Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

Thew Wind - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Is it some shade from Paradise,
Shut down beneath the clouding skies,
This wandering voice that ever cries
In its pathetic sweetness?
Some loving soul that, leaning far
To earth, where its lost treasures are,
Fell from the casement of its star
In meteoric fleetness.
Lost Heaven, perchance to kiss a curl
Tossed by some weeping boy or girl,
Whose hapless tears its heart did twirl,
'Mid Empyrean praying.
The rugged fir in Alpine blast
Holds, too, the magic music fast,
And mystic shadows round me cast
In its majestic swaying.
Is it some sylvan sprite who strays
And seeks for lost Arcadian days,
Who, 'midst the moving branches plays
His pipe's dolorous measure?

Or some lone Ariel, still unbound,
Who fills the tossing woods with sound,
Forgotten on the Upper Ground,
For necromantic pleasure?
I hear the whispering music played
Within the laurels' glossy shade;
Is it some Daphne, still afraid,
In arborescent hiding?
And, too, the sea's continued roar
Flings soft the magic sound ashore,
Where breaks the wave in passion sore,
And serpentinial gliding.
Is it some Siren who hath pressed
A beating heart to her cold breast,
Who calls that lover, long at rest
In this tempestuous sighing?
The seas that shake the yellow sand,
The waving trees, the sylvan land,
This vagrant voice well understand,
And whisper to its crying.
Oh! wandering voice that brings unrest,
My human soul had half oppressed,
The pagan spirit in my breast,
That answered to thy fashion!

What is thy message, could I seek
From thrall of this sad soul to break?
And if this pagan heart could speak,
What answer to thy passion?

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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