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Poem by Bayard Taylor

A Night with a Wolf

Little one come to my knee!
   Hark how the rain is pouring
Over the roof in the pitch dark night,
   And the winds in the woods a-roaring

Hush,my darling, and listen,
   Then pay for the story with kisses;
Father was lost in the pitch-black night
   In just such a storm as this is.

High on the lonely mountain
   Where the wild men watched and waited;
Wolves in the forest, and bears in the bush,
   And I on my path belated.

The rain and the night together
   Came down, and the wind came after,
Bending the props of the pine tree roof
   And snapping many a rafter.

I crept along in the darkness,
   Stunned and bruised and blinded...
Crept to a fir with thick-set boughs,
   And a sheltering rock behind it.

There, from the blowing and raining,
   Crouching I sought to hide me;
Something rustled,two green eyes shone,
   And a wolf lay down beside me.

Little one, be not frightened;
   I and the wolf together,
Side be side through the long, long night,
   Hid from the awful weather.

His wet fur pressed against me;
   Each of us warmed the other;
Each of us felt in the stormy dark
   That beast and man was brother.

And when the falling forest
   No longer crashed in warning,
Each of us went from our hiding place
   Forth in the wild wet morning.

Darling, kiss me in payment...
   Hark! how the wind is roaring!
Father's house is a better place
   When the stormy rain is pouring.

Bayard Taylor

Bayard Taylor's other poems:
  1. The Return of the Goddess
  2. Gettysburg Ode
  3. America to Iceland
  4. To M. T.
  5. Daughter of Egypt

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