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   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
656. Ode to the North-east Wind
 
Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)
 
 
WELCOME, wild North-easter!
  Shame it is to see
Odes to every zephyr;
  Ne’er a verse to thee.
Welcome, black North-easter!        5
  O’er the German foam;
O’er the Danish moorlands,
  From thy frozen home.
Tired we are of summer,
  Tired of gaudy glare,        10
Showers soft and steaming,
  Hot and breathless air.
Tired of listless dreaming,
  Through the lazy day:
Jovial wind of winter        15
  Turn us out to play!
Sweep the golden reed-beds;
  Crisp the lazy dyke;
Hunger into madness
  Every plunging pike.        20
Fill the lake with wild-fowl;
  Fill the marsh with snipe;
While on dreary moorlands
  Lonely curlew pipe.
Through the black fir-forest        25
  Thunder harsh and dry,
Shattering down the snow-flakes
  Off the curdled sky.
Hark! The brave North-easter!
  Breast-high lies the scent,        30
On by holt and headland,
  Over heath and bent.
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
  Through the sleet and snow.
Who can over-ride you?        35
  Let the horses go!
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
  Down the roaring blast
You shall see a fox die
  Ere an hour be past.        40
Go! and rest to-morrow,
  Hunting in your dreams,
While our skates are ringing
  O’er the frozen streams.
Let the luscious South-wind        45
  Breathe in lovers’ sighs,
While the lazy gallants
  Bask in ladies’ eyes.
What does he but soften
  Heart alike and pen?        50
’Tis the hard grey weather
  Breeds hard English men.
What’s the soft South-wester?
  ’Tis the ladies’ breeze,
Bringing home their true-loves        55
  Out of all the seas:
But the black North-easter,
  Through the snowstorm hurled,
Drives our English hearts of oak
  Seaward round the world.        60
Come, as came our fathers,
  Heralded by thee,
Conquering from the eastward,
  Lords by land and sea.
Come; and strong within us        65
  Stir the Vikings’ blood;
Bracing brain and sinew;
  Blow, thou wind of God!
 

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