The Rainbow by
How glorious is thy girdle cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirror'd in the ocean vast—
A thousand fathoms down!
As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
For faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
Nor let the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.
The moon sometimes exhibits the extraordinary phenomenon of an
iris or rainbow, by the refraction of her rays in drops of rain
during the night-time. This appearance is said to occur only at the
time of full moon, and to be indicative of stormy and rainy weather.
One is described in the Philosophical Transactions as having
been seen in 1810, during a thick rain; but, subsequent to that time,
the same person gives an account of one which perhaps was the most
extraordinary of which we have any record. It became visible about
nine o'clock, and continued, though with very different degrees
of brilliancy, until past two. At first, though a strongly marked
bow, it was without colour, but afterwards became extremely vivid,
the red, green, and purple being the most strongly marked. About
twelve it was the most splendid in appearance. The wind was very high
at the time, and a drizzling rain falling occasionally.