The Rainbow Never Tells Me

97

The rainbow never tells me
That gust and storm are by,
Yet is she more convincing
Than Philosophy.

My flowers turn from Forums—
Yet eloquent declare
What Cato couldn't prove me
Except the birds were here!

by Emily Dickinson.

On This Long Storm The Rainbow Rose

194

On this long storm the Rainbow rose—
On this late Morn—the Sun—
The clouds—like listless Elephants—
Horizons—straggled down—

The Birds rose smiling, in their nests—
The gales—indeed—were done—
Alas, how heedless were the eyes—
On whom the summer shone!

The quiet nonchalance of death—
No Daybreak—can bestir—
The slow—Archangel's syllables
Must awaken her!

by Emily Dickinson.

The Rainbow Of Promise

In the face of the sun are great thunderbolts hurled,
And the storm-clouds have shut out its light;
But a Rainbow of Promise now shines on the world,
And the universe thrills at the sight.

Tis the flag of our Union, the red, white, and blue,
Our Star-spangled Banner-our pride;
Fair symbol of all that is noble and true,
Flung out over continents wide.

Flung out in its glory o'er land and o'er sea,
With a message from God in each star;
And a glorious promise of peace yet to be
In the fluttering folds of each bar.

A Rainbow of Promise, bright emblem of hope,
Fair flag of each cause that is just;
No longer in doubt or in darkness we grope-
In the Star-spangled Banner we trust.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Some Rainbow—coming From The Fair!

64

Some Rainbow—coming from the Fair!
Some Vision of the World Cashmere—
I confidently see!
Or else a Peacock's purple Train
Feather by feather—on the plain
Fritters itself away!

The dreamy Butterflies bestir!
Lethargic pools resume the whir
Of last year's sundered tune!
From some old Fortress on the sun
Baronial Bees—march—one by one—
In murmuring platoon!

The Robins stand as thick today
As flakes of snow stood yesterday—
On fence—and Roof—and Twig!
The Orchis binds her feather on
For her old lover - Don the Sun!
Revisiting the Bog!

Without Commander! Countless! Still!
The Regiments of Wood and Hill
In bright detachment stand!
Behold! Whose Multitudes are these?
The children of whose turbaned seas—
Or what Circassian Land?

by Emily Dickinson.

Moist, bright, and green, the landscape laughs around.
Full swell the woods; their every music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert, with the warbling brooks
Increased, the distant bleatings of the hills,
And hollow lows responsive from the vales,
Whence, blending all, the sweeten'd zephyr springs.
Meantime, refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Bestriding earth, the grand ethereal bow
Shoots up immense; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awful Newton, the dissolving clouds
Form, fronting on the sun, thy showery prism;
And to the sage-instructed eye unfold
The various twine of light, by thee disclosed
From the white mingling maze. Not so the boy;
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amazed
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanish quite away.

by James Thomson.

Three Palinodias - 03 Rain And Rainbow

DURING a heavy storm it chanced
That from his room a cockney glanced
At the fierce tempest as it broke,
While to his neighbour thus he spoke:
"The thunder has our awe inspired,
Our barns by lightning have been fired,--
Our sins to punish, I suppose;
But in return, to soothe our woes,
See how the rain in torrents fell,
Making the harvest promise well!
But it's a rainbow that I spy
Extending o'er the dark-grey sky?
With it I'm sure we may dispense,
The colour'd cheat! The vain pretence!"
Dame Iris straightway thus replied:
"Dost dare my beauty to deride?
In realms of space God station'd me
A type of better worlds to be
To eyes that from life's sorrows rove
In cheerful hope to Heav'n above,
And, through the mists that hover here
God and his precepts blest revere.
Do thou, then, grovel like the swine,
And to the ground thy snout confine,
But suffer the enlighten'd eye
To feast upon my majesty."

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Place Where The Rainbow Ends

THERE'S a fabulous story
Full of splendor and glory,
That Arabian legends transcends;
Of the wealth without measure,
The coffers of treasure,
At the place where the rainbow ends.
Oh, many have sought it,
And all would have bought it,
With the blood we so recklessly spend;
But none has uncovered,
The gold, nor discovered
The spot at the rainbow's end.
They have sought it in battle,
And e'en where the rattle
Of dice with man's blasphemy blends;
But howe'er persuasive,
It still proves evasive,
This place where the rainbow ends.
I own for my pleasure,
I yearn not for treasure,
Though gold has a power it lends;
And I have a notion,
To find without motion,
The place where the rainbow ends.
The pot may hold pottage,
The place be a cottage,
That a humble contentment defends,
Only joy fills its coffer,
But spite of the scoffer,
There's the place where the rainbow ends.
Where care shall be quiet,
And love shall run riot,
And I shall find wealth in my friends;
Then truce to the story,
Of riches and glory;
There's the place where the rainbow ends.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The End Of The Rainbow

Written for little Etta Ayres.

' Come, Nellie !' I cried, on a clear April day,
When the sunbeams kept kissing the shadows away,
' The rainbow has lit on the hill, and, you know,
We might find heaps of gold at the end of the bow.'

We were young, foolish children, sweet Nellie and I,
And we thought that the hill-top was close to the sky;
Believed, too, because we were told it was so,
We should find 'lots' of gold at the end of the bow.

So onward we trudged, over meadows of green,
Whose clover-blooms brightened their emerald sheen;
Then down from the hill to the valley below,
And gazed all around for the end of the bow.

' Not here !' I said, sadly; but Nellie replied,
' It is hid in yon grass by the waterfall's side;
Run fast ! if you move o'er the pebbles so slow,
I'm sure I'll be first at the end of the bow.'

We found not the treasures we searched for till night,
But Nellie, the sweet, fragile blossom, was right;
From this valley of shades she was first called to go
To the clime where is resting the end of the bow.

Where rainbows of glory eternally play,
Our Nellie is singing with seraphs to-day;
And her beautiful pinions are folded, I know,
In the fullness of joy at the end of the bow.

by Kate Harrington.

Watch the white dawn gleam,
To the thunder of hidden guns.
I hear the hot shells scream
Through skies as sweet as a dream
Where the silver dawn-break runs.
And stabbing of light
Scorches the virginal white.
But I feel in my being the old, high, sanctified thrill,
And I thank the gods that the dawn is beautiful still.

From death that hurtles by
I crouch in the trench day-long,
But up to a cloudless sky
From the ground where our dead men lie
A brown lark soars in song.
Through the tortured air,
Rent by the shrapnel's flare,
Over the troubleless dead he carols his fill,
And I thank the gods that the birds are beautiful still.

Where the parapet is low
And level with the eye
Poppies and cornflowers glow
And the corn sways to and fro
In a pattern against the sky.
The gold stalks hide
Bodies of men who died
Charging at dawn through the dew to be killed or to kill.
I thank the gods that the flowers are beautiful still.

When night falls dark we creep
In silence to our dead.
We dig a few feet deep
And leave them there to sleep -
But blood at night is red,
Yea, even at night,
And a dead man's face is white.
And I dry my hands, that are also trained to kill,
And I look at the stars - for the stars are beautiful still.

by Leslie Coulson.

After the tempest in the sky
How sweet yon rainbow to the eye!
Come, my Matilda, now while some
Few drops of rain are yet to come,
In this honeysuckle bower
Safely sheltered from the shower,
We may count the colours o'er.-
Seven there are, there are no more;
Each in each so finely blended,
Where they begin, or where are ended,
The finest eye can scarcely see.
A fixed thing it seems to be;
But, while we speak, see how it glides
Away, and now observe it hides
Half of its perfect arch-now we
Scarce any part of it can see.
What is colour? If I were
A natural philosopher,
I would tell you what does make
This meteor every colour take:
But an unlearned eye may view
Nature's rare sights, and love them too.
Whenever I a rainbow see,
Each precious tint is dear to me;
For every colour find I there,
Which flowers, which fields, which ladies wear:
My favourite green, the grass's hue,
And the fine deep violet-blue,
And the pretty pale blue-bell,
And the rose I love so well,
All the wondrous variations
Of the tulips, pinks, carnations,
This woodbine here both flower and leaf.
'Tis a truth that's past belief,
That every flower and every tree,
And every living thing we see,
Every face which we espy,
Every cheek and every eye,
In all their tints, in every shade,
Are from the rainbow's colours made.

by Charles Lamb.

A Broken Rainbow On The Skies Of May

A Broken rainbow on the skies of May,
Touching the dripping roses and low clouds,
And in wet clouds its scattered glories lost:
So in the sorrow of her soul the ghost
Of one great love, of iridescent ray,
Spanning the roses dim of memory,
Against the tumult of life's rushing crowds
A broken rainbow on the skies of May.
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers,
Deep-coloured blooms; its slender tongue and bill
Sucking the syrups and the calyxed myrrhs,
Till, being full of sweets, away it whirrs:
Such was his love that won her heart's rich bowers
To give to him their all, their honied showers,
The bloom from which he drank his body's fill
A flashing humming-bird among the flowers.
A moon, moth-white, that through long mists of fleece
Moves amber-girt into a bulk of black,
And, lost to vision, rims the black with froth:
A love that swept its moon, like some great moth,
Across the heaven of her soul's young peace;
And, smoothly passing, in the clouds did cease
Of time, through which its burning light comes back
A moon, moth-white, that moves through mists of fleece.
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled,
Momental blazing from the piled-up storm,
That instants out the mountains and the ocean,
The towering crag, then blots the sight's commotion:
Love, love that swiftly coming bared the world,
The deeps of life, 'round which fate's clouds are curled,
And, ceasing, left all night and black alarm
A bolt of living thunder downward hurled.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Genesis ix. 13.


SOFT falls the mild, reviving shower
From April's changeful skies,
And rain-drops bend each trembling flower
They tinge with richer dyes.

Soon shall their genial influence call
A thousand buds to day,
Which, waiting but their balmy fall,
In hidden beauty lay.

E'en now full many a blossom's bell
With fragrance fills the shade;
And verdure clothes each grassy dell,
In brighter tints arrayed.

But mark! what arch of varied hue
From heaven to earth is bowed?
Haste, ere it vanish, haste to view
The Rainbow in the cloud.

How bright its glory! there behold
The emerald's verdant rays,
The topaz blends its hue of gold
With the deep ruby's blaze.

Yet not alone to charm thy sight
Was given the vision fair;?
Gaze on that arch of colored light,
And read God's mercy there.

It tells us that the mighty deep,
Fast by th' Eternal chained,
No more o'er earth's domains shall sweep,
Awful and unrestrained.

It tells that seasons, heat and cold,
Fixed by his sovereign will,
Shall, in their course, bid man behold
Seed-time and harvest still;

That still the flower shall deck the field,
When vernal zephyrs blow;
That still the vine its fruit will yield,
When autumn sun-beams glow.

Then, child of that fair earth! which yet
Smiles with each charm endowed,
Bless thou His name, whose mercy set
The Rainbow in the cloud!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

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!

And when its yellow luster smiled
O'er 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.

by Thomas Campbell.