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.