Here you will find the Long Poem The Cloud of poet Charles Harpur
One summer morn, out of the sea-waves wild, A speck-like Cloud, the season?s fated child, Came softly floating up the boundless sky, And o?er the sun-parched hills all brown and dry. Onward she glided through the azure air, Borne by its motion without toil or care, When looking down in her ethereal joy, She marked earth?s moilers at their hard employ; ?And oh!? she said, ?that by some act of grace ?Twere mine to succour yon fierce-toiling race, To give the hungry meat, the thirsty drink? The thought of good is very sweet to think.? The day advanced, and the cloud greater grew, And greater; likewise her desire to do Some charity to men had more and more, As the long sultry summer day on wore, Greatened and warmed within her fleecy breast, Like a dove fledging in its downy nest. The heat waxed fiercer, until all the land Clared in the sun as ?twere a monstrous brand And the shrunk rivers, few and far between, Like molten metal lightened in the scene. Ill could Earth?s sons endure their toilsome state, Though still they laboured, for their need was great, And many a long beseeching look they sped Towards that fair cloud, with many a sigh that said: ?We famish for thy bounty! For our sake O break thou! in a showery blessing, break!? ?I feel, and fain would help you, ? said the cloud, And towards the earth her bounteous being bowed; But then remem?bring a tradition she Had in her youth learned from her native sea, That when a cloud adventures from the skies Too near the altar of the hills, it dies! Awhile she wavered and was blown about Hither and thither by the winds of doubt; But in the midst of heaven at length all still She stood; then suddenly, with a keen thrill Of light, she said within herself, ?I will! Yea, in the glad strength of devotion, I Will help you, though in helping you I die.? Filled with this thought?s divinity, the cloud Grew worldlike vast, as earthward more she bowed! Oh, never erewhile had she dreamed her state So great might be, beneficently great! O?er the parched fields in her angelic love She spread her wide wings like a brooding dove Till as her purpose deepened, drawing near, Divinely awful did her front appear, And men and beasts all trembled at the view, And the woods bowed, though well all creatures knew That near in her, to every kind the same, A great predestined benefactress came. And then wide-flashed throughout her full-grown form The glory of her will! the pain and storm Of life?s dire dread of death, whose mortal threat From Christ himself drew agonizing sweat, Flashed seething out of rents amid her heaps Of lowering gloom, and thence with arrowy leaps Hissed jagging downward, till a sheety glare Illumined all the illimitable air; The thunder followed, a tremendous sound, Loud doubling and reverberating round; Strong was her will, but stronger yet the power Of love, that now dissolved her in a shower, Dropping in blessings to enrich the earth With health and plenty at one blooming birth. Far as the rain extended o?er the land, A splendid bow the freshened landscape spanned Like a celestial arc, hung in the air By angel artists, to illumine there The parting triumph of that spirit fair. The rainbow vanished, but the blessing craved Rested upon the land the cloud had saved.