Around my feet the clouds are drawn In the cold mystery of the dawn; No breezes cheer, no guests intrude My mossy, mist-clad solitude; When sudden down the steeps of sky Flames a long, lightening wind. On high The steel-blue arch shines clear, and far, In the low lands where cattle are, Towns smoke. And swift, a haze, a gleam,— The Firth lies like a frozen stream, Reddening with morn. Tall spires of ships, Like thorns about the harbour's lips, Now shake faint canvas, now, asleep, Their salt, uneasy slumbers keep; While golden-grey, o'er kirk and wall, Day wakes in the ancient capital. Before me lie the lists of strife, The caravanserai of life, Whence from the gates the merchants go On the world's highways; to and fro Sail laiden ships; and in the street The lone foot-traveller shakes his feet, And in some corner by the fire Tells the old tale of heart's desire.
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