The South Wind


The south wind rose at dusk of the winter day1
The warm breath of the western sea2
Circling wrapp’d the isle with his cloke of cloud,3
And it now reach’d even to me, at dusk of the day,4
And moan’d in the branches aloud :5
While here and there, in patches of dark space,6
A star shone forth from its heavenly place,7
As a spark that is borne in the smoky chase ;8
And, looking up, there fell on my face9
Could it be drops of rain10
Soft as the wind, that fell on my face ?11
Gossamers light as threads of the summer dawn,12
Suck’d by the sun from midmost calms of the main,13
From groves of coral islands secretly drawn,14
O’er half the round of earth to be driven,15
Now to fall on my face16
In silky skeins spun from the mists of heaven.17


Who art thou, in wind and darkness and soft rain18
Thyself that robest, that bendest in sighing pines19
To whisper thy truth ? that usest for signs20
A hurried glimpse of the moon, the glance of a star21
In the rifted sky ?22
Who art thou, that with thee I23
Woo and am wooed ?24
That, robing thyself in darkness and soft rain,25
Choosest my chosen solitude,26
Coming so far27
To tell thy secret again,28
As a mother her child, in her folding arm29
Of a winter night by a flickering fire,30
Telleth the same tale o’er and o’er31
With gentle voice, and I never tire,32
So imperceptibly changeth the charm,33
As Love on buried ecstasy buildeth his tower34
―Like as the stem that beareth the flower35
By trembling is knit to power :―36
Ah ! long ago37
In thy first rapture I renounced my lot,38
The vanity, the despondency, and the woe,39
And seeking thee to know40
Well was’t for me ; and evermore41
I am thine, I know not what.42


For me thou seekest ever, me wondering a day43
In the eternal alterations, me44
Free for a stolen moment of chance45
To dream a beautiful dream46
In the everlasting dance47
Of speechless worlds, the unsearchable scheme,48
To me thou findest the way,49
Me and whomsoe’er50
I have found my dream to share51
Still with thy charm encircling ; even to-night52
Under the sighing pines thou comest again,53
And staying our speech with mystery of delight,54
Of the kiss that I give a wonder thou makest,55
And the kiss that I take thou takest.56