The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

MIDWINTER STORM IN THE LAKE REGION


 

RISES the wild, red dawn over the icicled edges
      Of black, wet, cavernous rocks, sheeted and winter-scarred,
And heaving of grey-green waves, foaming the ice-blocks and
  ledges,
      Into this region of death, sky-bounded, solitude-barred.

Turned to the cold kiss of dawn, gilding their weird, dark faces,

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      Lift the cyclopean rocks, silent, motionless, bare;
Where high on each haggard front, in deep-plowed, passionate
  traces
      The storm hath graven his madness, the night hath furrowed
  her care.

Out of the far, grey skies comes the dread north with his blowing,
      That chills the warm blood in the veins, and cuts to the heart
  like fate.
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Quick as the fall of a leaf the lake-world is white with his snowing,
      Quick as the flash of a blade the waters are black with his
  hate.

God pity the sad-fated vessels that over these waters are driven
      To meet the rude shock of his strength and shudder at blast of
  his breath;
God pity the tempest-drave sailors, for here naught on wave or in
  heaven
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      Is heard but the hate of the night, the merciless grinding of
  death.