Midnight Rain by Kathleen Dalziel

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In the midnight when infinity is wrapping 
   In a black shroud sea and shore, 
With the wet boughs at the wooden lintel tapping, 
   Like darkness knocking at the door, 
Then I listen to the loud-voiced hours, 
   To the steady beat of castanet and drum, 
Impervious, aloof, on the streaming iron roof, 
   On the roof, when the great rains come. 

A thousand rifts and runnels meeting, merging, 
   And all streams hurrying to the sea; 
And always through the smother and the surging, 
   The prisoned soul of something breaking free. 
Through the silvery assault of blunted arrows, 
   The music, the interminable refrain 
Of the pouring, pelting water, in the magic midnight wrought her, 
   In the interwoven rhythms of the rain. 

In the midnight in the ancient hour, 
   In the earth-reviving flood, 
There was ever an old kinship with the shower 
   That beat a living measure in my blood. 
And now another note is in the torrent, 
   Another voice among the many hurled 
On iron, slate or shingle, when the drumming waters mingle 
   In the oldest marching music in the world.

In the midnight, with never gold or amber 
   Nimbus of a night-light's spark, 
There's a part of me that leaves the quiet chamber, 
   And goes out, free-footed, in the dark. 
In the unleashed savagery, the unpent rapture, 
   I have washed me free from failure once again, 
I am futile, petty, tired, but the strength my soul desired 
   Is mine a little moment with the rain. 

And when at last the drugged mind stumbles 
   And sinks to the tranquillity of sleep, 
While down the night the singing torrent tumbles, 
   My slumber is most passionless and deep. 
I am carried like a leaf along the current 
   Of oblivion, past any grief or pain, 
Deep and passionless.... I wonder shall I sleep as soundly under 
   The wet leaves and grasses, some day, in the rain.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 September 1932

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 28, 2014 7:33 AM.

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