Featured poem: After Rain, Stephen Phillips

I am not one to get down about the weather. Actually that is a complete mistruth. I worship sunshine: the heat, the brightness, colours that were never there before suddenly emerge when sunny rays beat down upon the earth. Everything just seems so much better. Everything is just so much better. Winter sun is good too (not as good but still acceptable). Those exhilarating and bracing crisp, bright days amongst the gloom of the lengthy British winter are a delight, a tonic to keep you going through until spring. What is not okay is rain. Especially wind and rain. So, picture the scene outside my window today: the wind is howling, the sky is so dark that it is almost as if night has descended (or that daylight never arrived) and lashing down are levels of precipitation that would put Thomas Hardy’s pathetic fallacy to shame. My mood, to say the least is not good, it has been a tough day and I blame the rain entirely (yes, I also blame the rain for the tardiness in getting this week’s feature poem posted). Yet there is a glimmer on the horizon, a glimmer that it will, at some point in the near future, stop raining. Hope for the world after rain.

After Rain

After rain, after rain,
O sparkling Earth!
All things are new again,
Bathed as at birth.
Now the pattering sound hath ceased,
Drenched and released
Upward springs the glistening bough
In sunshine now;
And the raindrop from the leaf
Runs and slips;
Ancient forests have relief,
Young foliage drips.
All the Earth doth seem
Like Dian issuing from the stream,
Her body flushing from the wave,
Glistening in her beauty grave;
Down from her as she doth pass
Little rills run to the grass:
Or like perhaps to Venus, when she rose,
And looked with dreamy stare across the sea,
As yet unconscious of the woes,
The woes, and all the wounds that were to be
Or now again,
After the rain,
Earth like that early garden shines
Vested in vines.
O green green
Eden is seen!
After weeping skies
Rising Paradise;
Umbrage twinkling new
‘Gainst the happy blue,
God there for His pleasure,
In divinest leisure,
Walking in the sun
Which hath lately run;
While the bird sings clear and plain
Behind the bright withdrawing rain.
Soon I shall perceive
Naked glimmering Eve,
Startled by the shower,
Venture from her bower,
Looking for Adam under perilous sky;
While he hard by
Emerges from the slowly dropping blooms,
And warm delicious glooms.

Stephen Phillips, 1908

Posted by Jen Tomkins