It seemed the listening forest held its breath
Before some vague and unapparent form
Of fear, approaching with the wings of death,
On the impending storm.
Above the hills, big, bellying clouds loomed, black
And ominous, yet silent as the blue
That pools calm heights of heaven, deepening back
'Twixt clouds of snowdrift hue.
Then instantly, as when a multitude
Shout riot and war through some tumultuous town,
Innumerable voices swept the wood
As wild the wind rushed down.
And fierce and few, as when a strong man weeps,
Great rain-drops dashed the dust; and, overhead,
Ponderous and vast down the prodigious deeps,
Went slow the thunder's tread.
And swift and furious, as when giants fence,
The lightning foils of tempest went insane;
Then far and near sonorous Earth grew dense
With long sweet sweep of rain.