A Sanitary Message

A poem by Francis Bret Harte

Last night, above the whistling wind,
I heard the welcome rain,
A fusillade upon the roof,
A tattoo on the pane:
The keyhole piped; the chimney-top
A warlike trumpet blew;
Yet, mingling with these sounds of strife,
A softer voice stole through.

“Give thanks, O brothers!” said the voice,
“That He who sent the rains
Hath spared your fields the scarlet dew
That drips from patriot veins:
I’ve seen the grass on Eastern graves
In brighter verdure rise;
But, oh! the rain that gave it life
Sprang first from human eyes.

“I come to wash away no stain
Upon your wasted lea;
I raise no banners, save the ones
The forest waves to me:
Upon the mountain side, where Spring
Her farthest picket sets,
My reveille awakes a host
Of grassy bayonets.

“I visit every humble roof;
I mingle with the low:
Only upon the highest peaks
My blessings fall in snow;
Until, in tricklings of the stream
And drainings of the lea,
My unspent bounty comes at last
To mingle with the sea.”

And thus all night, above the wind,
I heard the welcome rain,
A fusillade upon the roof,
A tattoo on the pane:
The keyhole piped; the chimney-top
A warlike trumpet blew;
But, mingling with these sounds of strife,
This hymn of peace stole through.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'A Sanitary Message' by Francis Bret Harte

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy