A Short Analysis of the Medieval Poem ‘Westron Wynde’

Though not generally a great fan of medieval poetry this has a ring and a flair not normally captured in so few lines

Interesting Literature

A summary of a miniature medieval classic

The anonymous song or poem simply known as ‘Westron Wynde’ (sometimes modernised as ‘Western Wind’) dates from the early sixteenth century, and the tune to which it was sung influenced a raft of English composers such as the Tudor John Taverner (not to be confused with the more recent composer, John Tavener). However, the words to the song may be from even earlier than the sixteenth century, perhaps the fourteenth or fifteenth century. How should we interpret ‘Westron Wynde’? It turns out its meaning is not exactly straightforward.

This four-line poem, in its original spelling, runs:

Westron wynde, when wyll thow blow
The smalle rayne downe can rayne?

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