The Wind and the Pine-Tree

Sir Henry Taylor, English (1800–1886)

From Edwin the Fair, Published, London, 1842, J. Murray


THE TALE was this:

The wind, when first he rose and went abroad
Through the waste region, felt himself at fault,
Wanting a voice; and suddenly to earth
Descended with a wafture and a swoop,


Where, wandering volatile from kind to kind,
He wooed the several trees to give him one.
First he besought the ash; the voice she lent
Fitfully with a free and lasting change
Flung here and there its sad uncertainties:


The aspen next; a fluttered frivolous twitter
Was her sole tribute: from the willow came,
So long as dainty summer dressed her out,
A whispering sweetness, but her winter note
Was hissing, dry, and reedy: lastly the pine


Did he solicit, and from her he drew
A voice so constant, soft, and lowly deep,
That there he rested, welcoming in her
A mild memorial of the ocean-cave
Where he was born.