Excelsior! (Bamforth series 4551)

"Excelsior!" was a set of three hand-coloured postcards published by Bamforth & Co. Ltd. of Holmfirth.

The text is based on the poem "Excelsior"[1] by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow[2], author of "Paul Revere's Ride".

The postcards were published as series number 4551.

Excelsior! (1/3)

The shades of night were falling fast as through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bored 'mid snow and ice a banner, with the strange device,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
His brow was sad, his eye beneath, flashed like a faichion from its sheath,
And, like a silver clarion, rung the accents of that unknown tongue,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
In happy homes he saw the light of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above the spectral glaciers shone, and from his lips escape a groan,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"

Excelsior! (2/3)

"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,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
"O stay, O 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,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
"Beware the pinetrees withered branch, beware the awful avalanche."
This was the peasants last good-night, a voice replied far up the height,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"

Excelsior! (3/3)

At break of day, as heavenward, the pious monks of San Bernard
Uttered an oft repeated prayer, a voice cried through the startled air,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
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,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"
There is the twilight cold and gray, lifeless but beautiful he lay;
And from the sky severe and far a voice fell like a falling star,
"Excelsior!" "Excelsior!"


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Notes and References