The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

AN OCTOBER EVENING


 

THE woods are haggard and lonely,
      The skies are hooded for snow,
The moon is cold in Heaven,
      And the grasses are sere below.

The bearded swamps are breathing

5
      A mist from meres afar,
And grimly the Great Bear circles
      Under the pale Pole Star.

There is never a voice in Heaven,
      Nor ever a sound on earth,

10
Where the spectres of winter are rising
      Over the night’s wan girth.

There is slumber and death in the silence,
      There is hate in the winds so keen;
And the flash of the north’s great sword-blade

15
      Circles its cruel sheen.

The world grows agèd and wintry,
      Love’s face peakèd and white;
And death is kind to the tired ones
      Who sleep in the north to-night.

20