Frank Dempster Sherman



by Frank Dempster Sherman

The sun sank red in the dull gray west
Like a glowing coal in a bed of ashes;
The river writhed in a mad unrest
As it felt the scourge of the wind's keen lashes;
No star outshone on the Night's dark breast
Scarred with livid lines of the lightning's flashes:
And he came with a voice of thunder
O'er the mountains that trembled under,
And a sudden thrill
Ran from hill to hill,
And the valley was dumb with wonder.

Then all night long on the tangled strings
Of the tempest's lute did the wind awaken
Discordant notes from their slumberings,
And the forest cried like a soul forsaken.
The storm-bird fluttered his dismal wings
And the rain-wrapt land like a leaf was shaken!
And he called in a voice of thunder
O'er the mountains that rumbled under,
And the hosts of flame
From the heavens came,
And the valley was filled with wonder.

But lo, dawn smiles, and the misty world
Like a pearl is plucked from its ocean dreaming;
The storm's dark pinions at last are furled
In the fragrant hush of the sun's bright gleaming,
And where the arrows of fire were hurled,
Lo, the face of Heaven with gladness beaming!
God has silenced the voice of thunder
O'er the mountains that echoed under,
And the bird's sweet song
In the air grows strong,
And the valley is hushed with wonder!


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company