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Bliss Carman, et al., eds. The World’s Best Poetry. 1904.

III. The Seasons

Before the Rain

Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

WE knew it would rain, for all the morn

A spirit on slender ropes of mist

Was lowering its golden buckets down

Into the vapory amethyst

Of marshes and swamps and dismal fens—

Scooping the dew that lay in the flowers,

Dipping the jewels out of the sea,

To scatter them over the land in showers.

We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed

The white of their leaves, the amber grain

Shrunk in the wind—and the lightning now

Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.