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[188] The Indian from his lodge of bark,
     The gray bear from his den,
Beyond their camp-fire's wall of dark,
     Glared on the mountain men.

Still upward turned, with anxious strain,
     Their leader's sleepless eye,
Where splinters of the mountain chain
     Stood black against the sky.

The night waned slow: at last, a glow,
     A gleam of sudden fire,
Shot up behind the walls of snow,
     And tipped each icy spire.

‘Up, men! ’ he cried, “yon rocky cone,
     To-day, please God, we'll pass,
And look from Winter's frozen throne
     On Summer's flowers and grass!”

They set their faces to the blast,
     They trod the eternal snow,
And faint, worn, bleeding, hailed at last
     The promised land below.

Behind, they saw the snow-cloud tossed
     By many an icy horn;
Before, warm valleys, wood-embossed,
     And green with vines and corn.

They left the Winter at their backs
     To flap his baffled wing,
And downward, with the cataracts,
     Leaped to the lap of Spring.

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Winter (1)
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