By the Aurelian Wall and Other Elegies

by Bliss Carman


 

SEVEN WIND SONGS


 

Now these are the seven wind songs
For Andrew Straton's death,
Blown through the reeds of the river,
A sigh of the world 's last breath,

Where the flickering red auroras

5

Out on the dark sweet hills
Follow all night through the forest
The cry of the whip-poor-wills.

For the meanings of life are many,
But the purpose of love is one,

10
Journeying, tarrying, lonely
As the sea wind or the sun.

 

I

 

Wind of the Northern land,
Wind of the sea,
No more his dearest hand
15

Comes back to me.

Wind of the Northern gloom,
Wind of the sea,
Wandering waifs of doom
Feckless are we.

20

Wind of the Northern land,
Wind of the sea,
I cannot understand
How these things be.

 

II

 

Wind of the low red morn
25

At the world's end,
Over the standing corn
Whisper and bend.

Then through the low red morn
At the world's end,

30

Far out from sorrow's bourne,
Down glory's trend,

Tell the last years forlorn
At the world's end,
Of my one peerless born

35
Comrade and friend.

 

III

 

Wind of the April stars,
Wind of the dawn,
Whether God nears or fars,
He lived and shone.
40


Wind of the April night,
Wind of the dawn,
No more my heart's delight
Bugles me on.

Wind of the April rain,

45
Wind of the dawn,
Lull the old world from pain
Till pain be gone.

 

IV

 

Wind of the summer noon,
Wind of the hills,
50

Gently the hand of June
Stays thee and stills.

Far off, untouched by tears,
Raptures or ills,
Sleeps he a thousand years

55

Out on the hills.

Wind of the summer noon,
Wind of the hills,
Is the land fair and boon
Whither he wills?

60

 

V

 

Wind of the gulfs of night,
Wind of the sea,
Where the pale streamers light
My world for me,—

Breath of the wintry Noms,

65

Frost-touch or sleep,—
He whom my spirit mourns
Deep beyond deep

To the last void and dim
Where ages stream—

70
Is there no room for him
In all this dream?

 

VI

 

Wind of the outer waste,
Threne of the outer world,
Leash of the stars unlaced,
75

Morning unfurled,

Somewhere at God's great need,
I know not how,
With the old strength and speed
He is come now;

80

Therefore my soul is glad
With the old pride,
Tho' this small life is sad
Here in my side.

 

VII

 

Wind of the driven snow,
85

Wind of the sea,
On a long trail and slow
Farers are we.

Wind of the Northern gloom,
Wind of the sea,

90

Shall I one day resume
His love for me?

Wind of the driven snow,
Wind of the sea,
Then shall thy vagrant know

95

How these things be.

These are the sever wind songs or
Andrew Straton's rest,
From the hills of the Scarlet Hunter
And the trail of the endless quest.

100


The wells of the sunrise harken,
They wait for a year and a day:
Only the calm sure thrushes
Fluting the world away!

For the husk of life is sorrow;

105
But the kernels of joy remain,
Teeming and blind and eternal
As the hill wind or the rain.