Like precipices in our dreams
To stretch beyond the sight:
And here and there a speck of white,
Or scatter’d spot of dusky green.
In masses broke into the light.
As rose the moon upon my right:
But nought distinctly seen
In the dim waste would indicate
The omen of a cottage gate;
No twinkling taper from afar
Stood like a hospitable star:
Not even an ignis-fatuus rose
To make him merry with my woes:
That very cheat had cheer’d me then!
Although detected, welcome still,
Reminding me, through every ill,
Of the abodes of men.
we went—but slack and slow;
His savage force at length o’erspent,
The drooping courser, faint and low,
All feebly foaming went.
A sickly infant had had power
To guide him forward in that hour;
But useless all to me:
His new-born tameness nought avail’d—
My limbs were bound; my force had fail’d,
Perchance, had they been free.
With feeble effort still I tried
To rend the bonds so starkly tied,
But still it was in vain;
My limbs were only wrung the more,
And soon the idle strife gave o’er,
Which but prolonged their pain:
The dizzy race seem’d almost done,
Although no goal was nearly won:
Rome streaks announced the coming sun—
How slow, alas! he came!
Methought that mist of dawning gray
Would never dapple into day;
How heavily it roll’d away—
Before the eastern flame
Rose crimson, and deposed the stars,
And call’d the radiance from their cars,
And fill’d the earth, from his deep throne.
“Up rose the sun; the mists were curl’d
Back from the solitary world
Which lay around, behind, before.
What booted it to traverse o’er
Plain, forest, river? Man nor brute,
Nor dint of hoof, nor print of foot,
Lay in the wild luxuriant soil;
No sign of travel, none of toil;
The very air was mute;
And not an insect’s shrill small horn.
Nor matin bird’s new voice was borne
From herb nor thicket. Many a werst,
Panting as if his heart would burst.
The weary brute still stagger’d on:
And still we were—or seem’d—alone.
At length, while reeling on our way.
Methought I heard a courser neigh,
From out yon tuft of blackening firs.
Is it the wind those branches stirs?
No, no! from out the forest prance
A trampling troop; I see them come!
In one vast