Beyond this flood a frozen Continent
Lies dark and wild
The valley surgically cored
That did its duty, wrecked
Europe, and melted.
I could write an allegory
About thin lakeland soil
Which coats the skinned land
And the pouncing hawk,
As if they justified the scouring ice,
As if there is nothing to regret.
Thither at certain revolutions all the damn'd
Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extreams, extreams by change more fierce,
From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice
The hunters follow the retreating snow.
The valleys are not lost
And Europe has not been lost
Though blocked for ages by translucent frost
Melting to leave it skinned.
Come flooding back to me
Let people come by land bridges and by aeroplanes
Let the spirits return from blue imprisonment
Like damaged ghosts
As the dirt thickens on the tundra
As the permafrosts collapse.
To starve in ice
their soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine
Immovable, infixt, and frozen round,
Periods of time
I asked the snow queen 'what is unforgiven?'
I thought she smiled because she knew me damned
Glass pieces in our eyes and heart
I thought she was glad
That god would teach me more than she could teach:
A perpetual lesson of suffering.
Dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land
Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems
Of ancient pile
And now she is very old
A hundred thousand wasted years
A waste of barren snow
Nothing will make it right
The valley does not justify the glacier
It merely remains
The U-shaped valley
When the ice has gone.