A Shower In War-Time

Rain, rain, sweet warm rain,
On the wood and on the plain!
Rain, rain, warm and sweet,
Summer wood lush leafy and loud,
With note of a throat that ripples and rings,
Sad sole sweet from her central seat,
Bubbling and trilling,
Filling, filling, filling
The shady space of the green dim place
With an odour of melody,
Till all the noon is thrilling,
And the great wood hangs in the balmy day
Like a cloud with an angel in the cloud,
And singing because she sings!

In the sheltering wood,
At that hour I stood;
I saw that in that hour
Great round drops, clear round drops,
Grew on every leaf and flower,
And its hue so fairly took
And faintly, that each tinted elf
Trembled with a rarer self,
Even as if its beauty shook
With passion to a tenderer look.

Rain, rain, sweet warm rain,
On the wood and on the plain!
Rain, rain, warm and sweet,
Summer wood lush leafy and loud,
With note of a throat that ripples and rings,
Sad sole sweet from her central seat,
Bubbling and trilling,
Filling, filling, filling
The shady space of the green dim place
With an odour of melody,
Till all the noon is thrilling,
And the great wood hangs in the balmy day,
Like a cloud with an angel in the cloud,
And singing because she sings!

Then out of the sweet warm weather
There came a little wind sighing, sighing:
Came to the wood sighing, and sighing went in,
Sighed thro' the green grass, and o'er the leaves brown,
Sighed to the dingle, and, sighing, lay down,
While all the flowers whispered together.
Then came swift winds after her who was flying,
Swift bright winds with a jocund din,
Sought her in vain, her boscage was so good,
And spread like baffled revellers thro' the wood.
Then, from bough, and leaf, and bell,
The great round drops, the clear round drops,
In fitful cadence drooped and fell-
Drooped and fell as if some wanton air
Were more apparent here and there,
Sphered on a favourite flower in dewy kiss,
Grew heavy with delight and dropped with bliss.

Rain, rain, sweet warm rain,
On the wood and on the plain;
Rain, rain, still and sweet,
For the winds have hushed again,
And the nightingale is still,
Sleeping in her central seat.
Rain, rain, summer rain,
Silent as the summer heat.
Doth it fall, or doth it rise?
Is it incense from the hill,
Or bounty from the skies?
Or is the face of earth that lies
Languid, looking up on high,
To the face of Heaven so nigh
That their balmy breathings meet?

Rain, rain, summer rain,
On the wood and on the plain:
Rain, rain, rain, until
The tall wet trees no more athirst,
As each chalice green doth fill,
See the pigmy nations nurst
Round their distant feet, and throw
The nectar to the herbs below.
The droughty herbs, without a sound,
Drink it ere it reach the ground.

Rain, rain, sweet warm rain,
On the wood and on the plain,
And round me like a dropping well,
The great round drops they fell and fell.

I say not War is good or ill;
Perchance they may slay, if they will,
Who killing love, and loving kill.

I do not join yon captive's din;
Some man among us without sin
Perhaps may rightly lock him in.

I do not grant the Tyrant's plea;
The slaves potential to be free
Already are the Powers that be.

Whether our bloodsheds flow or cease,
I know that as the years increase,
The flower of all is human peace.

'The Flower.' Vertumnus hath repute
O'er Flora; yet methinks the fruit
But alter ego of the root;

And that which serves our fleshly need,
Subserves the blossom that doth feed
The soul which is the life indeed.

Nor well he deems who deems the rose
Is for the roseberry, nor knows
The roseberry is for the rose.

And Autumn's garnered treasury,
But prudent Nature's guarantee
That Summer evermore shall be,

And yearly, once a year, complete
That top and culmen exquisite
Whereto the slanting seasons meet.

Whether our bloodsheds flow or cease,
I know that, as the years increase,
The flower of all is human peace.

'The flower.' Yet whether shall we sow
A blossom or a seed? I know
The flower will rot, the seed will grow.

By this the rain had ceased, and I went forth
From that Dodona green of oak and beech.
But ere my steps could reach
The hamlet, I beheld along the verge
A flight of fleeing cloudlets that did urge
Uneq
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Sydney Thompson Dobell

Sydney Thompson Dobell, English poet and critic, was born at Cranbrook, Kent. more…

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"A Shower In War-Time" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 26 Apr. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/35860/a-shower-in-war-time>.

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