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Rain For The Farmer Post by :TimShultz Category :Poems Author :W. M. Mackeracher Date :November 2011 Read :2764

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Rain For The Farmer

If gently falls the small, soft, lazy rain,
To indoor industries he shrewdly steals;
And in the barn from some neglected grain
The choking chaff the clattering fanner reels;
Or in the shed the sapling ash he peels
For handles for the fork with humor blithe,
Or haply lards the tumbril's heavy wheels,
Or of the harness oils the leather lithe,
Or turns the tuneless stone and grinds the gleaming scythe.

But now the sky is black; and now the Storm
Prepares his legions for the coming fray,
While murmurs low prelude the dread alarm,
As prayed the hosts,--like robèd monks who pray
Mid slumb'rous incense in a cloister gray,--
Till from yon cloud the fiery signal given
Enrages all their terrible array.
Jove's flaming car is o'er Olympus driven,
And thunders roll along the threshing floors of heaven.

Hark to the rolling of the sulphurous sea,
Upon its shores its billows beat amain;
In angry tumult, furious to be free,
It rends the cloud with one tremendous strain;
The chasm is closed!--once more!--again in vain!
Again! again! Each time, enraged to yield,
It hurls its threats in throes of Titan pain;
While crouch the cattle 'neath their oak-tree shield
And horses, frantic-eyed, in terror hoof the field.

The screaming birds, low-flying, seek their nests,
The swaying sport of panic and the gale,
The tall trees, trembling, bend their creaking crests;
The ramping engine shrieks upon the rail--
How helpless all things seem! how poor, how frail!
Until the welkin warfare's awful knell
Is voice of all below in piteous wail.
Alas! for him who toils in Erie's swell,
And for the timid soul which loveth life too well!

Still roars the thunder, still the skies are rent
With frenzied flame,--the swift electric chain,
Jerked clanging backward when its charge is spent.
Such overhead; but now upon the plain
There is a lull, a listening for the rain.
The air grows still; she feels 'twill not be long;
Like to a poet when o'er heart and brain
The stern, relentless tyranny of Wrong
In knolling tumult broods.--He knows 'twill break in song

And now at last it comes, crashing and cool
And sweet; well for the earth and what is sowed!
Well for the harvest! See, it fills the pool,
In little streams goes leaping down the road.
And now the winds are joyous, and they goad
Their fallen foe, until he half repeats
His former fury.--One might think it snowed.
And sweep from the roofs like dust from driven streets,
The spirits of the storm, wrapt in their winding-sheets.

(The end)
W. M. MacKeracher's poem: Rain For The Farmer

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