My glad feet shod with the glittering steel
I was the god of the wingèd heel.
The hills in the far white sky were lost;
The world lay still in the wide white frost;
And the woods hung hushed in their long white dream
By the ghostly, glimmering, ice-blue stream.
Here was a pathway, smooth like glass,
Where I and the wandering wind might pass
To the far-off palaces, drifted deep,
Where Winter's retinue rests in sleep.
I followed the lure, I fled like a bird,
Till the startled hollows awoke and heard
A spinning whisper, a sibilant twang,
As the stroke of the steel on the tense ice rang;
And the wandering wind was left behind
As faster, faster I followed my mind;
Till the blood sang high in my eager brain,
And the joy of my flight was almost pain.
Then I stayed the rush of my eager speed
And silently went as a drifting seed, —
Slowly furtively till my eyes
Grew big with the awe of a dim surmise,
And the hair of my neck began to creep
At hearing the wilderness talk in sleep.
Shapes in the fir-gloom drifted near.
In the deep of my heart I heard my fear.
And I turned and fled, like a soul pursued,
From the white, inviolate solitude.