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Poem by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Hymn to the Wind


On thy couch of cloud reclined,
Wake, O soft and sacred Wind!
Soft and sacred will we name thee,
Whosoe'er the sire that claim thee-
Whether old Auster's dusky child,
Or the loud son of Eurus wild;
Or his who o'er the darkling deeps,
From the bleak North, in tempest sweeps;
Still shalt thou seem as dear to us
As flowery-crowned Zephyrus,
When, through twilight's starry dew,
Trembling, he hastes his nymph to woo.


Lo! our silver censers swinging,
Perfumes o'er thy path are flinging-
Ne'er o'er Tempe's breathless valleys,
Ne'er o'er Cypria's cedarn alleys,
Or the Rose-isle's moonlit sea,
Floated sweets more worthy thee.
Lo! around our vases sending
Myrrh and nard with cassia blending:
Paving air with odorous meet,
For thy silver-sandall'd feet!


August and everlasting air!
The source of all that breathe and be,
From the mute clay before thee bear
The seeds it took from thee!
Aspire, bright Flame! aspire!
Wild wind!-awake, awake!
Thine own, O solemn Fire!
O Air, thine own retake!


It comes! it comes! Lo! it sweeps,
The Wind we invoke the while!
And crackles, and darts, and leaps
The light on the holy pile!
It rises! its wings interweave
With the flames-how they howl and heave!
Toss'd, whirl'd to and fro,
How the flame-serpents glow!
Rushing higher and higher,
On-on, fearful Fire!
Thy giant limbs twined
With the arms of the Wind!
Lo! the elements meet on the throne
Of death-to reclaim their own!


Swing, swing the censer round-
Tune the strings to a softer sound!
From the chains of thy earthly toil,
From the clasp of thy mortal coil,
From the prison where clay confined thee,
The hands of the flame unbind thee!
O Soul! thou art free-all free!
As the winds in their ceaseless chase,
When they rush o'er their airy sea,
Thou mayst speed through the realms of space,
No fetter is forged for thee!
Rejoice! o'er the sluggard tide
Of the Styx thy bark can glide,
And thy steps evermore shall rove
Through the glades of the happy grove;
Where, far from the loath'd Cocytus,
The loved and the lost invite us.
Thou art slave to the earth no more!
O soul, thou art freed!-and we?-
Ah! when shall our toil be o'er?
Ah! when shall we rest with thee? 

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Poem Theme: Wind

Edward Bulwer-Lytton's other poems:
  1. Trevylyan to Gertrude
  2. Love and Fame
  3. The Pilgrim of the Desert
  4. The Desire of Fame
  5. The Love of Maturer Years

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