Night On The Mountain
by George Sterling (1869 – 1926)
The fog has risen from the sea and crowned
The dark, untrodden summits of the coast,
Where roams a voice, in canyons uttermost,
From midnight waters vibrant and profound.
High on each granite altar dies the sound,
Deep as the trampling of an armored host,
Lone as the lamentation of a ghost,
Sad as the diapason of the drowned.
The mountain seems no more a soulless thing,
But rather as a shape of ancient fear,
In darkness and the winds of Chaos born
Amid the lordless heavens’ thundering-
A Presence crouched, enormous and austere,
Before whose feet the mighty waters mourn.
Mount Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe, its at peak 15,700 feet. It is also Europe and the world’s most deadly mountain. Relatively accessible from Italy and France, the steep slopes and beauty of Mount Blanc are a siren song to adventurers both summer and winter. Danger is part of adventure and on average 30 people a year lose their lives to miscalculations of weather, terrain or bad luck on its slopes.
The number of poems written about Mount Blanc is staggering. Poets as well as adventurers have been inspired by its beauty and the surrounding mountain villages for centuries. There are things in nature that are inherent to our imaginations, even beyond our imaginations. Mountains inspire awe. If you have ever hiked to the summit of a mountain, you know that distances can be misleading, what looks like it should be relatively close, can be miles and miles in the distance anda much farther to climb or hike than you imagined. Its why standing at the top of a summit where you can see a 360 degree view of the mountains tops is worth the effort.
The past few decades have seen an explosion in action sports, with inventions as wild and dangerous as men’s imaginations can come up with. Extreme sports is not exclusive to men, but men tend to push the boundaries in greater numbers in ever greater searches of adrenaline. Here’s a couple of video’s that will give you a perspective of the scale of Mount Blanc and its beauty along with what must be an incredible rush of gliding down its steep slopes.
by George Stirling
The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark—now glittering—now reflecting gloom—
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters—with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.
Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:—the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind’s imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?