North Wind [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in The Singing Garden (1935).]

North Wind

Dawn came this morning ominous and grim.
The circle of the sun rose bloated where,
Seen thro’ the scudding cloud, its angry rim
Burned dull and copper hued — a sullen glare.
The stale and lifeless air
Made no least little stir ’mid leaf and limb
Of great trees brooding round this garden trim;
A listening fear seemed there.

Listening and waiting. Then a far, faint roar
Spread from the furthest hills. A sudden breeze,
Swelling in volume, thro’ the forest tore
Until it seemed the tossing, tortured trees
Writhed in fierce agonies.
The crashing trunks sounded as guns in war,
And tumult reigned, as of some rock-bound shore
Defying angry seas.

Waning to wax again with gathered power,
All day it raged, and leapt from hill to hill,
Shouting its wrath . . . Now, with a healing shower,
Quiet comes down, and all seems strangely still.
The wind has had its will
With riven loveliness of shrub and flower;
But round the ruin storm-scarred monarchs tower
Unconquerable still.



Source:
C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 60-61

Editor’s notes:
’mid = an abbreviation of “amid” or “amidst”: of or in the middle of an area, group, position, etc.

riven = cleaved, split, or torn apart

wax = grow or increase gradually in intensity, number, size, strength, or volume (e.g. “the moonlight waxed and waned”); or to take on a particular characteristic or state (e.g. “to wax poetic”; often used in the context of someone speaking at length)

Vernacular spelling in the original text:
thro’ (through)

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