John G. Neihardt

There Was A Voice

From Lyric and Dramatic Poems.Macmillan Company, 1926.

There was a Voice—
A Voice awful in the quiet!
As a deluge from the heavens it fell,
As a breath from the earth it arose—
A wild, compelling music: Like the swift fingers of the Wind upon the harp-strings
of the Rain;
Blind, groping. toiling roots, singing of predestined blos-
Dying flowers chanting the glory of seed;
A sad, wise rune of growing.
Mysterious as birth.
Mystic as death;
Thin treble threads spun silverly out of Immensity;
Murmurous thunders, sullen with menace!
And all about me an Influence gathered.
A something motherly, cuddling me.
And I was a bud enfolded in sunlight.
A seed in a rain-warmed soil.
As a bud to the sun I responded.
As a seed in the damp. I expanded.
And a rustling of grasses went through me,
A shuddering murmur of wind-rumpled wheatfields.
And I knew this compassing, motherly, fatherly something
The thing I had groped for, striving to fashion and see it,
God of the trees and the grasses and men—
The tender, formless, vast unworshipped God!
And the Earth was a cradle rocked,
And I was an infant awakened,
Dazzled with star-mist and moon-shine.
When lo! a face leaned over me, smiling down,
Mothering me with gentle woman-eyes,
And in my cradle’s purple canopy
Builded a shielding heaven!
It was you!
My sky is in your face, and all my dawns
Flush there, and all my evenings hallow it:
And it is awful with the drift of stars,
And mystic with the wandering of moons!
Rain, rain upon me kisses, 0 my Sky!

Reproduced from Lyric and Dramatic Poems by John G. Neihardt by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1926 Macmillan Company.
Copyright renewed 1954 by John G. Neihardt.