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As on the jag of a mountain-crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And, when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above, With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest, As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
The volcanoes are dim, and the Stars reel and swim,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof;
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march,
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
The Sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky:
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when with never a stain
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise, and unbuild it again.
Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]
It is not raining rain for me,
The clouds of gray engulf the day
And overwhelm the town;
It is not raining rain to me,
It is not raining rain to me,
A health unto the happy,
A fig for him who frets!
Robert Loveman [1864
O GENTLE, gentle summer rain,
Let not the silver lily pine,
To feel that dewy touch of thine,—
In heat the landscape quivering lies;
Come thou, and brim the meadow streams,
O falling dew! from burning dreams
By thee shall herb and flower be kissed, And Earth shall bless thee yet again,
O gentle, gentle summer rain.
William Cox Bennett [1820-1895]
THE April rain, the April rain, Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
The April sun, the April sun,
And between shower and shine hath birth The rainbow's evanescent glory;
Heaven's light that breaks on mist of earth! Frail symbol of our human story,
It flowers through showers where, looming hoary, The rain-clouds flash with April mirth,
Like Life on earth.
Mathilde Blind [1841-1896]
TO THE RAINBOW
TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art;
Still seem, as to my childhood's sight,
A midway station given
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that Optics teach unfold
When Science from Creation's face
What lovely visions yield their place
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
When o'er the green, undeluged earth
To the Rainbow
And when its yellow luster smiled
Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
Nor ever shall the Muse's eye
The earth to thee her incense yields,
How glorious is thy girdle, cast
As fresh in yon horizon dark,
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.
Thomas Campbell [1777-1844]