Another gale was blowing up, and the north-westerly wind was strong and horribly cold. In a bright interval between the battering showers of hail and sleet, Algy searched for a sheltered spot low down among the rocks, and found a cosy corner where he could keep his head down and put his feet up… Even there, the wind continued to whistle through his feathers, and he was reminded of a poem by William Blake:

          O winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
          The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
          Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs
          Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

          He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
          Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed
          In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
          For he hath rear’d his sceptre o’er the world.

          Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
          To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
          He withers all in silence, and in his hand
          Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

          He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
          Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st
          With storms, till heaven smiles, and the monster
          Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

[Algy is quoting the poem To Winter from Poetical Sketches of 1783 by the English poet William Blake.]


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