Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

The Mystic Friends - Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

I nothing did all yesterday
But listen to the singing rain
On roof and weeping window-pane,
And, 'whiles I'd watch the flying spray
And smoking breakers in the bay:
Nothing but this did I all day-

Save turn anon to trim the fire
With a new log, and mark it roar
And flame with yellow tongues for more
To feed its mystical desire.
No other comrades save these three,
The fire, the rain, and the wild sea,

All day from morn till night had I-
Yea! and the wind, with fitful cry,
Like a hound whining at the door.

Yet seemed it, as to sleep I turned,
Pausing a little while to pray,
That not mis-spent had been the day;
That I had somehow wisdom learned
From those wild waters in the bay,
And from the fire as it burned;
And that the rain, in some strange way,
Had words of high import to say;
And that the wind, with fitful cry,
Did some immortal message try,
Striving to make some meaning clear
Important for my soul to hear.

But what the meaning of the rain,
And what the wisdom of the fire,
And what the warning of the wind,
And what the sea would tell, in vain
My soul doth of itself enquire,-
And yet a meaning too doth find:

For what am I that hears and sees
But a strange brother of all these
That blindly move, and wordless cry,
And I, mysteriously I,
Answer in blood and bone and breath
To what my gnomic kindred saith;
And, as in me they all have part,
Translate their message to my heart-

And know, yet know not, what they say:
Know not, yet know, the fire's tongue
And the rain's elegiac song,
And the white language of the spray,
And all the wind meant yesterday-
Yea! wiser he, when the day ends,
Who shared it with those four strange friends.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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