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I    The south wind rose at dusk of the winter day
  The warm breath of the western sea
  Circling wrapp’d the isle with his cloke of cloud,
  And it now reach’d even to me, at dusk of the day,
  And moan’d in the branches aloud:
  While here and there, in patches of dark space,
  A star shone forth from its heavenly place,
  As a spark that is borne in the smoky chase;
  And, looking up, there fell on my face—
  Could it be drops of rain
  Soft as the wind, that fell on my face?
  Gossamers light as threads of the summer dawn,
  Suck’d by the sun from midmost calms of the main,
  From groves of coral islands secretly drawn,
  O’er half the round of earth to be driven,
  Now to fall on my face
  In silky skeins spun from the mists of heaven.

II    Who art thou, in wind and darkness and soft rain
  Thyself that robest, that bendest in sighing pines
  To whisper thy truth? that usest for signs
  A hurried glimpse of the moon, the glance of a star
  In the rifted sky?
  Who art thou, that with thee I
  Woo and am wooed?
  That, robing thyself in darkness and soft rain,
  Choosest my chosen solitude,
  Coming so far
  To tell thy secret again,
  As a mother her child, in her folding arm
  Of a winter night by a flickering fire,
  Telleth the same tale o’er and o’er
  With gentle voice, and I never tire,
  So imperceptibly changeth the charm,


  As Love on buried ecstasy buildeth his tower
  —Like as the stem that beareth the flower
  By trembling is knit to power:—
  Ah! long ago
  In thy first rapture I renounced my lot,
  The vanity, the despondency, and the woe,
  And seeking thee to know
  Well was’t for me; and evermore
  I am thine, I know not what.

III    For me thou seekest ever, me wondering a day
  In the eternal alternations, me
  Free for a stolen moment of chance
  To dream a beautiful dream
  In the everlasting dance
  Of speechless worlds, the unsearchable scheme,
  To me thou findest the way,
  Me and whomsoe’er
  I have found my dream to share
  Still with thy charm encircling; even to-night
  To me and my love in darkness and soft rain
  Under the sighing pines thou comest again,
  And staying our speech with mystery of delight,
  Of the kiss that I give a wonder thou makest,
  And the kiss that I take thou takest.


MLA citation:

Bridges, Robert. “The South Wind.” The Pageant, 1896, pp. 145-146. Pageant Digital Edition, edited by Frederick King and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2019-2021. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021.