Pleasures of enjambment

November 20, 2007

The Storm-Wind

When the swift-rolling brook, swollen deep,
Rushes on by the alders, full speed,
And the wild-blowing winds lowly sweep
O’er the quivering leaf and the weed,
And the willow tree writhes in each limb
Over sedge-beds that reel by the brim —

The man that is staggering by
Holds his hat to his head by the brim;
And the girl as her hair-locks outfly,
Puts a foot out, to keep herself trim,
And the quivering wavelings o’erspread
The small pool where the bird dips his head.

But out at my house, in the lee
Of the nook, where the winds die away,
The light swimming airs, round the tree
And the low-swinging ivy stem, play
So soft that a mother that’s nigh
Her still cradle, may hear her babe sigh.

— William Barnes (1801-1886)

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