Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Thunderstorm


DEEP, fiery clouds o'ercast the sky,
Dead stillness reigns in air,
There is not e'en a breeze, on high
The gossamer to bear.

The woods are hushed, the waves at rest,
The lake is dark and still,
Reflecting, on its shadowy breast,
Each form of rock and hill.

The lime-leaf waves not in the grove,
Nor rose-tree in the bower;
The birds have ceased their songs of love,
Awed by the threatening hour.

'T is noon;–yet nature's calm profound
Seems as at midnight deep;
–But hark! what peal of awful sound
Breaks on creation's sleep?

The thunder bursts!–its rolling might
Seems the firm hills to shake;
And in terrific splendor bright,
The gathered lightnings break.

Yet fear not, shrink not thou, my child!
Though by the bolt's descent
Were the tall cliffs in ruins piled,
And the wide forests rent.

Doth not thy God behold thee still,
With all-surveying eye?
Doth not his power all nature fill,
Around, beneath, on high?

Know, hadst thou eagle-pinions free,
To track the realms of air,
Thou couldst not reach a spot where He
Would not be with thee there!

In the wide city's peopled towers,
On the vast ocean's plains,
'Midst the deep woodland's loneliest bowers,
Alike th' Almighty reigns!

Then fear not, though the angry sky
A thousand darts should cast;–
Why should we tremble, e'en to die,
And be with Him at last?

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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