Sign of Rain

Dr. Edward Jenner, English 1749-1823


The hollow winds begin to blow,
The clouds look black, the glass is low,
The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep
And spiders from their cobwebs peep.

Last night the sun went pale to bed,
The moon in halos hid her head;
The boding shepherd heaves a sigh,
For see! A rainbow spans the sky.

The walls are damp, the ditches smell,
Closed is the pink-eyed pimpernel.

Hark! How the chairs and tables crack.
Old Betty's joints are on the rack;
Her corns with shooting pains torment her,
And to her bed untimely send her.

Loud quack the ducks, the peacocks cry,
The distant hills are looking nigh.
How restless are the snorting swine!
The busy flies disturb the kine.

Low o'er the grass the swallow wings;
The cricket, too, how sharp he sings!
Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws,
Sits wiping o'er her whiskered jaws.

Through the clear stream the fishes rise,
And nimbly catch the incautious flies.
The glow -worms, numerous and bright,
Illumed the woodland dell last night.

At dusk the squalid toad was seen
Hopping and crawling o'er the green.
The whirling dust the wind obeys,
And in the rapid eddy plays.

The frog has changed his yellow vest,
And in a russet coat is dressed.
Though June, the air is cold and still,
The mellow blackbirds note is shrill;

My dog, so altered in his taste,
Quits mutton bones on grass to feast.
And see, yon rooks, how odd their flight,
They imitate the gliding kite,
And seem precipitate to fall,
As if they felt the piercing ball -
"twill surely rain – I see with sorrow
Our jaunt must be put off tomorrow.