The lightning and thunder
They go and they come:
But the stars and the stillness
Are always at home.

by George MacDonald.

On A Beautiful Youth Struck Blind With Lightning

('Imitated from the Spanish'.)

SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity, than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

Prayer For Lightning

My corn is green with red tassels,
I am praying to the lightning to ripen my corn,
I am praying to the thunder which carries the lightning.
Corn is sweet where lightning has fallen.
I pray to the six-coloured clouds.

by Amy Lowell.

THE panther wind
Leaps out of the night,
The snake of lightning
Is twisting and white,
The lion of thunder
Roars—and we
Sit still and content
Under a tree—
We have met fate together
And love and pain,
Why should we fear
The wrath of the rain!

by Sara Teasdale.

Summer Lightning

Just now, as warm day faded from our sight
Hosts of archangels, fleet
On lighting-winged feet
Passed by, all glimmering in the busy night

Sweet angels, bringing no blinding truth to birth
Give us no messages
From heavenly palaces;
Leave us our dark trees and our starlight earth.

by Lesbia Harford.

Summer Lightning

Just now, as warm day faded from our sight
Hosts of archangels, fleet
On lighting-winged feet
Passed by, all glimmering in the busy night



Sweet angels, bringing no blinding truth to birth
Give us no messages
From heavenly palaces;
Leave us our dark trees and our starlight earth.

by Lesbia Harford.

Ruby wine is drunk by knaves,
Sugar spends to fatten slaves,
Rose and vine-leaf deck buffoons;
Thunder-clouds are Jove's festoons,
Drooping oft in wreaths of dread,
Lightning-knotted round his head;
The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head-winds right for royal sails.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Light Of The World

Now burn, new born to the world,
Doubled-naturéd name,
The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled
Miracle-in-Mary-of-flame,
Mid -numbered He in three of the thunder-throne!
Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming nor dark
as he came;
Kind, but royally reclaiming his own;
A released shower, let flash to the shire, not
a lightning of fire hard-hurled.

by Evelyn Underhill.

A Thunderstorm In Town

She wore a 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
We sat on, snug and warm.

Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain,
And the glass that had screened our forms before
Flew up, and out she sprang to her door:
I should have kissed her if the rain
Had lasted a minute more.

by Thomas Hardy.

Locked arm in arm they cross the way
The black boy and the white,
The golden splendor of the day
The sable pride of night.

From lowered blinds the dark folk stare
And here the fair folk talk,
Indignant that these two should dare
In unison to walk.

Oblivious to look and word
They pass, and see no wonder
That lightning brilliant as a sword
Should blaze the path of thunder.

by Countee Cullen.

The Dark One Is Krishna

Thick overhead
clouds of the monsoon,
a delight to this feverish heart.
Season of rain,
season of uncontrolled whispers---the Dark One's returning!
O swollen heart,
O sky brimming with moisture---
tongued lightning first
and then thunder,
convulsive spatters of rain
and then wind, chasing the summertime heat.

Mira says: Dark One,
I've waited---
it's time to take my songs
into the street.

by Mirabai.

Fragment: Wedded Souls

I am as a spirit who has dwelt
Within his heart of hearts, and I have felt
His feelings, and have thought his thoughts, and known
The inmost converse of his soul, the tone
Unheard but in the silence of his blood,
When all the pulses in their multitude
Image the trembling calm of summer seas.
I have unlocked the golden melodies
Of his deep soul, as with a master-key,
And loosened them and bathed myself therein--
Even as an eagle in a thunder-mist
Clothing his wings with lightning.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The Flash At Midnight

The flash at midnight! - 'twas a light
That gave the blind a moment's sight
Then sank in tenfold gloom;
Loud, deep, and long, the thunder broke,
The deaf ear instantly awoke,
Then closed as in the tomb:
An angel might have passed my bed,
Sounded the trump of God, and fled.

So life appears; - a sudden birth,
A glance revealing heaven and earth
It is - and it is not!
So fame the poet's hope deceives,
Who sings for after time, and leaves
A name - to be forgot,
Life - is a lightning-flash of breath;
Fame - but a thunder clap at death.

by James Montgomery.

GOD help him! Ay, and let us help him, too,
Help him with our one hundred million minds
Molded to loyalty, so that he finds
The faith of the Republic pulsing through
All clashes of opinion, faith still true
To its divine young vision of mankind's
Freedom and brotherhood. May all the winds,
North, south, east, west, waft him our honor due!
For he is one who, when the tempest breaks
In shattering fury, wild with thunder-jars
And javelins of lightning that transform
All the familiar scene to horror, makes
A hush about him in the heart of storm,
Remembering the quiet of the stars.

by Katharine Lee Bates.

To A Thunder-Cloud

Oh, melancholy fragment of the night
Drawing thy lazy web against the sun,
Thou shouldst have waited till the day was done
With kindred glooms to build thy fane aright,
Sublime amid the ruins of the light!
But thus to shape our glories one by one
With fearful hands, ere we had well begun
To look for shadows-even in the bright!
Yet may we charm a lesson from thy breast,
A secret wisdom from thy folds of thunder:
There is a wind that cometh from the west
Will rend thy tottering piles of gloom asunder,
And fling thee ruinous along the grass,
To sparkle on us as our footsteps pass!

by George MacDonald.

Dark Clouds Thunder And Madhava Dances!

Dark clouds thunder and Madhava dances!
How sweetly bells on his anklets ring!
Gopis play 'pakhavaj' and drums; their beloved plays melodious flute!
Frogs, peacocks sing, and cuckoo flutes its honeyed song!
Striking are the colours of 'cholis' and garments!
Dark clouds thunder and Madhava dances!
How sweetly bells on his anklets ring!

Blessed is the bank of Jamuna river! Blessed, the bamboo grove,
And blessed too is this birth! Blessed indeed is Narsaiyya’s sweet tongue,
Which has sung the alluring melody of Malhar!
Dark clouds thunder and Madhava dances!
How sweetly bells on his anklets ring!

by Narsinh Mehta.

Seals Of Thunder

They say I sing in secrets—they have ears
But do not hear; have eyes but do not see
Truth’s naked beauty is her panoply,
Their eyes are blinded with its splendid spears.
With shadowy symbols fitted to their fears
Now will I clothe a visible mystery,
Yet none shall understand the prophecy
Save you, nor pay the tribute of their tears.

But you will understand me, for I speak
First to your heart, then to your soul in song
Spreading its golden pennons for the strong,
Smiting like sunrise on the snowy peak
Of glory—and to you the stars belong
And all the glowing splendours that I seek.

by Joseph Mary Plunkett.

Cover Me With A Blanket O Kanha,

Cover me with a blanket O Kanha, my chunri is all drenched!
Hold me close O Kanha; I am bare and shivering!

My dark love, hold me with tenderly,
Embrace me in your ecstasy!
put your arms around me and sip the heavenly nectar from my lips!
Cover me with a blanket, O Kanha, my chunri is all drenched!
Hold me close O Kanha; I am bare and shivering!

In this gentle drizzle, the frogs and peacocks cry!
Narsaiyya's lord has come to love
And the dark clouds and lightning thunder in the sky!
Cover me, with a blanket, O Kanha, my chunri is all drenched!
Hold me close O Kanha; I am bare and shivering!

by Narsinh Mehta.

After The Storm

The storm is done--the lightning with its lust
To rend the unhallowed dome in ruin dire;
The purple heaps, from the rank chaos thrust
On sheets of fell and inauspicious fire;
The thunder bellowing loud on every bound;
The hissing bolt, so tossed as to complete
All permutations of Satanic sound;
The flood that opened heaven and ransomed it.
Benign now is that beatific blue.
The flame that fires the hill is now remote
From aught in evil. Clemency anew
--Crowns every leaf, and sings in every throat.
Shall, then, the rage of earth and heaven depart,
And not the rancour of the unsensing heart?

by William Baylebridge.

The Lively sparks that issue from those eyes


The lively sparks that issue from those eyes
Against the which ne vaileth no defence
Have pressed mine heart and done it none offence
With quaking pleasure more than once or twice.
Was never man could anything devise
The sunbeams to turn with so great vehemence
To daze man's sight, as by their bright presence
Dazed am I, much like unto the guise
Of one ystricken with dint of lightning,
Blinded with the stroke, erring here and there.
So call I for help, I not when ne where,
The pain of my fall patiently bearing.
For after the blaze, as is no wonder,
Of deadly ' Nay' hear I the fearful thunder.

by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

Look, the abyss, the downward sky, the sea!
Bird-mountain, shot with thunder, furls below
feathers and wings, in curve beyond rainbow,
snow-sails and mast, immobile, vast, free;
and cloudlike over spacious limbo, covers
wide azure - oh, island-hemisphere in flight,
darkens a half-world with its own sad night.
Look, on its forehead ribbon flames and hovers!
Lightning! But stop here. At our feet, abysses,
ravines, thresholds we must at gallop span.
I leap; stand ready with whip and spur; stare
past rock escarpment where I vanish. This is
your sign: If white panache gleams, I am there;
if not, there is no path beyond for man.

by Adam Mickiewicz.

A moment the wild swallows like a flight
Of withered gust-caught leaves, serenely high,
Toss in the windrack up the muttering sky.
The leaves hang still. Above the weird twilight,
The hurrying centres of the storm unite
And spreading with huge trunk and rolling fringe,
Each wheeled upon its own tremendous hinge,
Tower darkening on. And now from heaven's height,
With the long roar of elm-trees swept and swayed,
And pelted waters, on the vanished plain
Plunges the blast. Behind the wild white flash
That splits abroad the pealing thunder-crash,
Over bleared fields and gardens disarrayed,
Column on column comes the drenching rain.

by Archibald Lampman.

The Wind Begun To Rock The Grass

The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low,--
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands

That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky
But overlooked my father's house,
lust quartering a tree.

by Emily Dickinson.

The Shepherd’s Brow, Fronting Forked Lightning, Owns

The shepherd's brow, fronting forked lightning, owns
The horror and the havoc and the glory
Of it. Angels fall, they are towers, from heaven—a story
Of just, majestical, and giant groans.
But man—we, scaffold of score brittle bones;
Who breathe, from groundlong babyhood to hoary
Age gasp; whose breath is our memento mori—
What bass is our viol for tragic tones?
He! Hand to mouth he lives, and voids with shame;
And, blazoned in however bold the name,
Man Jack the man is, just; his mate a hussy.
And I that die these deaths, that feed this flame,
That … in smooth spoons spy life’s masque mirrored: tame
My tempests there, my fire and fever fussy.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The Sleeping Giant (Thunder Bay, Lake Superior)

When did you sink to your dreamless sleep
Out there in your thunder bed?
Where the tempests sweep,
And the waters leap,
And the storms rage overhead.

Were you lying there on your couch alone
Ere Egypt and Rome were born?
Ere the Age of Stone,
Or the world had known
The Man with the Crown of Thorn.

The winds screech down from the open west,
And the thunders beat and break
On the amethyst
Of your rugged breast,--
But you never arise or wake.

You have locked your past, and you keep the key
In your heart 'neath the westing sun,
Where the mighty sea
And its shores will be
Storm-swept till the world is done.

by Emily Pauline Johnson.

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway
Where we stood while the storm swept by,
Thunder gripping the earth
And lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor busses swayed,
For the street was a river of rain,
Lashed into little golden waves
In the lamp light's stain.

With the wild spring rain and thunder
My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
Than your lips would ever say. . . .

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

by Sara Teasdale.

I

Above the fresh ruffles of the surf
Bright striped urchins flay each other with sand.
They have contrived a conquest for shell shucks,
And their fingers crumble fragments of baked weed
Gaily digging and scattering.

And in answer to their treble interjections
The sun beats lightning on the waves,
The waves fold thunder on the sand;
And could they hear me I would tell them:

O brilliant kids, frisk with your dog,
Fondle your shells and sticks, bleached
By time and the elements; but there is a line
You must not cross nor ever trust beyond it
Spry cordage of your bodies to caresses
Too lichen-faithful from too wide a breast.
The bottom of the sea is cruel.

by Harold Hart Crane.

Low clouds, the lightning veins and cleaves,
Torn from the forest of the storm,
Sweep westward like enormous leaves
O'er field and farm.

And in the west, on burning skies,
Their wrath is quenched, their hate is hushed,
And deep their drifted thunder lies
With splendor flushed.

The black turns gray, the gray turns gold;
And, seaed in deeps of radiant rose,
Summits of fire, manifold
They now repose.

What dreams they bring! what thoughts reveal!
That have their source in loveliness,
Through which the doubts I often feel
Grow less and less.

Through which I see that other night,
That cloud called Death, transformed of Love
To flame, and pointing with its light
To life above.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

WHAT moves that lonely man is not the boom
Of waves that break agains the cliff so strong;
Nor roar of thunder, when that travelling voice
Is caught by rocks that carry far along.

'Tis not the groan of oak tree i its prime,
When lightning strikes its solid heart to dust;
Nor frozen pond when, melted by the sun,
It suddenly doth break its sparkling crust.

What moves that man is when the blind bat taps
His window when he sits alone at night;
Or when the small bird sounds like some great beast
Among the dead, dry leaves so fraiil and light.

Or when the moths on his night-pillow beat
Such heavy blows he fears they'll break his bones;
Or when a mouse inside the papered walls,
Comes like a tiger crunching through the stones.

by William Henry Davies.

The Ocean's Song

We walked amongst the ruins famed in story
Of Rozel-Tower,
And saw the boundless waters stretch in glory
And heave in power.

O Ocean vast! We heard thy song with wonder,
Whilst waves marked time.
"Appear, O Truth!" thou sang'st with tone of thunder,
"And shine sublime!

"The world's enslaved and hunted down by beagles,
To despots sold.
Souls of deep thinkers, soar like mighty eagles!
The Right uphold.

"Be born! arise! o'er the earth and wild waves bounding,
Peoples and suns!
Let darkness vanish; tocsins be resounding,
And flash, ye guns!

"And you who love no pomps of fog or glamour,
Who fear no shocks,
Brave foam and lightning, hurricane and clamour,--
Exiles: the rocks!"

by Victor Marie Hugo.

The margins of the forest are beautiful,
as if painted onto the green slopes.
I walk around, and sweet peace
rewards me for the thorns
in my heart, when the mind has grown
dark, for right from the start
art and thinking have cost it pain.
There are lovely pictures in the valley,
for example the gardens and trees,
and the narrow footbridge, and the brook,
hardly visible. How beautifully
the landscape shines, cheerfully distant,
like a splendid picture, where I come
to visit when the weather is mild.
A kindly divinity leads us on at first
with blue, then prepares clouds,
shaped like gray domes, with
searing lightning and rolling thunder,
then comes the loveliness of the fields,
and beauty wells forth from
the source of the primal image.

by Friedrich Holderlin.

On Lyce - An Elderly Lady

Ye nymphs whom starry rays invest,
By flattering poets given,
Who shine, by lavish lovers dress'd,
In all the pomp of heaven.

Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays,
But as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.

Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
Striped rainbows round her eyes are seen,
And showers from either flow.

Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er;
Her tongue like nimble lightning plies,
And can with thunder roar.

But some, Zelinda, while I sing,
Deny my Lyce shines;
And all the pen of Cupid's wing
Attack my gentle lines.

Yet spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.

by Samuel Johnson.

Struck, Was I, Not Yet By Lightning

925

Struck, was I, not yet by Lightning—
Lightning—lets away
Power to perceive His Process
With Vitality.

Maimed—was I—yet not by Venture—
Stone of stolid Boy—
Nor a Sportsman's Peradventure—
Who mine Enemy?

Robbed—was I—intact to Bandit—
All my Mansion torn—
Sun—withdrawn to Recognition—
Furthest shining—done—

Yet was not the foe—of any—
Not the smallest Bird
In the nearest Orchard dwelling
Be of Me—afraid.

Most—I love the Cause that slew Me.
Often as I die
Its beloved Recognition
Holds a Sun on Me—

Best—at Setting—as is Nature's—
Neither witnessed Rise
Till the infinite Aurora
In the other's eyes.

by Emily Dickinson.

Around, the stillness deepened; then the grain
Went wild with wind; and every briery lane
Was swept with dust; and then, tempestuous black,
Hillward the tempest heaved a monster back,
That on the thunder leaned as on a cane;
And on huge shoulders bore a cloudy pack,
That gullied gold from many a lightning-crack:
One big drop splashed and wrinkled down the pane,
And then field, hill, and wood were lost in rain.

At last, through clouds,-as from a cavern hewn.
Into night's heart,-the sun burst angry roon;
And every cedar, with its weight of wet,
Against the sunset's fiery splendor set,
Frightened to beauty, seemed with rubies strewn:
Then in drenched gardens, like sweet phantoms met,
Dim odors rose of pink and mignonette;
And in the east a confidence, that soon
Grew to the calm assurance of the moon.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Within Their Silent, Perfect Glass

Within their silent perfect glass
The mirror waters, vast and clear,
Reflect the silhouette of rocks,
Dark faces brooding on the shore.

Within their silent, perfect glass
The mirror waters show the sky;
Clouds skim across the mirror's face,
And dim its surface as they die.

Within their silent, perfect glass
The mirror waters image storm;
They glow with lightning, but the blast
Of thunder do not mar their calm.

Those mirror waters, as before,
Still lie in silence, vast and clear.

The mirror me, I mirror them,
As true a glass as they I am:
And as I turn away I leave
The images that gave them form.

Dark rocks must menace from the shore,
And thunderheads grow large with rain;
Lightning must flash above the lake,
And I must mirror and pass on,
Onward and onward without end.

by Adam Mickiewicz.

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!

by William Shakespeare.

The Knight's Pledge

The tedious night at length hath pass’d;
To horse! to horse! we’ll ride as fast
As ever bird did fly.
Ha! but the morning air is chill;
Frau Wirthin, one last goblet fill,
We’ll drain it ere we die!
Thou youthful grass, why look’st so green?
Soon dyed in blood of mine I ween,
With damask rose thou’lt vie.
The goblet here! with sword in hand
I pledge thee first, my Fatherland,
Oh! blessed for thee to die!
Again our mailed hands raise the cup:
Freedom, to thee we drink it up.
Low may that coward lie
Who fails to pledge, with heart and hand,
The freedom of our glorious Land
Her Freedom, ere we die!
Our wives—but, ah! the glass is clear,
The cannon thunders—grasp the spear,
We’ll pledge them in a sigh.
Now, on the Foe like thunder crash!
We’ll scathe them as a lightning flash,
And conquer, though we die!

by Lady Jane Wilde.

Old Man Thunder

I 'm old man thunder ! Lo, I come
With roar of wind and throb of drum ;

And all the wide earth under
Looks up when I am passing by
The cattle clap their hands and cry,
'Oho! the Thunder!'

The forest trees beneath me bend
I grip, I crush, I tear, I rend

The curse of thirst asunder ;
I put the dusty day to rout :
I love to hear my people shout,
'Oho! the Thunder!'


And when I strike a match, the light
Spins round the world, in circles bright,

And fills my world with wonder ;
And when I stand and stamp my feet,
A cry goes up from field and street,
'Oho! the Thunder!'

I fill the sky with sweet ozone :
I wet the pastures to the bone

I never blunder.

Hark and hear my rain drops thud ;
I turn the dust heaps into mud
'Oho! the Thunder!'

by Robert Kirkland Kernighan.

WITH a whirl of thoughts oppress’d,
I sunk from reverie to rest.
A horrid vision seized my head,
I saw the graves give up their dead!
Jove, arm’d with terrors, bursts the skies,
And thunder roars and lightning flies!
Amazed, confused, its fate unknown,
The world stands trembling at his throne!
While each pale sinner hung his head,
Jove, nodding, shook the heavens, and said:
“Offending race of human kind,
By nature, reason, learning, blind;
You who, through frailty, stepp’d aside;
And you, who never fell from pride:
You who in different sects were shamm’d,
And come to see each other damn’d;
(So some folk told you, but they knew
No more of Jove’s designs than you
—The world’s mad business now is o’er,
And I resent these pranks no more.
—I to such blockheads set my wit!
I damn such fools!—Go, go, you’re bit.”

by Jonathan Swift.

Over heaven clouds are drifted;
In the trees the wind-witch cries;
By her sieve the rain is sifted,
And the clouds at times are rifted
By her mad broom as she flies.
Love, there's lightning in the skies,
Swift, as, in your face uplifted,
Leaps the heart-thought to your eyes.
Little face, where I can trace
Dreams for which those eyes are pages,
Whose young magic here assuages
All the heart-storm and alarm.

II.

Now the thunder tramples slowly,
Like a king, down heaven's arc;
And the clouds, like armies wholly
Vanquished, break; and, white as moly,
Sweeps the queen moon on the dark.
Love, a bird wakes; is't the lark?
Sweet as in your bosom holy
Sings the heart that now I hark.
All my soul that song makes whole,
That young song I hear it singing,
Calm and peace for ever bringing
To my heart's storm and alarm.

by Madison Julius Cawein.