On the Rigi
While still the cloud hung coldly, and the May
Glad in the vales no mountain-heights had
Between the dappled patches, lo! I found
A little army, whose white-plumed array
Possessed the field, victorious from the fray
With surly winter; long beneath the ground
In patient hiding, at a sudden bound
These tiny soldierlings had won the day.
No banner lifted, and no bugle blew,
Yet down their ranks a movement seemed to run;
The white plumes nodded, each was seen to
Within his hand three dainty spears of gold:
Then first the cause of victory I knew,
Their legions owned no leader but the Sun!
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 21)