Thursday, 25 August 2011
Just when i begin to think i have seen most facets of mountaineering i am brought back to earth,with a bump,by something entirely new(or in this case,very old!).
My dear friend and FARSIGHT MOUNTAIN VENTURES archivist Peggy is forever scouting British bookshops and bootfares for new,old,or just plain unusual material that might be of use to our archive.And this time she came up with a real treasure!
It is a small book of poetry and thoughts entitled "THE VOICE OF THE MOUNTAINS",and is dedicated to "Charles Edward Mathews (1st President) and fellow members of the CLIMBERS CLUB".It was compiled,and edited in 1905 by Ernest A Baker and Francis E Ross who were allso members of the CLIMBERS CLUB.This particular edition was printed in 1913,which makes it only two years short of being one-hundred years old.
It is beautifully leather-bound as was the fashion of the time and contains the works (and excerpts of works.) of some sixty poets,from Virgil through to Lord,Byron,A L Tennyson,Longfellow, and A F Mummery.It has poems written in Latin,Greek,Italian,German,and English.
The great wonder of poetry is that in its verse, ones own intensity of feelling is reflected in a thing,a place,or an event.And in this time of instant-information we forget that there was a time in the (not to distant) past.When one required an elevated social status and a classical education to enjoy works such as these.
CLIMBERS CLUB POETRY-"The Voice Of The Mountains-1905"
(leather bound front cover.)
"Where rose the mountains,there to him were friends."
"Among the mountains did i feel.The joy of my desire."
"If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows thou wouldst fain forget,
If thou would learn a lesson that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the hills."
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
"Indeed i am waxen weary;but who heedeth weeriness
That hath been day-long in the mountains in the
winter weathers stress?"
The editions of this book,very tellingly,end in 1913 one year before the Great War of 1914-1918.I have not been able to find a record of any reprints after that period.
I intend to contact the CLIMBERS CLUB to ensure that they are not without a copy of this work.If they are not, i will offer it for their club archive.