Within the pale blue haze above,
Some pitchy shreds took size and form,
And, like a madman’s wrath or love,
From nothing rose a sudden storm.
The blossom’d limes, which seem’d to exhale
Her breath, were swept with one strong sweep,
And up the dusty road the hail
Came like a flock of hasty sheep,
Driving me under a cottage-porch,
Whence I could see the distant Spire,
Which, in the darkness, seem’d a torch
Touch’d with the sun’s retreating fire.
A voice, so sweet that even her voice,
I thought, could scarcely be more sweet,
As thus I stay’d against my choice,
Did mine attracted hearing greet;
And presently I turn’d my head
Where the kind music seem’d to be,
And where, to an old blind man, she read
The words that teach the blind to see.
She did not mark me; swift I went,
Thro’ the fierce shower’s whistle and smoke,
To her home, and thence her woman sent
Back with umbrella, shoes and cloak.
The storm soon pass’d; the sun’s quick glare
Lay quench’d in vapour fleecy, fray’d;
And all the moist, delicious air
Was fill’d with shine that cast no shade;
And, when she came, forth the sun gleam’d,
And clash’d the trembling Minster chimes;
And the breath with which she thank’d me seem’d
Brought thither from the blossom’d limes.
– Coventry Patmore