The Wild Winds Weep

Song Cycle by Michael Murray

1. To a Child dancing in the Wind [sung text not yet checked]

Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?

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Note: also sometimes titled "To a Child dancing upon the shore"
First published in Poetry, Chicago (December 1912), revised 1913

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Nightpiece [sung text not yet checked]

Gaunt in gloom
The pale stars their torches
Enshrouded wave. 
Ghostfires from heaven's far verges faint illume
Arches on soaring arches,
Night's sindark nave. 

Seraphim
The lost hosts awaken
To service till
In moonless gloom each lapses, muted, dim
Raised when she has and shaken
Her thurible. 

And long and loud
To night's nave upsoaring
A starknell tolls
As the bleak incense surges, cloud on cloud,
Voidward from the adoring
Waste of souls.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nocturne", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtstück", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

First published in Poetry, May 1917

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Mad song [sung text not yet checked]

The wild winds weep
  And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
  And my griefs [infold]1:
But lo! the morning peeps
  Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds of dawn
  The earth do scorn. 

Lo! to the vault
  Of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
  My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
  Make weep the eyes of day;
They make mad the roaring winds,
  And with tempests play. 

Like a fiend in a cloud,
  With howling woe,
After night I do crowd,
  And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas'd;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

Authorship:

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Cançó esbojarrada", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: said to have been written by Blake at the age of fourteen.
First published in Poetical Sketches, 1783
1 first published as "unfold" (Mitchell uses "unfold"); later changed to "infold"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 250