The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell




BLACK trees wind-shaken against the wild night sky,
      Deep in your glooms you cradle the voice of storms;
While far to west and south the night blows by,
      With shadowy, fleeting forms.

Under the stars with turbid, sullen mood,

      Hid in a dream of dark the river sweeps;
Where all the world by frozen field and wood,
      Chilled into numbness, sleeps.

Here dwell no pallid spirits of the day,
      But out across the icy, desolate dream,

The world of night is all storm-blown one way,
      In a loud, gusty gleam.

Soon, soon from arctic cave and bastion strong,
      With elves of frost and wrinkled, sleep-eyed ghosts,
Out of the north with hornings loud and long,

      Will come the grim storm-hosts.

And faster and faster on the shadowy air,
      Across the phantom glimmerings of the moon,
Will fold the silences, far, chilled and bare,
      In one white, mantling swoon;


And howl and shriek and moan and pass away,
      Leaving the world one whited death forlorn,
When stir the slim-cold-fingered ghosts of grey
      The curtains of the morn.