The Clearing Shower
Poems by Joanna Baillie
THE rising moon look'd clear and mild,
In chasten'd tints of glowing eve,
And bright the early morning smil'd;
It flatter'd only to deceive!
The clouds a closer tapestry weave,
Still thickening towards the noon-tide hour;
One chance remains for hope to give,
O may it be the clearing shower!
No:--fast the pattering rain-drops fall,
On swelling Avon's troubled tide;
To reach ere night their much-lov'd hall,
Swift must the homeward travellers ride.
To horse! if well or ill betide,
If skies and fortune shine or lower,
The hearts that fate could ne'er divide,
Shall not be sever'd by a shower.
But here how chang'd the lovely scene,
No more the laughing corn-fields wave;
Driven from their haunts of sunny green,
The woodland's truant children save
Their shuddering forms in hollow cave.
The broad oaks which, in happier hour,
Cool shade or friendly shelter gave,
Dash from their roof a second shower.
This pelting storm may be the last;
Ah no! that clown who reads the sky,
Shrinks from the hollow threat'ning blast,
And raising a distrustful eye,
Yields not one cheering prophecy.
New signs of ill approach unheeded,
That heavy cloud has travell'd by;
But oh! another has succeeded!
See where beneath yon crowded shed,
The melancholy reapers stand,
With folded arms and silent dread,
A sickle in each idle hand.
Pity, kind Heaven! the suffering band,
Chase froward nature's frowns away,
Bid active labour bless the land,
And hail we this--the clearing day.
Our home once gain'd, though nature lowers,
Swoln to dark floods the silver streams,
And noxious blasts and barbarous showers,
Banish all soft poetic themes;
With the brisk fire's benignant gleams,
With kind salutes and warm embraces,
That sunshine shall be ours which beams
From loving hearts and happy faces.
'TIS sweet the gifts surveying
Of friends in absence dear,
Tis sweet the sonnets playing,
Which they have lov'd to hear;
To trace the known resemblance,
And gaze on every part,
Each token of remembrance
Restores them to the heart.
The magic of affection
Shall trace her sacred ring,
And charm away dejection,
And Hope's enchantment bring;
Revive, in foulest weather,
The calm domestic scene,
And bring old friends together,
Though oceans roar between.