Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON A RAINBOW AT NIGHT, by JOHN GARDINER CALKINS BRAINARD



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ON A RAINBOW AT NIGHT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The bow that spans the storm is beautiful
Last Line: Even man feels that the night is made for god.
Subject(s): Night; Rainbows; Bedtime


THE bow that spans the storm is beautiful;
Yet-- how we view it! from our very cradle
E'en to the extreme of our most ripened wisdom
'T is treated as a toy. Philosophers,
With bits of glass and one small beam of light,
Make mimic rainbows upon college walls,
And lecture upon raindrops-- how the light
Impinges, is refracted, bent and formed,
Ending with pious hintings to the class
With what analogies God's light is sent--
How mathematical his heavenly bow!
-- The painter daubs it on his varnished cloth,
And with gamboge and verdigris, makes out
A tolerable rainbow -- to be viewed,
Admired, and bought by folly's connoisseurs.
-- As silly as the rest, the mother lifts
Her squalling child, whom rattle will not please,
Nor pap, nor coral with its silver bells,
To look upon the rainbow-- But too gross
Such gaze -- and, folding up its heavenly robes,
"Like as a garment," on the meteor rolls.
"The Heavens shall pass away, as doth a scroll"--
Like as a scroll they stand. O! who that marked
That page of Heaven's bright book-- when a new light
Was broad upon his vision -- (when the world
Turned from the sun, and the sun's worldly day)
But thought--all else forgot--but thought on Thee;
Nor painted -- nor philosophized -- nor smiled.
The sun is of our system, but the stars
Are set in Heaven. The day is made for man.
-- At such a time -- with such a gloried sky,
Even man feels that the night is made for God.






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