Various mountain poetry
The mountain cheer, the frosty skies,
Breed purer wits, inventive eyes,
And then the moral of the place
Hints summits of heroic grace,
Men in those crags a fastness find
…To fight corruption of the mind,
The insanity of towns to stem,
With simpleness for strategem.
Ah, snug lie those that slumber
Beneath Conviction’s roof.
Their floors are sturdy lumber
Their windows weatherproof.
But I sleep cold forever
And cold sleep all my kind
For I was born to shiver
In the draft from an open mind.
– Phyllis McGinley, Lament for a Wavering Viewpoint, A Pocket Full of Wry, 1940
While pensive Poets
painful vigils keep,
to give their readers sleep.
– Alexander Pope
So pleas’d at first, the towring Alps we try,
Mount o’er the Vales, and seem to tread the Sky;
Th’ Eternal Snows appear already past,
And the first Clouds and Mountains seem the last:
But those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing Labours of the lengthen’d Way,
Th’ increasing Prospect tires our wandering Eyes,
Hills peep o’er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
– Alexander Pope, from his “Essay on Criticism”
When sleep denies the bard we seek in verse.
Solace in ryhme to salve us from this curse.
From open mind i gather.
From sleeplessness i find.
A glory all a-quiver.
The triumph of mankind.
But up through snow banked meadows,wearily we climb.
Up cracked rock bands our burning legs define,
A suffering cadence,an ancient plod in ryhme.
With bloodied fingers do we tear at rock.
With axe and hammer we inflict our shock,
On mind and mountain until we achieve,
The final summit,and with ravenous eyes percieve?
Our realm,our God!..Briefly..Fearfully..
We scuttle down!
And mayhap?..Return again!?
This time with back and ego bent.
A mountain monk!
A humble penitent.
– Robert Thornton, English climber