'Mid tangled forest and o'er grass plains wide,
By many a devious path and bridle-way,
Through the short brightness of an Indian day,
In middle winter 'twas my lot to ride,
Skirting the round-topped, pine-clad mountain side,
While far away upon the steely blue
Horizon, half concealèd, half in view,
Himalay's peaks upreared their snow-crowned pride,
In utter purity and vast repose.
I, ere the first faint flush of morning glowed
Within her eastern chamber, took the road,
And, slowly riding between day and night,
I marked how, through the wan, imperfect light,
Ghost-like and gray loomed the eternal snows.
So near they seemed, each crack and crevice small
Like bas-relief work showed, while in the light
Of ruddy morn, gray changed through pink to white.
But soon the sun, up-climbing, flooded all
The heavens, and then a thin and misty pall
Of exhalations rose, and pale of hue
And fainter ever those far summits grew,
Until the day waned low, and shadows tall
Sloped eastward. Then once more, in radiance clear,
Of setting sunlight, beautiful as brief,
Each peak and crag stood out in bold relief,
Till, slowly, pink faded to ghostly gray.
So through life's morning, noontide, evening, may
Ideal hopes dawn, fade, and reappear.