Read MIST IN THE VALLEY of Collected Poems Volume Two, free online book, by Alfred Noyes, on


Mist in the valley, weeping mist
Beset my homeward way.
No gleam of rose or amethyst
Hallowed the parting day;
A shroud, a shroud of awful grey
Wrapped every woodland brow,
And drooped in crumbling disarray
Around each wintry bough.


And closer round me now it clung
Until I scarce could see
The stealthy pathway overhung
By silent tree and tree
Which floated in that mystery
As-poised in waveless deeps-
Branching in worlds below the sea,
The grey sea-forest sleeps.


Mist in the valley, mist no less
Within my groping mind!
The stile swam out: a wilderness
Rolled round it, grey and blind.
A yard in front, a yard behind,
So strait my world was grown,
I stooped to win once more some kind
Glimmer of twig or stone.


I crossed and lost the friendly stile
And listened. Never a sound
Came to me. Mile on mile on mile
It seemed the world around
Beneath some infinite sea lay drowned
With all that e’er drew breath;
Whilst I, alone, had strangely found
A moment’s life in death.


A universe of lifeless grey
Oppressed me overhead.
Below, a yard of clinging clay
With rotting foliage red
Glimmered. The stillness of the dead,
Hark!-was it broken now
By the slow drip of tears that bled
From hidden heart or bough.


Mist in the valley, mist no less
That muffled every cry
Across the soul’s grey wilderness
Where faith lay down to die;
Buried beyond all hope was I,
Hope had no meaning there:
A yard above my head the sky
Could only mock at prayer.


E’en as I groped along, the gloom
Suddenly shook at my feet!
O, strangely as from a rending tomb
In resurrection, sweet
Swift wings tumultuously beat
Away! I paused to hark-
O, birds of thought, too fair, too fleet
To follow across the dark!


Yet, like a madman’s dream, there came
One fair swift flash to me
Of distances, of streets a-flame
With joy and agony,
And further yet, a moon-lit sea
Foaming across its bars,
And further yet, the infinity
Of wheeling suns and stars,


And further yet ... O, mist of suns
I grope amidst your light,
O, further yet, what vast response
From what transcendent height?
Wild wings that burst thro’ death’s dim night
I can but pause and hark;
For O, ye are too swift, too white,
To follow across the dark!


Mist in the valley, yet I saw,
And in my soul I knew
The gleaming City whence I draw
The strength that then I drew,
My misty pathway to pursue
With steady pulse and breath
Through these dim forest-ways of dew
And darkness, life and death.