All Nature seemeth mad to-night!
The thunders roar and groan;
Tremendous in their fearful might,
The winds they shriek and groan;
The lightnings glare with frantic speed,
And, hissing, sweep their course decreed.
The forest trees are bending down
Before the winds’ compelling power;
The gathering clouds above do frown,
And Heaven itself doth seem to lower;
The waves are lashed in foamy fear,
And, hark! the clattering rain is near.
I toss upon the angriest wave,
A fragile boat beneath my feet!
No help — no hope — no power to save!
How calm, how calm my heart doth beat!
The world might change to chaos void —
I cannot change nor be destroyed!
Invisible, I recognise
The Speaker in the mighty Voice;
Unseen by my weak, mortal eyes,
It is the Monarch of my choice
Who casts the flashing lightning’s dart,
And bids the winds to fury start.
Do I not fear? What, Him? — my King?
Ah, I forget, kings must be feared:
From better cause my trust doth spring,
He never stern to me appeared;
He never came with terrors crowned,
Or finished smiling tho’ he frowned.
I know, tho’ weak my human sight,
And dangers hem me in,
I know I am as safe to-night,
As ever I have been:
I rest within the Thunderer’s arms,
If awed, still safe, free from alarms.
Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, , pages 63-64
doth = (archaic) does
seemeth = (archaic) seems
Speaker = in a religious context, God
Thunderer = in a religious context, God