An hour agone, and prostrate Nature lay
Like some sore-smitten creature nigh to death,
With feverish parched lips, with labouring breath,
And languid eyeballs darkening to the day.
A burning noontide ruled with merciless sway
Earth, wave, and air; the ghastly-stretching heath,
The sullen trees, the fainting flowers beneath,
Drooped hopeless, shrivelling in the torrid ray;—
When, like a sudden, cheerful trumpet blown
Far off by rescuing spirits, rose the wind
Urging great hosts of clouds; the thunder's tone
Breaks into wrath; the rainy cataracts fall.
But, pausing, lo, behold Creation shrined
In a new birth,—God's covenant clasping all!

More verses by Paul Hamilton Hayne