THE DEVIL AND THE WIND.

.                      

.                       THE DEVIL AND THE WIND.

.                                     (From the Rheinsagen.)

.                                                  A LEGEND.

.                                                               I.

Before the Jesuits’ House at Bonn the Wind pipes high and shrill,
It pipes all day, it wails all night—’tis never, never still :
It shrieketh like a woman who hath not—or hath—her will.

.                                                              II.

And why thus pipes, and why thus wails it, wails it night and day ?
The cause is told in many an old and wizard monkish lay.
For ancient is that holy House, now falling to decay.

.                                                            III.

The Devil, sadly tired of Hell, went once a-pleasuring forth,
And with him went his chosen chum, the wild Wind of the North—
When thus he spake—I give ye his words for what ye deem them worth :

.                                                            IV.

“Good friend and faithful crony mine !—you mark that high House yon—
That is the Jesuits’ Cloister-house, the far-famed House of Bonn ;
And well and dearly love I, Wind, its dwellers every one !

.                                                            V.

“So, you, my trump, just tarry here before the gate a space,
Just wait while I step in a bit, and glance about the place ;
I want to see the Father Prior anent a conscience-case.”

.                                                           VI.

“Ha!” laughed the Wind, “that must be a Case of real Distress, no doubt !
However, you yourself know best—so, in with you, old Trout !
I’m safe to wait and whistle here until you again come out.”

.                                                         VII.

So said, so done : the Wind began its whistling there and then,
And in the Arch-Deceiver stole, to tempt the holy men—
Filled with all wiles and subtleties was he that hour, ye ken !

.                                                        VIII.

“Hail, pious friends !” quoth he—“I’ve got a conscience-case to moot.
Pray, can I see your Prior’s face ?”—“Ay ! and much more to boot,”
A monk replied, “if he, in turn, may only see thy foot.

.                                                         IX.

“Avaunt, foul fiend ! I know thee well ! I guess thy crafty plot !
Begone !—But no !—thou shalt not hence : I chain thee to this spot !
Here shalt thou, till this House be dust, dree thine avenging lot !”

.                                                         X.

The monk then chained Old Clootie down, despite his yells and cries,
And from that day—the Bonnsmen say—in thraldom thus he lies,
Because, from dread of direr dool, he dares not try to rise.

.                                                        XI.

Meanwhile the Wind still waits without, and pipes in woful strain—
It whistles now—it howls anon—it storms, but all in vain.
Three hundred years have rolled, but Satan comes not forth again !

.                                                       XII.

And Time and Hell go on to swell the victories both have won,
And many a generation since of monks has come and gone,
But still before that Cloister wails the wonder-wind of Bonn !

.                    James Clarence Mangan (after the German of Simrock)


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