24 STEVENSON'S POEMS O DULL COLD NORTHERN SKY O DULL cold northern sky, O brawling sabbath bells, O feebly twittering Autumn bird that tells The year is like to die ! O still, spoiled trees, O city ways, O sun desired in vain, O dread presentiment ot coming rain That cloys the sullen days! Thee, heart of mine, I greet. In what hard mountain pass Striv'st thou ? In what importunate morass Sink now thy weary feet ? Thou run'st a hopeless race To win despair. No crown Awaits success, but leaden gods look down On thee, with evil face. And those that would befriend And cherish thy defeat, With angry welcome shall turn sour the sweet Home-coming of the end. Yea, those that offer praise To idleness, shall yet Insult thee, coming glorious in the sweat Of honourable ways.