Though it was noonday, and high summer, With tolerant warmth roaming through the town, Our hands, in touching, touched a ghost.
Quickly we looked, 'to see if each had heard,
Above the indolent passing of the crowd, That faint bell, ringing in the pass Over the cloud and snowy precipice.
Both heard it ; both saw the mountain, Distant, and calm, and terrible as death.
We heard the music of the cataract That tumbled in the ravine, mumbling Through its white beard, blind and mad.
We saw the fatal ridge, the trickling Stain of crimson creeping to the flowers That dropped their perfume on the upturned face.
And the impassive silence of the pines, The cold sentinels against the sky, Enfolded us below the cruel peak, Denying the madness of the falling water, Denying the broken body fallen on flowers.
Oh, we shall haunt for ever that mountain place. That poisonous loveliness has frozen forever Summer and city pleasure out of our hearts.