The daylight fell, and vast o’ershadowings
Filled with their purple dark the valleys under,
When swift as thought Heaven’s veil was rent
And gave us vision of the mountain kings;
Their thrones—carved ivory, unsubstantial things,
Such as men only dream of—seemed a wonder
Of palpitating fire, and grey with thunder
A huge cloud bore them up on plumy wings.
Then forth on Eiger’s topmost peak out-stepped
The full orbed moon, and swift away she drew
Death-pale—her envy could not brook the sight,
For while beneath her feet earth’s darkness crept,
These mountain kings in power and glory grew
To stay the sun, and to delay the night.
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 111)