by Laurence Hope
'T is eight miles out and eight miles in,
Just at the break of morn.
'T is ice without and flame within,
To gain a kiss at dawn!
Far, where the Lilac Hills arise
Soft from the misty plain,
A lone enchanted hollow lies
Where I at last drew rein.
Midwinter grips this lonely land,
This stony, treeless waste,
Where East, due East, across the sand,
We fly in fevered haste.
Pull up! the East will soon be red,
The wild duck westward fly,
And make above my anxious head,
Triangles in the sky.
Like wind we go; we both are still
So young; all thanks to Fate!
(It cuts like knives, this air so chill,)
Dear God! if I am late!
Behind us, wrapped in mist and sleep
The Ruined City lies,
(Although we race, we seem to creep!)
While lighter grow the skies.
Eight miles out only, eight miles in,
Good going all the way;
But more and more the clouds begin
To redden into day.
And every snow-tipped peak grows pink
An iridescent gem!
My heart beats quick, with joy, to think
How I am nearing them!
As mile on mile behind us falls,
Till, Oh, delight! I see
My Heart's Desire, who softly calls
Across the gloom to me.
The utter joy of that First Love
No later love has given,
When, while the skies grew light above,
We entered into Heaven.
Last updated January 14, 2019