Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

The Storm - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

Stooping over London, skies convulsed
With thunder moved: a rumour of storm remote
Hushed them, and birds flew troubled. The gradual clouds
Up from the West climbing, above the East
Glowed sullen as copper embossed; against their gloom,
Like ghosts astonished, thronged the steeples white.
Still with absorbed hurry the streets' uproar
Ran, shadowed by strange unquiet, as vaguely pursued.
Lone workers from drear windows looked and sighed.
Nearer drooped the sky's contracted face;
The face of a Titan in punishment heavily bowed.
As painful sweat, the drops fell loud: at last,
With silent shivering flashes of angry flame,
Long stifled, his deep thunder burst and groaned.
Then crawling over, the banks of darkness broke
And loosened splendour showered its arrows abroad.
Now, opposite the retreating storm aghast,
In full--recovered sun, new dazzling clouds,
Alp beyond Alp, glitter in awful snow.
Men stop in the street to wonder. The brilliance runs,
Washing with silent waves the town opprest;
Startles squalid rooms with a sudden smile;
Enters gloomy courts, and glories there.
Strange as a vision the wide expanded heavens
Open; the living wind with nearness breathes
On weary faces of women of many cares;
They stand at their doors and watch with a soothed spirit
The marvellous West asleep in endless light.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



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