EH FROM cloudless skies the brazen sun beats down
' Upon a panting, famine-threatened land;
I.ike fiery blasts from some great furnace sweep
The scorching winds o'er meadows parched and brown ;
Where once flowed purling streams is naught but sand,
And in the highways dust líes ankle deep.
With every gust its glittering atoms rise
In whirling clouds that fill the stifling air;
The withering foliage burns to ashen gray ;
The summer's fairest blossoms close their eyes
And faint beneath the sun's unpitying glare—-
As hopes deferred grow weaker day by day.
As day by day some moment of despair
Draws nearer to a soul that in dismay
Sinks down beneath its sorrow's crushing blow
That seemeth greater than its strength can be.
We cease to hope; we almost cease to pray.
And languish 'neath an agony of woe.
When, lo! within the sky a mist appears
That spreading fast obscures the blazing sun ;
The drooping plants take heart ; the mad winds still.
We scan the clouds with mingled hopes and fears.
And watch them as they gather, one by one,
Till with new life the earth's faint pulses thrill.
O'er field and forest comes on brooding wing
The solemn hush of awed expectancy,
And earth renews her broken bond of trust.
And now through all t lie trees soft breeze swing .
With nestling murmurs; and with pattering glee
The first great drops make dimples in the dust;
The earth's glad lips repeat its joy's refrain:
"Thank God: At last the rain! At last the rain!"
Western, Field. Western Field - Sportsmans Magazine of the West. San Francisco: Western Field, 1907.
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