The Rainbow

By Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

Illustrated by Winifred Green

***

After the tempest in the sky,

How sweet yon rainbow to the eye!

Come, my Matilda, now while some

Few drops of rain are yet to come,

In this honeysuckle bower

Safely shelter’d from the shower,

We may count the colours o’er.

Seven there are, there are no more;

Each in each so finely blended,

Where they begin, or where are ended,

The finest eye can scarcely see.

A fixed thing it seems to be;

But, while we speak, see how it glides

Away, and now observe it hides

Half of its perfect arch; now we

Scarce any part of it can see.

What is colour? If I were

A natural philosopher,

I would tell you what does make

This meteor every colour take;

Illustration for The Rainbow by Winifred Green

But an unlearned eye may view

Nature’s rare sights, and love them too.

Whenever I a rainbow see,

Each precious tint is dear to me;

For every colour find I there

Which flowers, which fields, which ladies wear;

My favourite green, the grass’s hue,

And the fine deep violet-blue,

And the pretty pale blue-bell,

And the rose I love so well;

All the wondrous variations

Of the tulip, pinks, carnations;

This woodbine here, both flower and leaf;

‘Tis a truth that’s past belief,

That every flower and every tree

And every living thing we see,

Every face which we espy,

Every cheek and every eye,

In all their tints, in every shade,

Are from the rainbow’s colours made.

From Poetry for Children, by Charles and Mary Lamb
London: J.M. Dent & Co., 1898.

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