William Barnes Poems

William Barnes was an English poet, mathematician, inventor, and polymath. Throughout his career, he wrote over 800 poems in the Dorset dialect as well as several other literary works. He is remembered for utilizing non-English words in primarily English poetry. Read more about William Barnes.

The Storm-Wind

by William Barnes

‘The Storm-Wind’ by William Barnes contrasts peace and danger with images of home and a terrifying storm. The poem emphasizes how much easier it is to appreciate the safety of home when the conditions outside are so inhospitable.

The poem's subject matter may well have been inspired by his life in Dorset, a location which features heavily in his writing. Coastal storms are common in Dorset and Barnes would have witnessed many first hand.

When the swift-rolling brook, swollen deep,

Rushes on by the alders, full speed,

And the wild-blowing winds lowly sweep

O'er the quivering leaf and the weed,

And the willow tree writhes in each limb,

Over sedge-reeds that reel by the brim —

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