The night was dark, yet winter breathed
With softened sighs on Gondal's shore;
And though its wind repining grieved,
It chained the snow-swollen streams no more.
How deep into the wilderness
My horse had strayed, I cannot say;
But neither morsel nor caress
Would urge him farther on the way.
So loosening from his neck the rein,
I set my worn companion free,
And billowy hill and boundless plain
Full soon divided him from me.
The sullen clouds lay all unbroken
And blackening round the horizon drear,
But still they gave no certain token
Of heavy rain or tempest near.
I paused, confounded and distracted,
Down in the heath my limbs I threw;
But wilder as I longed for rest,
More wakeful heart and eyelids grew.
It was about the middle night
And under such a starless dome,
When gliding from the mountains height,
I saw a shadowy spirit come.