Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
IV. Ben Muichdhui
By John Stuart Blackie (1809–1895)
O’ER broad Muichdhui sweeps the keen cold blast;
Far whirrs the snow-bred, white-winged ptarmigan;
Sheer sink the cliffs to dark Loch Etagan,
And all the hill with shattered rock lies waste.
Here brew ship-foundering storms their force divine;        5
Here gush the fountains of wild-flooding rivers;
Here the strong thunder frames the bolt that shivers
The giant strength of the old twisted pine.
Yet, even here, on the bare waterless brow
Of granite ruin, I found a purple flower,        10
A delicate flower, as fair as aught, I trow,
That toys with zephyrs in my lady’s bower.
So Nature blends her powers; and he is wise
Who to his strength no gentlest grace denies.

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