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A Dancing Song to the Mistral Wind


Wildly rushing, clouds outleaping,
Care-destroying, Heaven sweeping,
Mistral wind, thou art my friend!
Surely 'twas one womb did bear us,
Surely 'twas one fate did pair us,
Fellows for a common end.

From the crags I gaily greet you,
Running fast I come to meet you,
Dancing while you pipe and sing.
How you bound across the ocean,
Unimpeded, free in motion,
Swifter than with boat or wing!

Through my dreams your whistle sounded,
Down the rocky stairs I bounded
To the golden ocean wall;
Saw you hasten, swift and glorious,
Like a river, strong, victorious.
Tumbling in a waterfall.

Saw you rushing over Heaven,
With your steeds so wildly driven,
Saw the car in which you flew;
Saw the lash that wheeled and quivered,
While the hand that held it shivered,
Urging on the steeds anew.

Saw you from your chariot swinging,
So that swifter downward springing
Like an arrow you might go
Straight into the deep abysses,
As a sunbeam falls and kisses
Roses in the morning glow.

Dance, oh! dance on all the edges,
Wave-crests, cliffs and mountain ledges,
Ever finding dances new!
Let our knowledge be our gladness,
Let our art be sport and madness,
All that's joyful shall be true!

Let us snatch from every bower,
As we pass, the fairest flower,
With some leaves to make a crown;
Then, like minstrels gaily dancing,
Saint and witch together prancing,
Let us foot it up and down.

Those who come must move as quickly
As the wind—we'll have no sickly,
Crippled, withered, in our crew;
Off with hypocrites and preachers,
Proper folk and prosy teachers,
Sweep them from our heaven blue.

Sweep away all sad grimaces,
Whirl the dust into the faces
Of the dismal sick and cold!
Hunt them from our breezy places,
Not for them the wind that braces,
But for men of visage bold.

Off with those who spoil earth's gladness,
Blow away all clouds of sadness,
Till our heaven clear we see;
Let me hold thy hand, best fellow,
Till my joy like tempest bellow!
Freest thou of spirits free!

When thou partest, take a token
Of the joy thou hast awoken,
Take our wreath and fling it far;
Toss it up and catch it never,
Whirl it on before thee ever,
Till it reach the farthest star.

  1. Translated by Miss M. D. Petre. Inserted by permission of the editor of the Nation, in which it appeared on May 15, 1909.

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).