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,,Which howls down from Siberia's waste,
,,Set thick with shrubs more young
,,Luxuriant with their annual leaves, ,,Ere strown by those autumnal eves
That nip the forest's foliage dead, ,,Discolour'd with a lifeless red,
,,Which stands thereon like stiffen'd gore ,,Upon the slain when battle's o'er,
,,And some long winter's night hath shed ,,Its frost o'er every tombless head,
,,So cold and stark the raven's beak
„May peck unpierced each frozen cheek:
,,'Twas a wild waste of underwood,
,,The boughs gave way, and did not tear ,,My limbs; and I found strength to bear ,,My wounds, already scarr'd with cold -
,,My bonds forbade to loose my hold.
,,Behind I saw them, scarce a rood,
,,At day-break winding through the wood,
,,And through the night had heard their feet
,,Their stealing, rustling step repeat.
,,Oh! how I wish'd for spear or sword, ,,At least to die amidst the horde,
,,At bay, destroying many a foe.
,,Nor faster falls the blinding snow
Than through the forest-paths he past
,,Untired, untamed, and worse than wild; ,,All furious as a favour'd child
,,Balk'd of its wish; or fiercer still
,,A woman piqued
who has her will.
The wood was past; 'twas more than noon, ,,But chill the air, although in June; ,,Or it might be my veins ran cold „Prolong'd endurance tames the bold; ,,And I was then not what I seem, ,,But headlong as a wintry stream, ,,And wore my feelings out before „I well could count their causes o'er: ,,And what with fury, fear, and wrath, ,,The tortures which beset my path, ,,Cold, hunger, sorrow, shame, distress,
,,Thus bound in nature's nakedness;
What marvel if this worn-out trunk
,,Beneath its woes a moment sunk?
,,The earth gave way, the skies roll'd round, ,,I seem'd to sink upon the ground;
,,But err'd, for I was fastly bound.
,,My heart turn'd sick, my brain grew sore, ,,And throbb'd awhile, then beat no more: ,,The skies spun like a mighty wheel;
I saw the trees like drunkards reel, ,,And a slight flash sprang o'er my eyes, ,,Which saw no farther: he who dies ,,Can die no more than then I died.
,,O'ertortured by that ghastly ride,
,,I felt the blackness come and go,
,,And strove to wake; but could not make
,,My senses climb up from below:
,,I felt as on a plank at sea,
,,When all the waves that dash o'or thee,
,,The fancied lights that flitting pass
,,Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when ,,Fever begins upon the brain;
,,But soon it pass'd, with little pain,
,,But a confusion worse than such:
,,I own that I should deem it much, ,,Dying, to feel the same again; ,,And yet I do suppose we must ,,Feel far more ere we turn to dust: ,,No matter; I have bared my brow Full in Death's face
before and now,
,,My thoughts came back; where was I? Cold,
„And numb, and giddy: pulse by pulse ,,Life reassumed its lingering hold, ,,And throb by throb; till grown a pang
,,Which for a moment would convulse,