Isabella Valancy Crawford

(25 December 1850 – 12 February 1887 / Dublin, Ireland)

Said the West Wind

1 I love old earth! Why should I lift my wings,
2 My misty wings, so high above her breast
3 That flowers would shake no perfumes from their hearts,
4 And waters breathe no whispers to the shores?
5 I love deep places builded high with woods,
6 Deep, dusk, fern-closed, and starred with nodding blooms,
7 Close watched by hills, green, garlanded and tall.

8 On hazy wings, all shot with mellow gold,
9 I float, I float thro' shadows clear as glass;
10 With perfumed feet I wander o'er the seas,
11 And touch white sails with gentle finger-tips;
12 I blow the faithless butterfly against
13 The rose-red thorn, and thus avenge the rose;
14 I whisper low amid the solemn boughs,
15 And stir a leaf where not my loudest sigh
16 Could move the emerald branches from their calm,--
17 Leaves, leaves, I love ye much, for ye and I
18 Do make sweet music over all the earth!

19 I dream by glassy ponds, and, lingering, kiss
20 The gold crowns of their lilies one by one,
21 As mothers kiss their babes who be asleep
22 On the clear gilding of their infant heads,
23 Lest if they kissed the dimple on the chin,
24 The rose flecks on the cheek or dewy lips,
25 The calm of sleep might feel the touch of love,
26 And so be lost. I steal before the rain,
27 The longed-for guest of summer; as his fringe
28 Of mist drifts slowly from the mountain peaks,
29 The flowers dance to my fairy pipe and fling
30 Rich odours on my wings, and voices cry,
31 'The dear West Wind is damp, and rich with scent;
32 We shall have fruits and yellow sheaves for this.'

33 At night I play amidst the silver mists,
34 And chase them on soft feet until they climb
35 And dance their gilded plumes against the stars;
36 At dawn the last round primrose star I hide
37 By wafting o'er her some small fleck of cloud,
38 And ere it passes comes the broad, bold Sun
39 And blots her from the azure of the sky,
40 As later, toward his noon, he blots a drop
41 Of pollen-gilded dew from violet cup
42 Set bluely in the mosses of the wood.

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2001

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