Smith, Effie Waller
|SONGS OF THE MONTHS.|
|AFTER THE STORM.|
Long ere the sparkling raindrops
Ceased dripping to the ground
From all the water-laden trees,
With soft and gentle sound;
The sun in golden splendor
Shone brightly unawares,
And seemed to turn these raindrops all
To myriads of stars,
All scintillant with radiance,
Like Hermon's lavish dews,
The rainbow's varied hues.
The birds all fast awakening
From silent lethargy,
Now trill and warble sweet and clear,
Their songs o'er wood and lea.
The tinkling of bells is heard,
As sheep and cattle come
From the hastily-sought shelter
Before the coming storm;
And wander now about at will
The hill-side pastures over,
Nibbling drooping daisies
And luscious grass and clover.
The little, silvery brooklet
Of just an hour ago,
Is roaring and foaming
Like a furious, maddened foe.
Now leaping over fallen trees,
The summer's greenness wearing,
Fence-rails and other débris, o'er
Its restless bosom bearing.
Yon monstrous, smouldering oak,
The growth of many a year;
Among the forest trees it stood
In size without a peer.
Its branches proudly reared aloft,
But, by one blighting stroke
From heaven, now lies rent in twain,
A fallen though mighty oak.
Far out in deluged bottom-land
Are numerous shocks of oat,
Of wheat, of rye, of barley, and
Just finished haystacks float.
Yon field once gay and beautiful,
In waving tasseled maize,
Of which the neighboring farmers
Spoke in their envious praise,
Is now a mass of tangled stalks,
Of wealth and beauty shorn;
Its once bright, streaming banners
To shredded ribbons torn.
And here and there the chopping
Of ax is plainly heard,
Then a dull thud, as fallen trees
And limbs away are cleared.
Someone's heard driving cattle,
Then hammering away,--
Telling the tale of fences
Laid low, and swept away.
But now the sky is clear and gray;
The moon is shining bright,
Bathing the watery, soggy world
In silvery rays of light.
The creek has ceased its murmurs,
All things are calm and still,
Save the frog's sharp croaking,
Or a cry from "whip-poor-will."
Nature calm, in all her beauty,
Mockingly smileth on
The devastation she hath wrought,
Which cannot be undone.