No life in earth, or air, or sky
The sunbeams, broken silently,
On the bared rocks around me lie,
Cold rocks with half-warmed lichens scarred,
And scales of moss; and scarce a yard
Away, one long strip, yellow-barred.
Lost in a cleft! ’Tis but a stride
To reach it, thrust its roots aside,
And lift it on thy stick astride!
For round thee, thrilling air and space,
A chattering terror fills the place!
A sound as of dry bones that stir
In the dead Valley! By yon fir
The locust stops its noonday whir!
The wild bird hears; smote with the sound,
As if by bullet brought to ground,
On broken wing, dips, wheeling round!
The hare, transfixed, with trembling lip