Hail bounteous Cloud! stupendous vapour, hail!
Thou risest with majestic mercy full!
Thy sombre aspect dignified with state!
Thy ether fields fast filling with thy train!
Break forth, oh mine of wealth, and come below!
Thy diamond drops, polished, bright, and clear,
Are worth ten thousand thousand crowns of gold!
The earth looks up, and opens her parched lips
To catch thy crystal tide; O Cloud, descend!
Bless thy suppliants panting at thy feet!
The mountain, thy beloved, all pale and bare,
Stands stricken to the heart, its life-streams clogged;
Its noble features--tearless, cracked and glazed;
While at its feet, its spouse, the river, falls,
Lies languid, or crawls sluggish in its bed,
Dragging its slimy length reluctant on.
Their little ones, the playful rivulets,
Have ceased to gambol, and are still, and dead!
The vet'ran forests shrink, and moan with drought;
Their hoary heads all stark, and crispèd locks,
Strewn on the sward beneath! The vocal tribes,
So blythe, and prone to song, drooping and mute!
The vexèd herd, rushes with frantic speed,
And reeking flanks, and glaring eyes of fire,
Madly exploring for the slaking flood.
The meek-eyed flocks seek respite in the cool,
'Neath some umbrageous tree, where, bleating oft,
With soiled, and ragged fleece, they congregate,
And patient wait thy generous shower.
And see! in yonder grot pale girls recline,
While 'neath th' adjacent spring's reluctant drip,
Their ruddy pitchers stand. All nature quails
Before the rays of the too ardent sun:
The verdant grass faints 'neath his scorching beams,
And all its juicy points are stiff and pale.
Peering at thy intent, the sons of toil,
With eager hope, view thy auspicious gloom,
And, fondly counting on thy burthened freight,
Their manly breasts elate with sudden joy!
Just so the merchant, after nights of fear,
And anxious thought, beholds the far-off sail,
ANd, with a thrilling transport of delight,
Counts o'er his ventures, reck'ning on their gain.
Come then, O Cloud! and bless the fainting earth!
Fill it with thy vast treasures! Rain them down!
Unmeasured! full! a life-reviving flood!
From thy maternal breast the fluid pour!
No milk and honey, half so sweet and good!
Our hearts shall be thy wells! and deep and pure,
Shall loud rejoicings from their depths resound!
Now do thy big drops fall! all far apart!
Like faithful messengers forerunning one,
Who comes with royal presents from his lord,
As tokens of his love and providence!
Ripe from thy bosom falls the precious load,
A sea of treasures scatt'ring at my feet!
Hence the rare gifts that fill the lap of earth!
Hence ev'ry charm that fascinates our sight!
O earth, rejoice! Fill thy impov'rished veins
With the rich aqueous draught! And ye,
O mighty deep! lift up thy waves, and take
Back to thy treasuries the sum they gave!
And be THOU praised, Fountain of ev'ry good!
For through Thy mercy flows each bounteous gift!
The cloud that seemeth dark, hath richest store--
A pow'r to draw our sinking virtues forth,
And make a desert bloom like Paradise!
A broken heart, well-springs of plenteous joy!