We left the fields where Tell the archer bent
The bow whose twanging yet has never died,
And high along the Reuss’s rushing tide,
Behind the steamy dragon, up we went.
Chasms were bridged, the very rocks were rent
To let us pass. Aloud the monster cried,
And coiling on itself in earth would glide
By marvellous gyres to gain a higher vent.
Then through the mist of hail and blinding snow
We roared into the tunnel sulphurous, long,
And the head reeled—we almost felt the pain
Of that fierce snorting dragon’s forward strain;
Forth leapt the light; blue heaven was ours, and
And old Italia lay in sun below.
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 46)