"The Adventurers." by Norah M. Holland (1876-1925)
WE rode from the north, a valiant band,
With shining armour and swords aflame,
Till we came at length to a silent land–
To a sunless, shadowy land we came,
A desolate land, without a name.
No songs of birds in that land were known,
No voices of human joy or pain,
But mists on the silent winds were blown,
And shadows clung to our bridle rein,
Dim forms that no answer gave again.
Then some grew tired of those weary ways
And tried them back to a happier coast,
And many followed some phantom face
Down one of the winding ways that crossed
That shadowy land, and so were lost.
And the rust grew red on our harness bright,
And dull grew our swords, and a dream the Quest,
And ever wearier grew the fight
With thronging phantoms that round us pressed,
And ever our hearts grew sick for rest.
Till, few and feeble who were so strong,
Weary, who dreamed we could never tire,
We won at last through those ways so long,
And, bathed in the sunset, dome and spire,
We saw the City of Heart's Desire.