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Collected Poems

The Encounter

page 98

The Encounter

As I set out on my journey
the sun was pale in the east,
and out of the frosty silence
ambled a strange beast.

The sun was shining bleakly,
the frost was thick and white,
it seemed the world had ended,
so calm it was, and bright.

I saw that the beast was youthful
and had lived since time began;
his head was horned and handsome,
he spoke with the tongue of a man.

'Turn back, for the way is endless,
the journey is in vain.'
I looked at his eyes and saw there
my own in the glass of pain.

No vapour clouded his nostrils,
there were no tracks in the frost.
I looked in the eyes of the creature
and knew that we both were lost.