The Rainbow.

A poem by Patrick Bronte

The shower is past, and the sky
O'erhead is both mild and serene,
Save where a few drops from on high,
Like gems, twinkle over the green:
And glowing fair, in the black north,
The rainbow o'erarches the cloud;
The sun in his glory comes forth,
And larks sweetly warble aloud.

That dismally grim northern sky
Says God in His vengeance once frowned,
And opened His flood-gates on high,
Till obstinate sinners were drowned:
The lively bright south, and that bow,
Say all this dread vengeance is o'er;
These colours that smilingly glow
Say we shall be deluged no more.

Ever blessed be those innocent days,
Ever sweet their remembrance to me;
When often, in silent amaze,
Enraptured, I'd gaze upon thee!
Whilst arching adown the black sky
Thy colours glowed on the green hill,
To catch thee as lightning I'd fly,
But aye you eluded my skill.

From hill unto hill your gay scene
You shifted, whilst crying aloud,
I ran, till at length from the green,
You shifted, at once to the cloud!
So, vain worldly phantoms betray
The youths who too eager pursue,
When ruined and far led astray,
Th' illusion escapes from their view.

Those peaceable days knew no care,
Except what arose from my play,
My favourite lambkin and hare,
And cabin I built o'er the way.
No cares did I say? Ah! I'm wrong:
Even childhood from cares is not free:
Far distant I see a grim throng
Shake horrible lances at me!

One day, I remember it still,
For pranks I had played on the clown
Who lived on the neighbouring hill,
My cabin was trod to the ground.
Who ever felt grief such as I
When crashed by this terrible blow?
Not Priam, the monarch of Troy,
When all his proud towers lay low.

And grief upon grief was my lot:
Soon after, my lambkin was slain;
My hare, having strayed from its cot,
Was chased by the hounds o'er the plain.
What countless calamities teem
From memory's page on my view!
How trifling soever you seem,
Yet once I have wept over you.

Then cease, foolish heart, to repine;
No stage is exempted from care:
If you would true happiness find,
Come follow! and I'll show you where.
But, first, let us take for our guide
The Word which Jehovah has penned;
By this the true path is descried
Which leads to a glorious end.

How narrow this path to our view!
How steep an ascent lies before!
Whilst, foolish fond heart, laid for you
Are dazzling temptations all o'er.
What bye-ways with easy descent
Invite us through pleasures to stray!
Whilst Satan, with hellish intent,
Suggests that we ought to obey.

But trust not the father of lies,
He tempts you with vanity's dream;
His pleasure, when touched, quickly dies,
Like bubbles that dance on the stream.
Look not on the wine when it glows
All ruddy, in vessels of gold;
At last it will sting your repose,
And death at the bottom unfold. {208}

But lo! an unnatural night
Pours suddenly down on the eye;
The sun has withdrawn all his light,
And rolls a black globe o'er the sky!
And hark! what a cry rent the air!
Immortal the terrible sound!
The rocks split with honible tear,
And fearfully shakes all the ground!

The dead from their slumbers awake,
And, leaving their mouldy domain,
Make poor guilty mortals to quake
As pallid they glide o'er the plain!
Sure, Nature's own God is oppressed,
And Nature in agony cries;
The sun in his mourning is dressed,
To tell the sad news through the skies!

Yet surely some victory's gained,
Important, and novel, and great,
Since Death has his captives unchained,
And widely thrown open his gate!
Yes, victory great as a God
Could gain over hell, death, and sin,
This moment's achieved by the blood
Of Jesus, our crucified King.

But all the dread conflict is o'er;
Lo! cloud after cloud rolls away;
And heaven, serene as before,
Breaks forth in the splendour of day!
And all the sweet landscape around,
Emerged from the ocean of night,
With groves, woods, and villages crowned,
Astonish and fill with delight!

But see! where that crowd melts away,
Three crosses sad spectacles show!
Our Guide has not led us astray;
Heart! this is the secret you'd know,
Two thieves, and a crucified God
Hangs awfully mangled between!
Whilst fast from His veins spouting blood
Runs, dyeing with purple the green!

Behold! the red flood rolls along,
And forming a bason below,
Is termed in Emanuel's song
The fount for uncleanness and woe.
Immerged in that precious tide,
The soul quickly loses its stains,
Though deeper than crimson they're dyed,
And 'scapes from its sorrows and pains.

This fountain is opened for you:
Go, wash, without money or price;
And instantly formed anew,
You'll lose all your woes in a trice.
Then cease, foolish heart, to repine,
No stage is exempted from care;
If you would true happiness find,
'Tis on Calvary, seek for it there.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Rainbow.' by Patrick Bronte

comments powered by Disqus

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