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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Walter Herries Pollock b. 1850

Below the Heights

I SAT at Berne, and watched the chain

Of icy peaks and passes,

That towered like gods above the plain,

In stern majestic masses.

I waited till the evening light

Upon their heads descended;

They caught it on their glittering height,

And held it there suspended.

I saw the red spread o’er the white,

How like a maiden’s blushing,

Till all were hid in rosy light

That seemed from heaven rushing;

The dead white snow was flushed with life,

As if a new Pygmalion

Had sought to find himself a wife

In stones that saw Deucalion.

Too soon the light began to wane;

It lingered soft and tender,

And the snow-giants sank again

Into their cold dead splendor.

And, as I watched the last faint glow,

I turned as pale as they did,

And sighed to think that on the snow

The rose so quickly faded.