O Dull Cold Northern Sky

Robert Louis Stevenson 1850 (Edinburgh) – 1894 (Vailima, Samoa)

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 of 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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. more…

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