High, the painful mountains,
Covered with thorny blue pine.
Mists rise from falls like fountains;
Under trees, with outstretched spine,
The sharp spires of fallen cones
Lie atop grey and aged stones.
In the smoke there shapes a girl
Or else in dreams I have with me;
In the darkening I watch her curl,
The helmet propping up my knee.
Too dark to read, with whitened blade,
I carve a staff in living glade.
Come morning I shall go, and ride
The wildr'ness ridge for distant miles;
Below, the wood is green and wide,
Above, geese sway in arching files;
I ride till trees prick sun with lance:
There in smoke my dream will dance.
Sometimes I dream she calls to me,
And reaches out to stroke my face
In that hot white city beside the sea;
But morning wakes upon the waste.
I rise up from my bed of stone,
Take up my boots, and ride alone.