Does the wind sing in your ears at night, in
Rattling the windows and doors of the cheap-built place?
Do you hear its song as it flies over marsh and down?
Do you feel the kiss that the wind leaves here on my face?
Or, wrapt in a lamplit quiet, do you restrain
Thoughts that would take the wind’s way hither to me,
And bid them rest safe-anchored, nor tempt again
The tumult, and torment, and passion that live in the sea?
I, for my part, when the wind sings loud in its might,
I bid it hush—nor awaken again the storm
That swept my heart out to sea on a moonless night,
And dashed it ashore on an island wondrous and warm
Where all things fair and forbidden for ever flower,
Where the worst of life is a dream, and the best comes true,
When the harvest of years was reaped in a single hour
And the gods, for once, were honest with me and you.
I will not hear when the wind and the sea cry out,
I will not trust again to the hurrying wind,
I will not swim again in a sea of doubt,
And reach that shore with the world left well behind;
But you,—I would have you listen to every call
Of the changing wind, as it blows over marsh and main,
And heap life’s joys in your hands, and offer them all,
If only your feet might touch that island again!
The child was yours and none of mine,
And yet you gave it me to keep,
And bade me sew it raiment fine,
And wrap my kisses round its sleep.
I carried it upon my breast,
I fed it in a world apart,
I wrapped my kisses round its rest,
I rocked its cradle with my heart.
When in mad nights of rain and storm
You turned us homeless from your door,
I wrapped it close, I kept it warm,
And brought it safe to you once more.
But the last time you drove us forth,
The snow was wrapped about its head,
That night the wind blew from the North,
And on my heart the child was dead.
The child is mine and none of yours,
My life was his while he had breath,
What of your claim to him endures,
Who only gave him birth and death?
Once I loved, and my heart bowed down,
Subject and slave, for Love was a King;
He sat above with sceptre and crown,
Turning his eyes from my sorrowing.
The laugh of a god on his lips lay light—
His lips victorious that mocked my pain,
And I mourned in the cold and the outer night,
And my tears and my prayers were vain.
Now the old spell is over and done,
Myself I wear the ermine and gold,
My brows are crowned, I ascend the throne,
I have taken the sceptre and orb to hold.
I smile victorious, set far above
The music of voices that moan and pray,
My feet are wet with the tears of love,
And I turn my eyes away.