A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Rainbow." by Felicia Hemans (1793 - 1835)
First Publication: Hemans, Felicia Dorothea. Hymns on the Works of Nature, for the Use of Children. Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins, 1827. pp. 7-9.

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I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
GENESIS ix. 13.
SOFT falls the mild, reviving shower
  From April's changeful skies,
And rain-drops bend each trembling flower
  They tinge with richer dyes.

Soon shall their genial influence call
  A thousand buds to day,
Which, waiting but their balmy fall,
  In hidden beauty lay.

[Page 8]

E'en now full many a blossom's bell
  With fragrance fills the shade;
And verdure clothes each grassy dell,
  In brighter tints arrayed.

But mark! what arch of varied hue
  From heaven to earth is bowed?
Haste, ere it vanish, haste to view
  The Rainbow in the cloud.

How bright its glory! there behold
  The emerald's verdant rays,
The topaz blends its hue of gold
  With the deep ruby's blaze.

Yet not alone to charm thy sight
  Was given the vision fair;
Gaze on that arch of colored light,
  And read God's mercy there.

It tells us that the mighty deep,
  Fast by th' Eternal chained,
No more o'er earth's domains shall sweep,
  Awful and unrestrained.

[Page 9]

It tells that seasons, heat and cold,
  Fixed by his sovereign will,
Shall, in their course, bid man behold
  Seed-time and harvest still;

That still the flower shall deck the field,
  When vernal zephyrs blow;
That still the vine its fruit will yield,
  When autumn sun-beams glow.

Then, child of that fair earth! which yet
  Smiles with each charm endowed,
Bless thou His name, whose mercy set
  The Rainbow in the cloud!

[Page 10]

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