April Day

By Caroline Anne Southey

All day the low-hung clouds have dropped
Their garnered fullness down;
All day that soft, gray mist hath wrapped
Hill, valley, grove, and town.

There has not been a sound to-day
To break the calm of nature;
Nor motion, I might almost say,
Of life or living creature;

Of waving bough, or warbling bird,
Or cattle faintly lowing;
I could have half believed I heard
The leaves and blossoms growing.

I stood to hear—I love it well—
The rain’s continuous sound;
Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
Down straight into the ground.

For leafy thickness is not yet
Earth’s naked breast to screen,
Though every dripping branch is set
With shoots of tender green.

Sure, since I looked, at early morn,
Those honeysuckle buds
Have swelled to double growth; that thorn
Hath put forth larger studs.

That lilac’s cleaving cones have burst,
The milk-white flowers revealing;
Even now upon my senses first
Methinks their sweets are stealing.

The very earth, the steamy air,
Is all with fragrance rife!
And grace and beauty everywhere
Are flushing into life.

Down, down they come, those fruitful stores,
Those earth-rejoicing drops!
A momentary deluge pours,
Then thins, decreases, stops.

And ere the dimples on the stream
Have circled out of sight,
Lo! from the west a parting gleam
Breaks forth of amber light.

* * * * * * *

But yet behold—abrupt and loud,
Comes down the glittering rain;
The farewell of a passing cloud,
The fringes of its train.

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