Westron wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ! That my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again.
Westron Wind is among the earliest poems in the English language, a lyric set down in the early 1500s. At once lovelorn and yet hopeful, it evokes the “springtime” theme popular in the age. At first read, the poem is a simple tale of a man beset by dreary weather, yearning for an absent lover. But this is England, where no town is far from the sea. So hear it, too, in a woman’s voice, longing for a sailor gone far away. Western winds are harbinger of spring’s soft, life-giving rains and fair sailing weather. Will the winds blow him home?
Westron Wind remains at the top of my list of “someday” boat names. What are yours?
– Gordon Talley