Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works




          WHAT way does the wind come? What way does he go?
          He rides over the water, and over the snow,
          Through wood, and through vale; and, o'er rocky height
          Which the goat cannot climb, takes his sounding flight;
          He tosses about in every bare tree,
          As, if you look up, you plainly may see;
          But how he will come, and whither he goes,
          There's never a scholar in England knows.

          He will suddenly stop in a cunning nook
          And ring a sharp 'larum;--but, if you should look,          10
          There's nothing to see but a cushion of snow
          Round as a pillow, and whiter than milk,
          And softer than if it were covered with silk.
          Sometimes he'll hide in the cave of a rock,
          Then whistle as shrill as the buzzard cock;
          --Yet seek him,--and what shall you find in the place?
          Nothing but silence and empty space;
          Save, in a corner, a heap of dry leaves,
          That he's left, for a bed, to beggars or thieves!
          As soon as 'tis daylight to-morrow, with me                 20
          You shall go to the orchard, and then you will see
          That he has been there, and made a great rout,
          And cracked the branches, and strewn them about;
          Heaven grant that he spare but that one upright twig
          That looked up at the sky so proud and big
          All last summer, as well you know,
          Studded with apples, a beautiful show!

          Hark! over the roof he makes a pause,
          And growls as if he would fix his claws
          Right in the slates, and with a huge rattle                 30
          Drive them down, like men in a battle:
          --But let him range round; he does us no harm,
          We build up the fire, we're snug and warm;
          Untouched by his breath see the candle shines bright,
          And burns with a clear and steady light;
          Books have we to read,--but that half-stifled knell,
          Alas! 'tis the sound of the eight o'clock bell.
          --Come now we'll to bed! and when we are there
          He may work his own will, and what shall we care?
          He may knock at the door,--we'll not let him in;            40
          May drive at the windows,--we'll laugh at his din;
          Let him seek his own home wherever it be;
          Here's a 'cozie' warm house for Edward and me.



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