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The Arctic Lover
poetry by William Cullen Bryant

by William Cullen Bryant 

One is the long, long winter night; 
Look, my beloved one! 
How glorious, through his depths of light, 
Rolls the majestic sun! 
The willows, waked from winter's death, 
Give out a fragrance like thy breath-- 
The summer is begun! 

Ay, 'tis the long bright summer day: 
Hark to that mighty crash! 
The loosened ice-ridge breaks away-- 
The smitten waters flash; 
Seaward the glittering mountain rides, 
While, down its green translucent sides, 
The foamy torrents dash. 

See, love, my boat is moored for thee 
By ocean's weedy floor-- 
The petrel does not skim the sea 
More swiftly than my oar. 
We'll go where, on the rocky isles, 
Her eggs the screaming sea-fowl piles 
Beside the pebbly shore. 

Or, bide thou where the poppy blows, 
With wind-flowers frail and fair, 
While I, upon his isle of snow, 
Seek and defy the bear. 
Fierce though he be, and huge of frame, 
This arm his savage strength shall tame, 
And drag him from his lair. 

When crimson sky and flamy cloud 
Bespeak the summer o'er, 
And the dead valleys wear a shroud 
Of snows that melt no more, 
I'll build of ice thy winter home, 
With glistening walls and glassy dome, 
And spread with skins the floor. 

The white fox by thy couch shall play; 
And, from the frozen skies, 
The meteors of a mimic day 
Shall flash upon thine eyes. 
And I -- for such thy vow -- meanwhile 
Shall hear thy voice and see thy smile, 
Till that long midnight flies.

The Arctic Lover
a poem by William Cullen Bryant

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