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THE STORM

They say it is the wind in midnight skies
Loud shrieking past the window, that doth make
Each casement shudder with its storm of cries,
And the barred door with pushing shoulder shake.

Ah, no! ah, no! It is the souls pass by
Their lot to run from earth to God's high place,
Pursued by each black sin that death let fly
From their sad flesh, to break them in their chase.

They say it is the rain from leaf to leaf
Doth slip, and roll into the thirsting ground,
That where the corn is trampled sheaf by sheaf
The heavy sorrow of the storm is found.

Ah, no! ah, no! It is repentant tears
By those let fall who make their direful flight,
And drop by drop the anguish of their fears
Comes down around us all the awful night.

They say that in the lightning-flash and roar
Of clashing clouds the tempest is about,
And draw their chairs the glowing hearth before,
The casement close to shut the danger out.

Ah, no! The doors of Paradise, they swing
A moment open for a soul nigh spent,
Then come together till the thunder's ring
Leaves us half blinded by God's element.