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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Theodore Watts-Dunton 1832–1914

Natura Maligna


THE LADY of the Hills with crimes untold

Follow’d my feet, with azure eyes of prey;

By glacier-brink she stood,—by cataract-spray—

When mists were dire, or avalanche-echoes roll’d.

At night she glimmer’d in the death-wind cold,

And if a foot-print shone at break of day,

My flesh would quail, but straight my soul would say:

“’T is hers whose hand God’s mightier hand doth hold.”

I trod her snow bridge, for the moon was bright,

Her icicle-arch across the sheer crevasse,

When lo, she stood!… God made her let me pass,

Then fell’d the bridge!… Oh, there in sallow light,

There down the chasm, I saw her cruel, white,

And all my wondrous days as in a glass.