THE ARCTIC LOVER
by William Cullen Bryant
One is the long, long winter night;
Look, my beloved one!
How glorious, through his depths of light,
Rolls the majestic sun!
The willows, waked from winter's death,
Give out a fragrance like thy breath--
The summer is begun!
Ay, 'tis the long bright summer day:
Hark to that mighty crash!
The loosened ice-ridge breaks away--
The smitten waters flash;
Seaward the glittering mountain rides,
While, down its green translucent sides,
The foamy torrents dash.
See, love, my boat is moored for thee
By ocean's weedy floor--
The petrel does not skim the sea
More swiftly than my oar.
We'll go where, on the rocky isles,
Her eggs the screaming sea-fowl piles
Beside the pebbly shore.
Or, bide thou where the poppy blows,
With wind-flowers frail and fair,
While I, upon his isle of snow,
Seek and defy the bear.
Fierce though he be, and huge of frame,
This arm his savage strength shall tame,
And drag him from his lair.
When crimson sky and flamy cloud
Bespeak the summer o'er,
And the dead valleys wear a shroud
Of snows that melt no more,
I'll build of ice thy winter home,
With glistening walls and glassy dome,
And spread with skins the floor.
The white fox by thy couch shall play;
And, from the frozen skies,
The meteors of a mimic day
Shall flash upon thine eyes.
And I -- for such thy vow -- meanwhile
Shall hear thy voice and see thy smile,
Till that long midnight flies.