Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/143

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The day was waning, and the crest
Of Chomiomo paler grew,
As sank the sun into the west
And ever lengthening shadows threw
The giants hoar between.
The north wind sharp and sharper blew,
The frost was piercing keen;
Night followed day, but still no sound
Was heard the silent snow drift round
Of coming foot-steps, and no light
Of lantern or of torch did peer
Across the waste of gleaming white
To say that help was near.

No light had they, nor drink, nor meat
Nor could they forward go or back;
The drifts were deep around the track.
The snow was thick around the feet;
And night like a funeral pall lay black
On a snow winding sheet.
The moon rose slow, and pale, and sad
O'er the royal crest of Kinchinjow,
And Chomiomo's peak was clad
In the light that bathed his icy brow;
And a shimmering moonbeam sad caressed
Her white still face and summit proud
As they laid their weary limbs to rest
On her silent spreading shroud.

At length that awful night was past,
No more they shuddered 'neath the blast;
The morning smiled across the wild,
And the tentsmen followed fast.
Down Kongralamo's snowy waste
The Yaks with stately movement paced.
And five score swordsmen's weapons glanced
As Kamba's chieftain grave advanced
The mystic chorton past.