Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
Rain on the Roof
Coates Kinney (1826–1904)
 
WHEN the humid shadows hover
  Over all the starry spheres,
And the melancholy darkness
  Gently weeps in rainy tears,
What a bliss to press the pillow        5
  Of a cottage-chamber bed,
And to listen to the patter
  Of the soft rain overhead!
 
Every tinkle on the shingles
  Has an echo in the heart;        10
And a thousand dreamy fancies
  Into busy being start,
And a thousand recollections
  Weave their air-threads into woof,
As I listen to the patter        15
  Of the rain upon the roof.
 
Now in memory comes my mother,
  As she used, in years agone,
To regard the darling dreamers
  Ere she left them till the dawn:        20
O! I see her leaning o’er me,
  As I list to this refrain
Which is played upon the shingles
  By the patter of the rain.
 
Then my little seraph sister,        25
  With the wings and waving hair,
And her star-eyed cherub brother—
  A serene angelic pair!—
Glide around my wakeful pillow,
  With their praise or mild reproof,        30
As I listen to the murmur
  Of the soft rain on the roof.
 
And another comes, to thrill me
  With her eyes’ delicious blue;
And I mind not, musing on her,        35
  That her heart was all untrue:
I remember but to love her
  With a passion kin to pain,
And my heart’s quick pulses vibrate
  To the patter of the rain.        40
 
Art hath naught of tone or cadence
  That can work with such a spell
In the soul’s mysterious fountains,
  Whence the tears of rapture well,
As that melody of nature,        45
  That subdued, subduing strain
Which is played upon the shingles
  By the patter of the rain.
 
 
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