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O melancholy winter Wind, that makest moan
So sad, so sad and low
Through the still midnight, while the sleeping snow
Lies like a death-trance, underneath the moon!
O Wind, that moanest that dull steady tune,
Like some deep organ-pipe, left all alone,
     By sweetest seraphs left,
     Of sacred melody bereft,
And given to the wild fiends of the air,
To blow what made discordant tones they list,—
O Wind, wild as some phantom of the mist,
That sweeps with hollow groan the hill-side bare!
I hear, I hear thy sullen steady moan,
     As here I sit alone.

Strange thoughts, strange feelings come and sit by me,
And look into their mirror, fantasy;
Mysteries like thyself, strange Wind, thou bringest;
Unto the soul, as to a harp, thou singest
     Hymns of unearthly harmony.

Type of the Spirit to whose deeps
Thou with thy deep dost call!
Of that great mystery that never sleeps,
Within the breast of all,
O Wind, whether thou blowest sad and wild,
Or gently breathest with glad tones and mild,
  When in the moonlit leaves the sleeping bird
  By thy bland touch is stirred;
Whether thou ravest mid the forests bare,
Or bringest odours rare
From the sweet fields that load the warm spring air:
Thou art a shadow of the soul of man:
Now calm, now full of joy, now frantic glee,
  And wild as wild can be;
Now breathing fragrance to sweet heaven, how glad!
Anon with whirlwind fury mad,
And often full of murmurs dull and sad,
And hearing but its own strange harmony,
As now, O melancholy wind, I hear no sound but thee.

   St. Louis, Jan. 1837.

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