A Summer Shower

By Henry Timrod 1828–1867 Henry Timrod
Welcome, rain or tempest
                         From yon airy powers,
                      We have languished for them
                         Many sultry hours,
And earth is sick and wan, and pines with all her flowers.

                      What have they been doing
                         In the burning June?
                      Riding with the genii?
                         Visiting the moon?
Or sleeping on the ice amid an arctic noon?

                      Bring they with them jewels
                         From the sunset lands?
                      What are these they scatter
                         With such lavish hands?
There are no brighter gems in Raolconda’s sands.

                      Pattering on the gravel,
                         Dropping from the eaves,
                      Glancing in the grass, and
                         Tinkling on the leaves,
They flash the liquid pearls as flung from fairy sieves.

                      Meanwhile, unreluctant,
                         Earth like Danae lies;
                      Listen! is it fancy
                         That beneath us sighs,
As that warm lap receives the largesse of the skies?

                      Jove, it is, descendeth
                         In those crystal rills;
                      And this world-wide tremor
                         Is a pulse that thrills
To a god’s life infused through veins of velvet hills.

                      Wait, thou jealous sunshine,
                         Break not on their bliss;
                      Earth will blush in roses
                         Many a day for this,
And bend a brighter brow beneath thy burning kiss.

Source: The Collected Poems of Henry Timrod (1965)

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Poet Henry Timrod 1828–1867

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Nature, Summer

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


Since Henry Timrod's output before the Civil War was limited to verse sufficient only for a single volume—published in December 1859—his literary reputation at the time was modest. The political activities surrounding the formation of a new nation and the impact of the war itself aroused Timrod's poetic imagination, however, and he quickly became widely known as the literary spokesman and eventually as the so-called poet . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Summer

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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