Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
A New Pilgrimage: Sonnet IX
These were in truth brave days. From our high perch,
The box--seat of our travelling chariot, then
We children spied the world 'twas ours to search,
And mocked like birds at manners and at men.
What wonders we beheld, Havre, Rouen, Caen,
The Norman caps, the Breton crowds in church,
The loyal Loire, the valorous Vendéen,
And all the Revolution left in lurch
That very year--things old as Waterloo.
But when we neared the mountains crowned with snows,
And heard the torrents roar, our wonder grew
Over our wit, and a new pleasure rose
Wild in our hearts, and stopped our tongues with dread,
The sense of death and beauty overhead.
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