ELEGY, August 27th, 1898.1

SO have the days departed, as the leaves

Smitten by wrath of Autumn blast;

So the year, fallen from delight, still grieves

Over the happy past.

The year of barren summer, when the wind

Blew from the south unlooked-for snow,

The year when Collon,2 desolate and blind,

Gloomed on the vale below,

When logs of pinewood lit the little room,

And friendship ventured in to sit

Beside their blaze, to listen in the gloom

To wisdom and to wit; {127A}

When we discussed our hopes, and told the stories

Of happy climbing days gone by;

The stubborn battle with the cliffs, the glories

Of the blue Alpine sky.

The keen delight of paths untrodden yet,

And new steep ice and rocky ways

Too dangerous and splendid to forget.

Those dear strong happy days!

And now what happier fate to your brave souls

Than so to strive and fighting fall?

Think you that He who sees you, and controls,

Did not devise it all?

The mountains that you loved have taken you,

And we who love you will not weep.

Shall we begrudge? Your last look saw sky blue;

You will be glad to sleep.

Your pure names (thrice renowned, yours fresh with youth

And full of promise) shall be kept

Still in our hearts for monuments of truth,

As if you had not slept.

 

1. When Dr. John Hopkinson and three of his children perished on the Petite Dent de Veisivi.

2. A mountain at the head of the Val d’Herens.

 

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