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The Dance Of The Winds
by [?]


The Wind god, Eolus, sat one morn
In his cavern of tempests, quite forlorn,
He’d been ill of a fever a month and a day,
And the sun had been having things all his own way,
Pouring o’er earth such a torrent of heat
That the meadows were dry as the trampled street,
And people were panting, and ready to die
Of the fire that blazed from the pitiless sky

But the King felt better that hot June day,
So he said to himself “I will get up a play
Among the children by way of a change,
No doubt they are-feeling, like me, very strange
At this dreary confinement–a month and more,
And never once stirring at all out of door!
It is terribly wearisome keeping so still–
They all shall go out for a dance on the hill.”

Then aloud he spake, and the dreary hall
Re-echoed hoarsely his hollow call:
“Ho! Boreas, Auster, Eurus, ho!
And you, too, dainty-winged Zephyrus, go
And have a dance on the hills to-day,
And I’ll sit here and enjoy your play.”

Then Boreas started with such a roar
That the King, his father, was troubled sore,
And peevishly muttered within himself–
“He’ll burst his throat, the unmannerly elf!”
But Auster, angry at seeing his brother
Astart of him, broke away with another
As fearful a yell from the opposite side
Of the wind-cave, gloomy, and long, and wide.

One from the South, and one from the North,
The rough-tempered brothers went shrieking forth;
And faster, and faster, and faster still,
They swept o’er valley, and forest, and hill.
The clouds affrighted before them flew,
From white swift changing to black or blue;
But, failing to’scape the assailants’ ire,
Fell afoul of each other in conflict dire.

Now hot, now cold–what a strife was there!
Till the crashing hailstones smote the air,
And men and women in country and town
Were hastily closing their windows down,
And shutting doors with a crash and a bang,
While the raindrops beat, and the hailstones rang,
And the lightnings glared from the fiery eyes
Of the furious combatants up in the skies,
And burst in thunder-claps far and near,
Making the timorous shake with fear.

Then Eolus with affright grew cold,
For his blood, you’ll remember, is thin and old,
And his turbulent sons such an uproar made,
That, watching the conflict, he grew afraid
Lest in the rage of their desperate fight,
The pair should finish each other outright.
So he shouted to Eurus; “Away! away!
Come up from the East by the shortest way,
And try and part them; and you, too, go,
Zephyrus!–why are you loitering so?”

Then away sped Eurus shrieking so loud
That he startled a lazy, half-slumbering cloud,
That fled before him white in the face,
And dashed away at a furious pace.
But he drove it fiercely betwixt the two,
Who parted, and, scarce knowing what to do,
Descended, and each from an opposite place
Began to fling dirt in the other one’s face.

Then round, and round, and round again,
They raced and chased over valley and plain,
Catching up, in their mischievous whirls,
The hats of boys and the bonnets of girls,–
Tossing up feathers, and leaves, and sticks,
Knocking down chimneys, and scattering bricks,
Levelling fences and pulling up trees,
Till Eolus–oftentimes hard to please–
Clapped his hands as his wine he quaffed,
And laughed as he never before had laughed

Cried Eurus;–“Ho, ho!–so this furious fight
Ends up in a romp and a frolic!–all right–
I am in for a share!” Then away went he,
And joined with a will in the boisterous glee,
Till, out of breath, ere the sun went down,
They all fell asleep in the forest brown.

A full hour afterwards, ambling along,
Came dainty Zephyrus humming a song,
And pausing–the truant–to kiss each flower
That blushed in garden, or field, or bower.
But no one was left to be merry with him,
So he danced with the leaves till the light grew dim,
And, as Twilight was going to sleep in the west,
He, too, fell asleep on a rose’s breast.