Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRAIRIE WIND, by JESSIE KENNEDY SNELL



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THE PRAIRIE WIND, by            
First Line: The prairie wind is ever constant, yet
Last Line: The night-wind with its crooning slumber-song.
Subject(s): Prairies; Wind; Plains


The prairie wind is ever constant, yet
As variable in its moods as a woman.
It is a lover whispering against the cheek
Sweet vows, and promises of happy hours;
A baby's fingers, aimless, dewy-soft,
Wandering with rose-leaf touch across the face;
The rushing flight of great birds who beat
The air with heavy wings and usher in the welcome rain;
A madcap girl, dancing on tip-toe, twirling her short skirts across the grass,
Blowing kisses from pink finger-tips, and beckoning to play;
A roystering boy, who seizes caps, throws pebbles,
Shuffles bare feet and kicks up clouds of dust in travellers' faces;
A fiery dragon, whose fetid breath
Shrivels and scorches all the living green of field and pasture,
Leaving in its wake a burnt-out land and blasted hopes;
A shrieking, howling, demon-dervish band,
Trailing long robes of swirling whiteness
Which twist and writhe and whip up high the drifts,
Blot out all landmarks, trails, the sky itself,
Until the plains become a seething maelstrom of white, breathless fury
Where man and beast are made a sacrifice.
A tiresome shrew whose constant nagging plaint
Sets nerves a-quiver, and wears patience thin;
A mother singing gentle lullabys;
"Sleep sweet, rest well, my child, I'm ever near."
We prairie folk enjoy, fear or endure
The ever-changing, ever-constant wind. --
But, ah, we love
The night-wind with its crooning slumber-song.





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