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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Prose Works. 1892.

I. Specimen Days

126. An Afternoon Scene

Feb. 22.—LAST night and to-day rainy and thick, till mid-afternoon, when the wind chopp’d round, the clouds swiftly drew off like curtains, the clear appear’d, and with it the fairest, grandest, most wondrous rainbow I ever saw, all complete, very vivid at its earth-ends, spreading vast effusions of illuminated haze, violet, yellow, drab-green, in all directions overhead, through which the sun beam’d—an indescribable utterance of color and light, so gorgeous yet so soft, such as I had never witness’d before. Then its continuance: a full hour pass’d before the last of those earth-ends disappear’d. The sky behind was all spread in translucent blue, with many little white clouds and edges. To these a sunset, filling, dominating the esthetic and soul senses, sumptuously, tenderly, full. I end this note by the pond, just light enough to see, through the evening shadows, the western reflections in its water-mirror surface, with inverted figures of trees. I hear now and then the flup of a pike leaping out, and rippling the water.