In the days of chilling blaze
Springtime sun as winter fades
Dazzling spears and green grass blades
The gale the only blight.
Driving out to picnics gay
February turning into May
Hearts and smiles throughout the day
But the wind came at night
Batten hatch and throw the catch
Draw the curtains and the latch
Find the candle; light a match
Glow ghostly and white.
Lights to ward off what’s outside
Whatever feral monsters ride
Abroad; their entrance is denied
Though the wind comes at night.
I saw a face outside my place
Swiftly passed, as in a race
I blinked and there was not a trace
I shivered with the fright.
I ran upstairs to check again
Peering through the glass in vain
The window howled as if in pain
From the wind in the night.
Clutch the blade and don’t be swayed.
Seek the spirit! Seek the shade!
Call the cook and tell the maid!
We search until the light.
Laughter in the face of fear
No bravery but a butt of beer
The wetness on my face a tear
From the wind in the night.
I grabbed my hat and stroked the cat
I peered between the shivering slats
I shrugged my coat on, faced the mat
I now would find this Wight.
For who was in this deathly storm?
What poor fool trapped and all forlorn?
Or was it evil ‘pon my lawn
When the wind came at night?
Slam the door and stand before
The howling horror’s mealy maw
Step forward though the soul abhors
This strange and streaming sight.
Trees are bent and strain to rise
Back to the black and bubbling skies
Clouds thick and crying; flying eyes
Borne on the wind at night.
The muddy grass was slippy glass
The rain like ice; cold, hard and fast
I braced against it, held the mast
Pressed on, quick as I might.
To save a soul or fight a ghost
I knew not what I feared the most
So wide eyed, I became engrossed
In the wind in the night.
Turn around, and back you bound
Running from the brutal sound
Cacophony of sky meets ground
The planet bursts alight!
Or stand and see the riders’ glee
The horses stamping fretfully
Red eyes, black coats, white spittle; see
The wind come in the night.
I didn’t flee; I had to see
What creatures stomped and stared at me
I turned and riders one, two, three
No reins; no bit to bite.
Recognition jarred my heart
My lord! My earth! My burning hearth!
My words though, they were ripped apart
By the wind in the night.
See the fire, see the spark
The star, the candle in the dark
The life, the sound to which we hark
The blood, the beat, the light;
The terrifying truth of life
The endless struggle, burning strife
Turning key and turning knife
The wind that comes at night.
It was no waif I had to save
Nor any ghostly, haunting wraith
I had spied from my house so safe
So warm and kind and light
‘Cernunnos!’ I cried out. ‘Herne!’
‘Take me with you, let me learn!’
They laughed, and all my visions burned
In the wind that came at night.
North or South or East or West
I know not which gust is the best
I only know I need to rest
I have no will to fight
Though each day dawns well and morning swells with promise fierce and true
Once evening creeps I cling to you.