The Edel-Weiss.*

To the Memory of William Howitt.

I was born in my little shroud,1
All woolly warm, and white,2
I live in the mist and the cloud,3
I live for my own delight ;4
I see far beneath me crowd5
The Alpine roses red6
And the gentian blue, sun fed,7
That makes the valleys bright ;8
I bloom for the eagle’s eye,9
I bloom for the daring hand,10
I live but for God, and I die11
Unto Him, and at His command !12

* The edel-weiss (noble of princely white) grows at the
height of 7,000 feet above sea-level: it is worn by the chamois
hunters in their caps.
† “ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the
way of righteousness.” This poem was sent by me, in the
autumn of 1878, by the hand of the late Mr. James McDonell,
to William and Mary Howitt, then living in the Tyrol, and
was received by them with pleasure.