at Lauterbrunnen

Last veteran of a lion-hearted band,
        Withered of form, in spirit unsubdued,
        The conqueror of the mountain solitude,
He stood alone; his snow-seared eyes still scanned
The well-loved heights: I held his horny hand,
        That hand so sure in all vicissitude,—
        And this was he who first of men had stood
On many a virgin peak of Oberland;

And this was he who well had fenced with death,
    Who well had kept all charges to him given.
        Now he was old, his bones were racked with
        ‘Farewell,’ I cried, ‘brave heart, we meet again!’
And Ulrich answered grave, beneath his breath,
    ‘Master, no more on earth! perchance in Heaven.’

(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 91)