Out of a West of sea and sky they come,
The well-drilled vanguard of a mighty host,
Borne on the rushing torrent of the wind,
They pass the foam-streaked line of rugged coast
And on. They merge their forces to attack
For far ahead the massive fortress lies,
Ice-armored walls of grey and brown basalt,
Its snow-plume banner flutters in the skies.
Spurred by the urgent power of the wind,
They fling themselves against each rugged cliff;
Tear at the ledges; batter at the walls;
Dash and surge in mad attempt to rift,
But all in vain. The battlements stand firm.
The cloud hosts break and waver, shouldered back
And torn to wisps and shreds of vapor by
The very fury of their own attack.
Far to the west another army forms,
Recruited from the ranks of Mist and Heat;
and it in turn advances to the charge,
And, like its predecessors, meets defeat.
And so the legions come, and are repulsed;
yet, aided by their allies, Frost, and Sun,
And wind, and Time, their ceaseless efforts tell,
And ages hence they'll clamor, "We have won!"
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