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THE SHADES of night were falling fast
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth who bore 'mid snow and ice
A banner with the strange device
His brow was sad; his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above the spectral glaciers shone
And from his lips escaped a groan
Try not the Pass! the old man said;
Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied
Oh, stay, the maiden said and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!
A tear stood in his bright blue eye
But still he answered with a sigh
Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!
This was the peasant's last Good-night
A voice replied far up the height
At break of day as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer
A voice cried through the startled air
A traveller by the faithful hound
Half-buried in the snow was found
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device
There in the twilight cold and gray
Lifeless but beautiful he lay
And from the sky serene and far
A voice fell like a falling star
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