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Rainbow Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Boats Sail on the Rivers by Christina Rossetti
  2. The Rainbow by Thomas Campbell
  3. The Rainbow by William Wordsworth
  4. The Rainbow by John Keble
  5. Archery by John B. Tabb
  6. An Address: To the Rainbow, After a Smart Summer Shower by Thomas Campbell
  7. Rainbow on the Mountain by Ruby Archer
  8. Grief And Hope, Compared To The Rainbow After A Shower by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  9. A Rainbow Foundation by Anonymous
  10. A Lament by John B. Tabb
  11. The Rainbow by Walter De la Mare
  12. Raindrops by Caroline W. D. Rich

  1. The Rainbow

    by Christina Rossetti

    Boats sail on the rivers,
    And ships sail on the seas;
    But clouds that sail across the sky
    Are prettier far than these.

    There are bridges on the rivers,
    As pretty as you please;
    But the bow that bridges heaven,
    And overtops the trees,
    And builds a road from earth to sky,
    Is prettier far than these.

  2. The Rainbow

    by Thomas Campbell

    Triumphal arch, that fill'st the sky
    When storms prepare to part,
    I ask not proud Philosophy
    To teach me what thou art; —

    Still seem; as to my childhood's sight,
    A midway station given
    For happy spirits to alight
    Betwixt the earth and heaven.

    Can all that Optics teach unfold
    Thy form to please me so,
    As when I dreamt of gems and gold
    Hid in thy radiant bow?

    When Science from Creation's face
    Enchantment's veil withdraws,
    What lovely visions yield their place
    To cold material laws!

    And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
    But words of the Most High,
    Have told why first thy robe of beams
    Was woven in the sky.

    When o'er the green, undeluged earth
    Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,
    How came the world's gray fathers forth
    To watch thy sacred sign!

    And when its yellow luster smiled
    O'er mountains yet untrod,
    Each mother held aloft her child
    To bless the bow of God.

    Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
    The first-made anthem rang
    On earth, delivered from the deep,
    And the first poet sang.

    Nor ever shall the Muse's eye
    Unraptured greet thy beam;
    Theme of primeval prophecy,
    Be still the prophet's theme!

    The earth to thee her incense yields,
    The lark thy welcome sings,
    When, glittering in the freshened fields,
    The snowy mushroom springs.

    How glorious is thy girdle, cast
    O'er mountain, tower, and town,
    Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
    A thousand fathoms down!

    As fresh in yon horizon dark,
    As young thy beauties seem,
    As when the eagle from the ark
    First sported in thy beam:

    For, faithful to its sacred page,
    Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
    Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
    That first spoke peace to man.

  3. The Rainbow

    by William Wordsworth

    My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky.
    So was it when my life began;
    So is it now I am a man;
    So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die!
    The child is father of the man;
    And I could wish my days to be
    Bound each to each by natural piety.

  4. The Rainbow

    John Keble

    A fragment of a rainbow bright
    Through the moist air I see,
    All dark and damp on yonder height,
    All bright and clear to me.

    An hour ago the storm was here,
    The gleam was far behind;
    So will our joys and grief appear,
    When earth has ceased to blind.

    Grief will be joy if on its edge
    Fall soft that holiest ray,
    Joy will be grief if no faint pledge
    Be there of heavenly day.

  5. Archery

    by John B. Tabb

    A bow across the sky
    Another in the river,
    Whence swallows upward fly,
    Like arrows from a quiver.

  6. An Address: To the Rainbow, After a Smart Summer Shower

    by Thomas Campbell

    Lovely Iris, proudly arching
    O'er the lately potent storm,
    On thy top the vapours perching,
    Yet obscure thy lovely form.
    See the clouds behind thee hover,
    Gently drops the falling rain;
    The prone descending torrent over,
    Leaves the lately delug'd plain.

    Now the sun at even' descending,
    Heaves thy towering zenith high,
    Thy transparent shoulders bending,
    'Neath the burden of the sky.
    Gilded by thy glowing basis,
    See the distant mountains shine;
    From the vale the rustic gazes,
    At a structure so divine.

    Now thy colours how they brighten,
    Bending o'er the hollow vale,
    Where the dreary prospects lighten,
    As the damps again exhale.
    Light and shade so sweetly blended,
    Mock the artist's tissue loom,
    When the sun with beams extended,
    Paints thy circle on the gloom.

    Say, proud arch—Heaven's architecture,
    Built in a celestial taste,
    Whence thy emblematic structure,
    Or the end by thee express'd?
    Auspicious, thou denotes that Heav'n
    Ne'er will deluge earth again,
    And this resplendent arch is given,
    The floating waters off to drain.

  7. Rainbow on the Mountain

    by Ruby Archer

    See―the Sky has lent her jewel
    To the Mountain for an hour
    Has forgotten to be cruel
    In a kind caprice of power

    And the dusky bosom rounding
    Wears the opals with an air
    And a fine content abounding
    In the sense of looking fair.

    Now the Sky demands her crescent―
    Brightest bauble of her store;
    Slow it fadeth, evanescent,
    And the Mountain smiles no more.

  8. Grief And Hope, Compared To The Rainbow After A Shower

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    A gentle shower of sorrow,
    Best cultivates the muse;
    For hope, lights up the morrow,
    And sheds her joys profuse.

    Like clouds before a shower,
    Our better passions move;
    The darkest cloud hath power,
    Our faith and hope to prove.

    Our trials teach contrition,
    We bend beneath the storm;
    Then wait with sweet submission,
    The rainbow's lovely form.

    Our tears being now subsided,
    The flowers of hope will spring;
    In God, we have confided,
    And now our joys begin.

    The lamp of truth is lighted,
    To guide our doubtful way;
    And we are now invited,
    To wait the sun's bright ray.

    See o'er the hills descending,
    In majesty and love,—
    With angels, swift, attending,
    Our "Peace Branch" from above.

    This love, thus comprehending,
    We see a comely form;
    'Tis Jesus—see him bending,—
    'Tis he that lights the storm.

    Like Hermon's dews reviving,
    Which fell on Zion's hill;
    When grief and hope are striving,
    Hope sees a rainbow still.

  9. A Rainbow Foundation

    by Anonymous

    Once a spider built a cobweb on a rainbow bright and gay,
    For she thought its brilliant colors would entice her lawful prey.
    But, alas! the sun descended, and the bright bow was no more.
    And the weeping, webless spider was left homeless as before.
    "After this," I heard her mutter to herself, "I'll be content
    With foundations not so showy, but more firm and permanent!"

  10. A Lament

    by John B. Tabb

    "O lady cloud, why are you weeping?" I said.
    "Because," she made answer, "my rain-beau is dead."

  11. The Rainbow

    by Walter De la Mare

    I saw the lovely arch
    Of Rainbow span the sky,
    The gold sun burning
    As the rain swept by.

    In bright-ringed solitude
    The showery foliage shone
    One lovely moment,
    And the Bow was gone.

  12. Raindrops

    by Caroline W. D. Rich

    Falling, gleaming in the sunshine,
    Down upon the fragrant hay
    Came a thousand tiny raindrops
    Like a fairy host at play.
    Through the clouds a golden sunbeam,
    Like a smile, from heaven came;
    Instantly the falling raindrops
    Changed into an arch of flame.