The curtains in the solemn room
are drawn against the winter dusk;
the lady sitting in the gloom
has hair that faintly smells of musk.
As in some dim romantic night
the mist will not divulge the moon,
around her unbetrothèd plight
her thoughts have woven a cocoon.
Now recollection brings again
the distant hour, the tide that flowed,
the word that might have flowered then
as epic or as episode.
Half proud because the thing she sought,
still lacking, is inviolate,
hahf puzzled by that eerie thought
she rocks her chair and scans the grate.
Then suddenly she sees it clear,
the monstrous image, cold, precise—
the body of the mountaineer
preserved within the glacial ice,
forever safe, where none shall seek,
beneath the unattempted peak.