The Thundergust.

From: Poems (1844)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Carey and Hart 1844 Philadelphia

The Thundergust.

SEE how the black cloud comes sweeping along on its terrible pinions;
Nearer and wider it grows, darkening the blue of the sky!
See up the road how the wind with the dust comes sweeping and whirling,
Tossing the tops of the trees, tearing the leaves from their boughs!
Now it comes slamming the shutters and clattering off with the shingles,
Howling all round the house, screaming to enter the door.
Now do the men all hasten their steps each one to his dwelling;
Servants are bustling about, barring the windows and doors.
Women look anxiously out, while their delicate bosoms are beating,
Watching the gaps of the clouds, waiting their husbands’ return,
While with dull stare o’er the plain go moving the indolent cattle,
Seeking the dangerous tree standing alone in the field.
Darker and darker it grows; the clouds like rent curtains are hanging,—
Sharp is the lightning flash, keen as a scimetar blade.
Rattling, bellowing, booming along rolls the terrible thunder;
Children look timidly up to see where its dwelling may be;
I once looked up as they do, to see where the thunder was going,
But there was nothing above, save the continuous clouds.
Again there’s a flash,—a start,—a pause,—and the armies of heaven
Seem to be rolling afield, trampling the clouds as a floor!
Now comes the rush of the rain; like mist in the wind it is sweeping;
Large come the pattering· drops, washing the panes of the glass; ‘
Now come the rattling hailstones, pelting the shelterless roses,
Speckling the summer grass, showering crystals abroad,
A present from winter to summer, a message to tell her he’s coming.
But the storm ceases at length; windows fly open again.
Rolls away in the distance the muttering moan of the thunder,
Through the rifts of the clouds peeps the blue of the sky,
Warm and broad o’er the earth the slant sun gaily is smiling,
While the bright bow in the east gives us the promise of peace.

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