The Defence of Guenevere, by William Morris

The Wind

Ah! no, no, it is nothing, surely nothing at all,

Only the wild-going wind round by the garden-wall,

For the dawn just now is breaking, the wind beginning to fall.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

So I will sit, and think and think of the days gone by,

Never moving my chair for fear the dogs should cry,

Making no noise at all while the flambeau burns awry.

For my chair is heavy and carved, and with sweeping green behind

It is hung, and the dragons thereon grin out in the gusts of the wind;

On its folds an orange lies, with a deep gash cut in the rind.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

If I move my chair it will scream, and the orange will roll out afar,

And the faint yellow juice ooze out like blood from a wizard’s jar;

And the dogs will howl for those who went last month to the war.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

So I will sit and think of love that is over and past,

O, so long ago! Yes, I will be quiet at last:

Whether I like it or not, a grim half-slumber is cast

Over my worn old brains, that touches the roots of my heart,

And above my half-shut eyes, the blue roof ‘gins to part,

And show the blue spring sky, till I am ready to start

From out of the green-hung chair; but something keeps me still,

And I fall in a dream that I walk’d with her on the side of a hill,

Dotted, for was it not spring? with tufts of the daffodil.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

And Margaret as she walk’d held a painted book in her hand;

Her finger kept the place; I caught her, we both did stand

Face to face, on the top of the highest hill in the land.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

I held to her long bare arms, but she shudder’d away from me,

While the flush went out of her face as her head fell back on a tree,

And a spasm caught her mouth, fearful for me to see;

And still I held to her arms till her shoulder touched my mail,

Weeping she totter’d forward, so glad that I should prevail,

And her hair went over my robe, like a gold flag over a sail.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

I kiss’d her hard by the ear, and she kiss’d me on the brow,

And then lay down on the grass, where the mark on the moss is now,

And spread her arms out wide while I went down below.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

And then I walk’d for a space to and fro on the side of the hill,

Till I gather’d and held in my arms great sheaves of the daffodil,

And when I came again my Margaret lay there still.

I piled them high and high above her heaving breast,

How they were caught and held in her loose ungirded vest!

But one beneath her arm died, happy so to be prest!

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

Again I turn’d my back and went away for an hour;

She said no word when I came again, so, flower by flower,

I counted the daffodils over, and cast them languidly lower.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

My dry hands shook and shook as the green gown show’d again,

Clear’d from the yellow flowers, and I grew hollow with pain,

And on to us both there fell from the sun-shower drops of rain.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

Alas! alas! there was blood on the very quiet breast,

Blood lay in the many folds of the loose ungirded vest,

Blood lay upon her arm where the flower had been prest.

I shriek’d and leapt from my chair, and the orange roll’d out afar,

The faint yellow juice oozed out like blood from a wizard’s jar;

And then in march’d the ghosts of those that had gone to the war.

I knew them by the arms that I was used to paint

Upon their long thin shields; but the colours were all grown faint,

And faint upon their banner was Olaf, king and saint.

Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind?

Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind,

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/morris/william/defence-of-guenevere/chapter17.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 22:07