Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

The Maids Of The Northern Lights - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

In the hidden lands of utter cold, in the ice-realms weird and white,
Where straight o'erhead the Pole-star hangs, in the cold sky burning bright,
The Maidens Three of the Northern Lights sit weaving thro' the night.

Ever they sing their ancient song amid the ice and snow,
The song of hidden lands of frost where mankind may not go,
The song of the seal and the cachalot, of the iceberg and the floe.

They weave the rainbow and the cloud, long as the seasons roll;
With weft and warp they weave all night, up there by the silent Pole;
They take the threads from the sun and snow, and make the fabric whole.

They weave the glistening gossamer, and the sunset wings that soar,
The light that glints on the fallen dew, and the mist-wreaths white and hoar;
Laughing they cast it to the winds, and think of it no more.

Last, at the waning of the night, when the lamps of Heav'n burn low,
All in the frozen Polar morn, where the red cock may not crow,
They weave by the cold grey light of dawn the things that work for woe.

They weave the lights that dead men bear down the feared and haunted glen,
And the phantom lights that dance o' nights over the luring fen,
And the fires that flare on stormy seas to trap seafaring men.

Far in the land of the lonely Pole, where the lights flash to and fro,
The Maidens Three they sit and weave, high over the drift and floe,
Singing the while the mystic song they fashioned long ago.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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