The Storm.

Robert Crawford FRSE FBA is a Scottish poet, scholar and critic. He is currently Professor of English at the University of St Andrews.






I can hear the great boughs swing
Through the stormy night,
Each a dryad-haunted thing
With its dark delight,
As within an old-world air
When the Gods were everywhere.
All the wood seems to be up
At some eerie play,
Wild as Bacchanals whose sup
Had all through the day
Been a deep one, as they roar
With the waves upon the shore.
'Tis in sooth as Pan, too, mad
For fair Syrinx fled,
Had from Hades come, and had
Brought with him the dead
Who of old had worshipped him
To a midnight revel grim.
Or is it that Syrinx too,
From the reed restored,
Romps it as the satyrs do
With her now-loved lord?
And is this the night of nights,
And are these their marriage rites?
Who shall say? The great boughs swing,
As Time in a whirl
Did to the dark forest bring
The goat-god and his girl,
With the earth-enamoured crew
For a mystic hour or two.
Till amid the tumult I
Fall asleep, like one
Who had put the ages by
In a dream begun
Far back in another sphere,
Ere my 'wildered soul came here!
Ah! the dream that may indeed
Outlive all I know,
When like one whom Fate has freed
I through Hades go,
And see the great vision cast
On the future by the past.

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