A SUMMER'S calm hangs o'er the sleeping land;
All nature's waiting in a breathless fear,
As if some portent, great and dread, were near;
When from the east and west, on either hand,
Rise rank on rank of clouds, a threatening band.
But once on high their lowering heads they rear,
And in a moment gather, burst, and clear,
Then rainbow hues in fair refulgence stand.
Life 's but a dream of some fair summer's day,
Ever expectant of some fearful close,
Till ruthless death asserts his powerful sway;
Death passed - the life triumphant over woes.
So shifts the scene as by some magic wand, -
First life - then death - and then the life beyond.