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John Greenleaf Whittier

Storm on Lake Asquam

A cloud, like that the old-time Hebrew saw

On Carmel prophesying rain, began

To lift itself o'er wooded Cardigan,

Growing and blackening. Suddenly, a flaw

Of chill wind menaced; then a strong blast beat

Down the long valley's murmuring pines, and woke

The noon-dream of the sleeping lake, and broke

Its smooth steel mirror at the mountains' feet.

Thunderous and vast, a fire-veined darkness swept

Over the rough pine-bearded Asquam range;

A wraith of tempest, wonderful and strange,

From peak to peak the cloudy giant stepped.

One moment, as if challenging the storm,

Chocorua's tall, defiant sentinel

Looked from his watch-tower; then the shadow fell,

And the wild rain-drift blotted out his form.

And over all the still unhidden sun,

Weaving its light through slant-blown veils of rain,

Smiled on the trouble, as hope smiles on pain;

And, when the tumult and the strife were done,

With one foot on the lake and one on land,

Framing within his crescent's tinted streak

A far-off picture of the Melvin peak,

Spent broken clouds the rainbow's angel spanned.