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The Cloud

: 1393

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 orbèd maiden with white fire laden,

Whom mortals call the Moon, Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,

By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,

Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

· The Stars peep behind her and peer. And I laugh to see theni whirl and flee

Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,

Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,

And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the Stars reel and swim,

When the Whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,

Over a torrent sea,
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,

Is the million-colored bow;
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]

APRIL RAIN

It is not raining rain for me,

It's raining daffodils;
In every dimpled drop I see

Wild flowers on the hills.

The clouds of gray engulf the day

And overwhelm the town;
It is not raining rain to me,

It's raining roses down.

It is not raining rain to me,

But fields of clover bloom,
Where any buccaneering bee

Can find a bed and room.

A health unto the happy,

A fig for him who frets!
It is not raining rain to me,
It's raining violets.

Robert Loveman (1864–

April Rain

1395

SUMMER INVOCATION O GENTLE, gentle summer rain,

Let not the silver lily pine,
The drooping lily pine in vain

To feel that dewy touch of thine,–
To drink thy freshness once again,
O gentle, gentle summer rain!
In heat the landscape quivering lies;

The cattle pant beneath the tree;
Through parching air and purple skies

The earth looks up, in vain, for thee;
For thee-for thee, it looks in vain
O gentle, gentle summer rain.
Come thou, and brim the meadow streams,

And soften all the hills with mist,
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)

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APRIL RAIN
THE April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,

Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are edged with nestling flowers;
And in gray shaw and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain

Calls once again.
The April sun, the April sun,
Glints through the rain in fitful splendor,

And in gray shaw and woodland dun
The little leaves spring forth and tender
Their infant hands, yet weak and slender,
For warmth towards the April sun,

One after one.

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

When storms prepare to part,
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

Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold

Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation's face

Enchantment's veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place

To cold material laws!

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,

But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams

Was woven in the sky.

When o'er the green, undeluged earth

Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,
How came the world's gray fathers forth

To watch thy sacred sign!

To the Rainbow

1397

And when its yellow luster smiled

Oer mountains yet untrod, Each mother held aloft her child

To bless the bow of God.

Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,

The first-made anthem rang
On earth, delivered from the deep,

And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse's eye

Unraptured greet thy beam; Theme of primeval prophecy,

Be still the prophet's theme!

The earth to thee her incense yields,

The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshened fields,

The snowy mushroom springs.

How glorious is thy girdle, cast

O’er mountain, tower, and town, Or mirrored in the ocean vast,

A thousand fathoms down!

As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem, As when the eagle from the ark

First sported in thy beam:

For, faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844]

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