As One That Stands
As one that stands upon the beetling sheer
Of some dread precipice, when midmost night
With whelming dark has hidden from his sight
The path before, behind him, far and near.
Nor knows he, blind, alone, what course to steer,
Yet still must on, though vast despair affright.
And wandering loneliness without the light,
The end so lost, the road unknown and drear;
So I, still following where my life did lead.
As on that hell-black peak have stood, to hear
And question fate ; the future was a fear,
The past a phantom ; yet for comfort's meed
Silence, no sound of wrath, no voice of cheer,
No strength save blind unalterable need.