I was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. In the 2nd chapter I read the following prose:
Yes, there would be a day when his face would be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim and colourless, the grace of his figure broken and deformed. The scarlet would pass away from his lips and the gold steal from his hair. The life that was to make his soul would mar his body. He would become dreadful, hideous, and uncouth.
From the above prose fragment it is obvious what Dorian the narcissist is thinking. But what bugs me is that "gold steal from his hair". What does it mean actually? I think that the time would steal gold from his hair (meaning that his hair would grow white). But then, the verb steal looks inappropriately handled.
In all the sentences I have read steal always has a thief. Excuse my blunt way of speaking , but in this example "Somebody is about to steal my paper" the thief "Somebody" is mentioned. Why then it is not mentioned in the above line? If I wrote in this way, would it be justified?