The Wind

By George Sterling

Unseen and ancient haunter of the skies!
    Eternal pilgrim, born to yearn and roam,
    Seeking, as man, a refuge and a home
And that surpassing peace that life denies!
Lobe visitant and wander from afar,
    Of whose strange news we have no certain word,
    Though men from time unsearchable have heard
Thy chant on frozen mountains to the star!

Herder of waves on seas without a sail,
    And trampler of the foam of billows hurled
    Upon the shifting shorelines of the world!
Below thy wings the driven deeps are pale.
Wine of the world, for which its oceans live,
    And clouds go forth, and many lands have rain,
    That else had lifted to the heavens in vain
The hope and prayer that urge the heavens to give!

On what glad wings thou goest to each task
    The sun, thy mighty over-lord, assigns! —
    Lifting all night thy song from northern pines,
Or threatening a beach where monsters bask.
Then, at thine own mad will, thy pinions rise,
    To find the colored castles of the morn,
    Or, in those altitudes where thou wast born,
To raze the pomps of sunset from the skies.

Sole voice in nameless cities of the Past,
    Long ruinous, whose dust of monarchy dead,
    Moulded by thee to phantom forms, is led
Once more down mighty avenues, then cast
Back to the old oblivion! Thou dost sing
    Their requiem in lion-haunted rooms;
    The chariots and trumpets of old dooms
Thou echoest, and battles where they ring.

Roamer of nights too beautiful for sleep!
    Launcher of clouds from Heaven's irradiant shore,
    Whose silver and the moon have equal ore
And company together on the deep!
How many hearts have ached to follow thee,
    Dreaming thou farest to the Happy Isles,—
    Dreaming that far beyond the sapphire miles
Beauty assents beside her starry sea.

All life shall enter into rest ere thou,
    Who wast before the oceans, and shalt wail
    O'er oceans stilled forever. Thou shalt fail
When the eternal winter comes; out now,
Invisible archangel of the world,
    Thy mouth is on thy trumpet, and its cry
    Goes forth in challenge unto earth and sky,
Ere yet the banners of thy war are furled!

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