Before the stout harvesters falleth the grain,
As when the strong storm wind is reaping the plain;
And loiters the boy in the briery lane;
But yonder aslant comes the silvery rain,
Like a long line of spears brightly burnished and tall.
Adown the white highway like cavalry fleet,
It dashes the dust with its numberless feet.
Like a murmurless school, in their leafy retreat,
The wild birds sit listening, the drops round them beat;
And the boy crouches close to the blackberry wall.
The swallows alone take the storm on their wing,
And, taunting the tree-sheltered laborers, sing;
Like pebbles the rain breaks the face of the spring,
While a bubble darts up from each widening ring;
And the boy in dismay hears the loud shower fall.
But soon are the harvesters tossing their sheaves;
The robin darts out from his bower of leaves;
The wren peereth forth from the moss-covered eaves;
And the rain-spattered urchin now gladly perceives
That the beautiful bow bendeth over them all.