The Tornado.

A poem by Charles Hamilton Musgrove

God let me fall from His hand
One day at His forge when the elemental world
Was shaping. I am but a breath from His great bellows,
But here among the workshops of mankind
I am a fateful scourge.

I tear red strips from the proud cities of men;
I name my passage the Highway of Instant Death;
I splinter world-old forests with my laugh,
And whirl the ancient snows of Hecla sheer into Orion's eyes.
I dance on the deep under the big Indian stars,
And wrap the water spout about my sinuous hips
As a dancer winds her girdle. The ocean's horrid crew,
The octopus, the serpent, and the shark, with the heart of a coward,
Plunge downward when they hear my feet above on the sea-floor,
And hide in their slimy coverts. Brave men pray upon the straining decks
Till comes my mood to end them, and I strew the racing foam with wreckage.

I am a breath from God's forge. I remember His awful workshop,
How the hot globes spun off into infinite darkness, as system by system,
The universe was wrought; and then I remember the birth of the sun,
How God cried: "Let there be light!" and, blinding, bewildering, exulting,
The great orb flamed from His furnace, and only the Creator stood upright.
In that hour I fell from His hand.

I am a breath from God's forge,
And, being a part of creation, I shall also be a part of the end.
He has told me that there shall come a day
When the Seventh Angel shall open his last vial of wrath in the mid-air,
And in that day I shall dance with the thunder, the lightning, and the earthquake,
And, dancing, hear His voice cry out from Heaven's temple: "It is done!"

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