A Storm at Night

by Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

from All Round the Year, Verses from Sky Farm


Grey, broken clouds along the showery skies
Lie dim behind the broad horizon line;
The night-wind through the outer darkness flies;
Amid the green the fitful fireflies shine.

The lightning tears the heavens with sudden shock,–
Each separate leaf stands clear against the light,–
The thunder crashes down from rock to rock
Across the broken silence of the night.

The earth leaps up beneath the lurid glare,
One second all its midnight grace reveals,–
Then drops the darkness on the stifling air
That lifts and opens to the thunder-peals.

And through the moment’s throbbing hush between
The flash of lightning and the wild refrain,
You hear, amid the maple’s shifting green
The drip and patter of the summer rain.

Now the long echoings mutter far away,
Like some great organ, strong in gracious might,–
A voice which Nature’s forces must obey,
A grand compelling power along the night.

Lower and lower sinks the mighty tone,
Faint are the lines of fire along the sky;
The night is left in darkness and alone;
The storm has died, – and darkness too shall die!

The robins chirp within the rocking nest,
The eastern skies are flushing far away;
The phantom moon hangs waning in the west,
The birds are singing at the break of day.