Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:—the power is there,...
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
... like vapour broods over the snow.
The secret strength of things which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
Thus wrote English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in his 1817 mountain ode.
At 4807 metres high, this famous peak of the French Alps is the highest in western Europe. Located on the Swiss border, this enormous mountain is the home of many glaciers. Ice streams fall from the frozen dome of the "White Mountain." In the early 17th century, the glaciers advanced into the valley of Chamonix, burying homes and cultivation.
When Shelley wrote his poem. Mont Blanc was a remote and exclusive destination, with limited road access. Today it is a busy Alpine tourist resort.