Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE WINDS, by CHARLOTTE SMITH



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TO THE WINDS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye vagrant winds! Yon clouds that bear
Last Line: Madness or death.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Charlotte Turner
Subject(s): Wind


Ye vagrant Winds! yon clouds that bear
Thro' the blue desart of the air,
Soft sailing in the Summer sky,
Do e'er your wandering breezes meet
A wretch in misery so complete,
So lost as I?

And yet, where'er your pinions wave
O'er some lost friend's -- some lover's grave,
Surviving sufferers still complain;
Some parent of his hopes deprived,
Some wretch who has himself survived,
Lament in vain.

Blow where ye list on this sad earth,
Some soul-corroding care has birth,
And Grief in all her accents speaks;
Here dark Dejection groans, and there
Wild Phrenzy, daughter of Despair,
Unconscious shrieks.

Ah! were it Death had torn apart
The tie that bound him to my heart,
Tho' fatal still the pang would prove;
Yet had it soothed this bleeding breast
To know, I had till then possest
Hillario's love.

And where his dear, dear ashes slept,
Long nights and days I then had wept,
Till by slow-mining Grief opprest
As Memory fail'd, its vital heat
This wayward heart had lost, and beat
Itself to rest.

But still Hillario lives, to prove
To some more happy maid his love!
Hillario at her feet I see!
His voice still murmurs fond desire,
Still beam his eyes with lambent fire,
But not for me!

Ah! words, my bosom's peace that stole,
Ah! looks, that won my melting soul;
Who dares your dear delusion try,
In dreams may all Elysium see,
Then undeceiv'd, awake, like me,
Awake and die.

Like me, who now abandon'd, lost,
Roam wildly on the rocky coast,
With eager eyes the sea explore;
But hopeless watch and vainly rave,
Hillario o'er the western wave
Returns no more!

Yet, go forgiven, Hillario go,
Such anguish may you never know
As that which checks my labouring breath;
Pain so severe not long endures,
And I have still my choice of cures,
Madness or death.





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