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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Sir Henry Taylor 1800–86

From “Edwin the Fair”


THE tale was this:

The wind, when first he rose and went abroad

Through the waste region, felt himself at fault,

Wanting a voice; and suddenly to earth

Descended with a wafture and a swoop,

Where, wandering volatile from kind to kind,

He woo’d the several trees to give him one.

First he besought the ash; the voice she lent

Fitfully with a free and lashing change

Flung here and there its sad uncertainties:

The aspen next; a flutter’d frivolous twitter

Was her sole tribute: from the willow came,

So long as dainty summer dress’d her out,

A whispering sweetness, but her winter note

Was hissing, dry, and reedy: lastly the pine

Did he solicit, and from her he drew

A voice so constant, soft, and lowly deep,

That there he rested, welcoming in her

A mild memorial of the ocean-cave

Where he was born.