Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE WIND, by ALICE CARY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO THE WIND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Steer hither, rough old mariner
Last Line: Your nature, willful wind!
Subject(s): Wind


STEER hither, rough old mariner,
Keeping your jolly crew
Beating about in the seas of life, --
Steer hither, and tell me true
About my little son Maximus,
Who sailed away with you!

Seven and twenty years ago
He came to us, -- ah me!
The snow that fell that whistling night
Was not so pure as he,
And I was rich enough, I trow,
When I took him on my knee.

I was rich enough, and when I met
A man, unthrift and lorn,
Whom I a hundred times had met
With less of pity than scorn,
I opened my purse, -- it was well for him
That Maximus was born!

We have five boys at home, erect
And straight of limb, and tall,
Gentle, and loving all that God
Has made, or great or small,
But Maximus, our youngest born,
Was the gentlest of them all!

Yet was he brave, -- they all are brave,
Not one for favor or frown
That fears to set his strength against
The bravest of the town,
But this, our little Maximus,
Could fight when he was down.

Six darling boys! not one of all,
If we had had to choose,
Could we have singled from the rest
To sail on such a cruise,
But surely little Maximus
Was not the one to lose!

His hair divided into slips,
And tumbled every way, --
His mother always called them curls,
She has one to this day, --
And th' nails of his hands were thin and red
As the leaves of a rose in May.

Steer hither, rough mariner, and bring
Some news of our little lad, --
If he be anywhere out of th' grave
It will make his mother glad,
Tho' he grieved her more with his waywardness
Than all the boys she had.

I know it was against himself,
For he was good and kind,
That he left us, though he saw our eyes
With tears, for his sake, blind, --
Oh how can you give to such as he,
Your nature, willful wind!





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