A Weird Scene.

Dimly and slowly breaks the dawn,1
The dawn of a cold and drear March day ;2
In the city there hangs a gloomy pall3
Over reeking roof and blackened wall ;4
Over noisome slum and stately hall ;5
Over filthy alley and velvet lawn,6
In the grimy city, far away.7
Here, on this wild and rocky coast,8
A wind roars over the darkling sea ;9
It raves round the splintered spires of stone,10
Then dies away in a hollow moan11
In the slimy caverns wide and lone,12
Like the plaint of a pale and flitting ghost13
At its curse of Immortality.14
From the drifting cloud-wrack overhead15
Come slants of pitiless hissing rain ;16
Each headland frowus through the rainy gloom17
Like a couchant Sphinx with a face of doom,18
Solemn and calm through the fret and fume19
Of the hissing waves in their ocean bed,20
And the winds that buffet and rage in vain !21
Something moves on that lonely shore,22
A shapeless shadow against the gray ;23
Is it a creature of the sea ?24
A boneless horror, whose lair may be25
In the caverns that yawn so gloomily ?26
Some loathsome monster that hates the day,27
And hides from the sun for evermore ?28
The day advances ; a wan cold light29
Gleams from the torn gray sky o’erhead ;30
Drearily strikes on the cliff’s bare steep,31
Dismally glances on rocks that weep32
With the raindrops that down their furrows creep,33
Or hang on their trailing growth unshed :34
The day is more drear than the bygone night.35
’Tis a strange wild figure that grows defined,36
In the chilly light of the dismal morn ;37
A maid stood there, of dishevelled mien38
And lovely presence, or once had been.39
But now ; ah, picture the desolate scene40
And the wind-tost maid and her state forlorn,41
A broken life, and a wandering mind !42
Her lover was drowned on that rock-bound coast ;43
Keel upwards, his boat came back from sea ;44
She watches and waits for his spectral form,45
Her figure drenched, but her love still warm ;46
Her dark hair rent by the raging storm.47
Love triumphant as Love can be :48
Her heart like the elements, torn and tost.49