06 November 2013

The Summer Shower - An 1858 Poem

By Albert Laighton.
A white haze glimmered on the hills,
The vales were parched and dry,
And glaringly the beaming sun
Coursed in the summer sky.
The cattle in the distant woods
Sought shelter from its beams:
Or, motionless and patient, stood
Knee-deep amid the streams.
The house-dog lay, with panting breath,
Close where the elm trees grew:
The blue bird and the oriole
To shady coverts flew.
Day after day the thirsty earth
Looked up to heaven for rain:
The gardens held their flower cups,
The fields their lips of grain.
With doubting hearts, men, murmuring said —
"Our toils have been in vain;
We sowed in Spring, but shall not reap
When Autumn comes again."
But while they spoke, within the west,
At sunset's glowing hour,
God's voice proclaimed, in thunder tones,
The coming of the shower!
The deepening shadow's slowly crept
O'er the mountain and o'er plain
Until in cool and copious floods,
Came down the blessed rain.
All nature smiled, and when at last
The cloudy wings were furled,
The evening start shone regally
Above a thankful world.
O love of heaven! O fear of man!
O faith, so cold and dim!
When shall we own the ways of God,
And learn to trust in Him?
July 23, 1858. Washington D.C. Evening Star 12(1717): 4.