Mont Blanc

Nicholas Michell

See where the Jungfrau lifts its peaks on high,
Pillars of heaven, and ramparts of the sky!
Seasons may change, and summer suns may glow,
Bernard still wears his crown of endless snow;
What heeds Mount Blanc the thunder or the storm?
Eternity is imaged in his form;
Earthquakes wreck human cities, but they bring
No change, no fear, to that dread mountain-king;
Clouds spread beneath his stainless, dazzling crest,
Which, as the sun wheels down the crimson West,
Catches pale rose-hues, and deep burnished gold,
Till mists, rocks, snow, in fire seem round him rolled —
A mighty altar flaming to the skies,
A stepping-stone to God's great Paradise.

The Mont Blanc Massif is the highest mountain in Europe. Michell would no doubt be astonished by the railway that runs in tunnels up to the top of the Jungfrau.