The Storm

A writing to Dewey Gillespie from a very respected friend AJH)


Soon the sun is hidden, and a light breeze seems, rather to tremble and hang poised than to blow.  The rolling clouds, the dark forest, and the watery river shine out every moment in the wide gleam of lightning still hidden by the forest, and are wrapped again in ever thickening darkness over which thunder roll and jar and answer one another across the sky.  Then, like the charge of the “Light Brigade”, come the wind and the rain, their onset covered by all the artillery of heaven.  The lightning’s leap, hiss, and blaze; the thunder crack and roar; the rain lashes; the waters writhe; the wind smites and howls.  For five, ten, twenty minutes - for an hour, the sky and the flood are never for an instant wholly dark, or the thunder for one moment silent.  While the universal roar sinks and swells, and the wide, vibrant illumination shows all things in ghostly half concealment, fresh floods of lightning every moment rend the dim curtain and leap forth.  The dark glare of evening falls upon the swaying forest, the reeling bowing, tossing poplars, the seething waters, and the whirling rain.  Then all are dim ghost again, while a peal, as if the heavens were rent, rolls off around the sky, comes back in shocks and throbs, and sinks in a long roar before it can die is swallowed up in the next flash and peal.  The storm passes, and serenity reigns once more.