LONG months, aye years, of dreary dearth
Have scathed the beauty of the earth;
No humblest weed, no blade of green,
For miles of level plain is seen;
The creeks are but a stagnant crust,
Our very hearts seem turned to dust
In dull complaining.
On fields their sustenance denying,
The sheep in piteous groups are lying,
The scatter'd cattle slowly dying:—
Is it a dream? or do I feel
Some balmy drops upon me steal,
As, with uncover'd, rev'rent head,
My crumbling garden-path I tread,
The glorious fact to realise,
Uplifting heart and voice and eyes:
Thank God! 'tis raining!
Dab, dab, it patters overhead,
Drip, drip, it ripples from the shed,
And, gurgling, to the well is led,
New droplets gaining.
The wind is low, the skies are lead,
One growl of warning overhead,
And down it come! in waving sheets
Across the thirsty plain it beats:
Long, long delayed, profuse at last,
Yes, cool and fresh and hard and fast,
'Tis grandly raining!
An Easter gift of priceless worth,
It dashes on the grateful earth,
Calling her genial powers forth,
In grass and graining.
Now rushing o'er the shelving bank,
Streams gather in the clay-bound tank:
Now every stately forest tree
Bows as it weeps in ecstasy,
And from the creek a torrent's roar
Calls deep and hoarse, the drought is o'er,
'Tis wildly raining!
Let hope once more expand her wing,
And Nature from her slumber spring:
Let careworn man arise and sing:
“Thank God, 'tis raining.”
April, 1886 & 1901.