The Night-Wind

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I.

I have heard the wind on a winter's night,
When the snow-cold moon looked icily through
My window's flickering firelight,
Where the frost his witchery drew:
I have heard the wind on a winter's night,
Wandering ways that were frozen white,
Wail in my chimney-flue:
And its voice was the voice, so it seemed to me,
The voice of the world's vast misery.

II.

I have heard the wind on a night of spring,
When the leaves unclasped their girdles of gold,
And the bird on the bough sang slumbering,
In the lilac's fragrant fold:
I have heard the wind on a night of spring,
Shaking the musk from its dewy wing,
Sigh in my garden old:
And it seemed that it said, as it sighed above,
"I am the voice of the Earth's great love."

III.

I have heard the wind on a night of fall,
When a devil's-dance was the rain's down pour,
And the wild woods reeled to its demon call,
And the carpet fluttered the floor:
I have heard the wind on a night of fall,
Heaping the leaves by the garden wall,
Weep at my close-shut door:
And its voice, so it seemed, as it sorrowed there,
Was the old, old voice of the world's despair.

IV.

I have heard the wind on a summer night,
When the myriad stars stormed heaven with fire,
And the moon-moth glimmered in phantom flight,
And the crickets creaked in choir:
I have heard the wind on a summer night,
Rocking the red rose and the white,
Murmur in bloom and brier:
And its voice was the voice, so it seemed to me,
Of Earth's primordial mystery.

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