Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Rains
By Oscar Williams
 
From “Golden Darkness”

IN the country the rain comes softly with timid feet;
A grey silence is in her face, and strands of darkness blowing from her hair,
And trees are dark in her eyes, and the wind is a mournful gesture.
Softly the rain comes over the hills and her face is memory:
It is filled with the twilight blowing of waves and grasses;        5
It is filled with shadowy cloud-paws feeling among the valleys;
It is filled with the leap of trees that are instantly caught by the earth.
The spirit of all things breathes on the invisible pane of time,
And slowly out of the shadows the grey face of the rain comes into being—
Softly the rain comes over the hills and her face is sorrow.        10
 
But the rain in the city is a jazz rain:
The legs of the rain in the city are nimble—
She is loud on the stones, on the roof-tops, on the windows;
Her dancing is filled with the sway and the glitter of tinsel.
Behind her the street is a wide grin, showing the black teeth of houses—        15
The street is a wicked leer dark with ugly passion.
But though the laughter of the jazz rain is coarse in the gutter,
Though her legs are nimble and innumerable on the pavements,
Though the jazz rain speaks so loud,
The brazen rain has never a word for me.        20
 
 
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