George MacDonald

Out in the Cold

Out in the cold,

With a thin-worn fold

Of withered gold

Around her rolled,

Hangs in the air the weary moon.

She is old, old, old;

And her bones all cold,

And her tales all told,

And her things all sold,

She has no breath to croon.

Like a castaway,

She is quite shut out!

She might call and shout

But no one about

Would ever call back, "Who's there!"

There is never a hut

Not a door to shut,

Not a footpath or rut

Long road or short cut,

Leading to anywhere!

She is all alone

Like a dog-picked bone,

The poor old crone

She fain would groan,

But she cannot find the breath.

She once had a fire;

But she built it no higher,

And only sat nigher

Till she saw it expire;

And now she is cold as death.

She never will smile

All the lonesome while.

Oh, the mile after mile,

And never a stile!

And never a tree or a stone!

She has not a tear:

Afar and anear

It is all so drear,

But she does not care,

Her heart is as dry as a bone.

None to come near her!

No one to cheer her!

No one to jeer her!

No one to hear her!

Not a thing to lift and hold!

She is always awake

But her heart will not break:

She can only quake,

Shiver, and shake:

The old woman is very cold.