What though the rain be falling chill and gray,
A ceaseless dripping from the sad, brown caves?
A tiny bird is singing cross the way.
Beneath the friendly shelter of the leaves.
The mountain top is sheathed in vapors white,
And o’er the valley hands a chilly path.
But through the mists are riding into night.
The robin sounds his loving, little call.
I hear the foaming torrent in its rush.
And o’er the rocks “It rests in full-grown pride”;
Through gray and green of earth, there is one flush.
A tiger-lily on the grim rock’s side,
Life may be drear, and hope seem far away.
But ever through the mist some bird will sing;
And through the dullest, rainy world of gray,
Some bright-hued flower, its flash of promising bring.
Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar-Nelson was born on July 19, 1875, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Straight University in New Orleans and worked as an elementary teacher. She was an activist for civil rights and women's suffrage, as well as a poet, journalist, short-story writer, and playwright. Her works include Violets and Other Tales (The Monthly Review, 1895) and The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1899). She married Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1898, though they later separated. She died on September 18, 1935, in Philadelphia.
Date Published: 1988-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/rainy-day