Said the Wind

By George Sterling

I and my brothers are ocean-born,
    And the dusk-blue reaches were our home.
    Joyous, hardly old as the foam,
There we ran on a crystal morn.

North and south we swung in our play,
    Life and laugh of the world's unrest.
    I, deserting, fled to the west,
Swift and strong on the path of the day.

Day was victor in that mad flight—
    Gone with a step from the sea to land.
    There, like stars upcast on the strand,
A city blazed on the fallen night.

Thither drawn, I crept in its maze—
    Trapped and bound in a tainted pit,
    Sickened in caverns crimson-lit,
Blind and weak in a fevered haze.

Pride and hate and folly and death,
    Hunger, madness, squalor and pain,
    Toil forever the slave of Gain,
Sin that clung to its bitter breath—

Those I saw in chamber and street,
    Saw blind man in his midnight go,
    Ant in his joy and giant in woe,
Reaping harvests that Night should eat.

Such I saw ere my wings won free,
    And I fled forth to pasture and wood;
    Orchard and meadow, I find them good;
Lake and river are as the sea.

Give me thy coolness, grass o' the sward!
    Lend me your fragrance, apple and rose !
    I have been where the death-flower blows;
I have stood where Sorrow is lord.

I will cleanse me now in the grove,
    Slay my taint with a million leaves.
    Summer' comes with her elfin eves;
Here will I slumber, wake and rove.

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