William Cullen Bryant

(November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878 / Boston)

A Presentiment Poem by William Cullen Bryant


'Oh father, let us hence--for hark,
A fearful murmur shakes the air.
The clouds are coming swift and dark:--
What horrid shapes they wear!
A winged giant sails the sky;
Oh father, father, let us fly!'

'Hush, child; it is a grateful sound,
That beating of the summer shower;
Here, where the boughs hang close around,
We'll pass a pleasant hour,
Till the fresh wind, that brings the rain,
Has swept the broad heaven clear again.'

'Nay, father, let us haste--for see,
That horrid thing with horned brow,--
His wings o'erhang this very tree,
He scowls upon us now;
His huge black arm is lifted high;
Oh father, father, let us fly!'

'Hush, child;' but, as the father spoke,
Downward the livid firebolt came,
Close to his ear the thunder broke,
And, blasted by the flame,
The child lay dead; while dark and still,
Swept the grim cloud along the hill.

Submitted: Monday, April 5, 2010

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