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Robert Louis Stevenson poem: Tropic Rain

Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)


Tropic Rain


As the single pang of the blow, when the metal is mingled well,

Rings and lives and resounds in all the bounds of the bell,

So the thunder above spoke with a single tongue,

So in the heart of the mountain the sound of it rumbled and clung.


Sudden the thunder was drowned – quenched was the levin light –

And the angel-spirit of rain laughed out loud in the night.

Loud as the maddened river raves in the cloven glen,

Angel of rain! you laughed and leaped on the roofs of men;


And the sleepers sprang in their beds, and joyed and feared as you fell.

You struck, and my cabin quailed; the roof of it roared like a bell.

You spoke, and at once the mountain shouted and shook with brooks.

You ceased, and the day returned, rosy, with virgin looks.


And me thought that beauty and terror are only one, not two;

And the world has room for love, and death, and thunder, and dew;

And all the sinews of hell slumber in summer air;

And the face of God is a rock, but the face of the rock is fair.

Beneficent streams of tears flow at the finger of pain;

And out of the cloud that smites, beneficent rivers of rain.



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