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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Storm—The King

By Francis Miles Finch (1827–1907)

I AM Storm—the King!

I live in a fortess of fire and cloud.

You may hear my batteries, sharp and loud,

In the summer night

When I and my lieges arm for the fight,

And the birches moan,

And the cedars groan,

As they bend beneath the terrible spring

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

My troops are the winds and the hail and the rain:

My foes the lakes and the leaves and the grain,

The obstinate oak

That guards his front to my charge and stroke,

The ships on the sea,

The blooms on the lea,

And they writhe and break as the war-guns ring

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

My Marshals are four: the swart Simoon,

Sirocco, Tornado, and swift Typhoon.

My realm is the world;

Whenever a sail is spread or furled,

My wide command

Sweeps sea and land,

And doomed and dead who insult fling

At Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

I drove the sea o’er the Leyden dikes,

And fighting by side of the burgher pikes,

To the walls I bore

The “ark of Delft” from the ocean shore,

O’er vale and mead

With pitiless speed

Till the Spaniard fled from the deluge ring

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

I saw an Armada set sail from Spain

To redden with blood a maiden’s reign.

I baffled the host

With blow in the face on the island coast,

And tore proud deck

To splinters and wreck,

And the Saxon poets the praises sing

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

They built them a tower of iron and stone,

And crowned its top with a flashing zone,

And laughed to scorn

The vibrant call of my bugle horn!

I buried it deep

In the sands asleep,

Where the surges rock and the billows swing

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

They hire the heralds of lightning now

To warn that I march from the mountain’s brow.

The cowards hide

In the guarded bay or the haven wide:

But I toss them there

In the whirl of the air

Till they seem but stones from the deadly sling

Of Storm—the King!

I am Storm—the King!

I scour the earth and the sea and the air,

And drag the writhing trees by the hair,

And chase for game

The desert dust and the prairie flame,

The mountain snow,

And the Arctic floe,

And never is folded plume or wing

Of Storm—the King!