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Spring Showers

James Thomson 1700 (Port Glasgow) – 1748 (London)

The north-east spends his rage; he now shut up
Within his iron cave, th' effusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining ether; but, by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep,
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom:
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves
Of aspen tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffused
In glassy breath, seem through delusive lapse
Forgetful in their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promised sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields;
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effusion, o'er the freshen'd world.
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard,
By such as wander through the forest walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the shade while heaven descends
In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers on Nature's ample lap!
Swift fancy fired anticipates their growth;
And, while the milky nutriment distils,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:33 min read
116 Views

James Thomson

James Thomson, who wrote under the pseudonym Bysshe Vanolis, was a Scottish Victorian-era poet famous primarily for the long poem The City of Dreadful Night, an expression of bleak pessimism in a dehumanized, uncaring urban environment. more…

All James Thomson poems | James Thomson Books

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