Scent of Rain in Prose and Poetry

Auf dem Heimweg
Scent of Rain in Prose and Poetry

That night it began to rain. Nedda, waking, could hear the heavy drops pattering on the sweetbrier and clematis thatching her open window. The scent of rain-cooled leaves came in drifts, and it seemed a shame to sleep. She got up; put on her dressing-gown, and went to thrust her nose into that bath of dripping sweetness. Dark as the clouds had made the night, there was still the faint light of a moon somewhere behind. The leaves of the fruit-trees joined in the long, gentle hissing, and now and again rustled and sighed sharply; a cock somewhere, as by accident, let off a single crow. There were no stars. All was dark and soft as velvet. And Nedda thought: 'The world is dressed in living creatures! Trees, flowers, grass, insects, ourselves—woven together—the world is dressed in life!
Scribner's magazine, Volume 58
By Edward Livermore Burlingame

Roses in the Rain

THE winding meadow-paths are deep,
And, like a faint-remembered strain,
There comes, as o'er dim seas of sleep,
The scent of roses in the rain.

The drift of delicate perfume
Causes my eyes to blur with tears;
I sense, when roses are in bloom,
The pain and pathos of the years.

It brings, though but a fleeting breath,
A moment here, then gone again,
The poignancy of time and death—
The scent of roses in the rain!

Everywhere there is an abundance of motion and change on this bright and windy morning; the far ranges of hills are dappled with yellow sunlight and purple cloud-shadows; torn shreds of white stretch across the pale blue sky; a deeper blue stirs and trembles in the driven water of the loch. The flowers are all nodding and bending before the breeze; sometimes a few drops of rain begin to mark the lilac-gray pebbles at her feet; sometimes there is a brief gloom overhead; then the bit of a shower drifts over; the warm sunshine spreads itself around; the petals of the flowers are glittering now, and the pendulous branches of the willows rustling; while the air is freshened with the scent of rain-wet roses and sweetbrier.
In far Lochaber, Volume 1
By William Black

Outside, not even to be gainsaid by Sixth Avenue, the night was like a moist flower held to the face. A spring shower, hardly fallen, was already drying on the sidewalks, and from the patch of Bryant Park across the maze of car-tracks there stole the immemorial scent of rain-water and black earth, a just-set-out crescent of hyacinths giving off their light steam of fragrance. How insidious is an old scent! It can creep into the heart like an ache. Who has not loved beside thyme or at the sweetness of dusk? Dear, silenced laughs can come back on a whiff from a florist's shop. Oh, there is a nostalgia lurks in old scents!
Gaslight sonatas
By Fannie Hurst

THE sky was covered with low-hanging clouds ; it was not quite dark, and the ruts shone dimly in front of the carriage; but on both sides all was wrapped in mist, and the outlines of the different objects melted into large, shapeless patches. It was a dull, unsettled night; the wind blew in little, damp puffs, bringing the scent of rain and of vast wheat fields.
Virgin soil
By Īvan Sergeevīch Turgenev

The crashing thunder that had seemed like an avalanche of boulders shattered and flung earthward by the fury of the storm, began to spend itself, and close following on the peals and flashes came the damp earth-scent of rain-wetted dust as the big drops came down. By and by the thunder died away in distant grumbling, and the fiery zigzags went out. There was the sound of splashing hoofs pounding along the road; and the warm, wet smell of horses' steaming hides blown back by the night wind.
Harper's magazine, Volume 134

Presently a few heavy drops splashed through the thick, warm air. These were succeeded by others, and a fresh scent of rain began to blow through the rose-trees at the window. Then a low peal of thunder rolled over the meadows, and a sharp vivid streak of pale fire played for an instant across the bosom of a black cloud. The cloud grew darker and the peals louder and fuller, until the lightning streaks, and the thunderous volleys seemed to awe every living thing to silence.
Once a week
edited by Eneas Sweetland Dallas

They were following the road that the cavalry had taken an hour in advance of them. Listening now, they rode on without words. Now and then a bush at the roadside flipped a stirrup, now and again Banjo's little horse snorted in short impatience, as if expressing its disapproval of this journey through the dark. Night was assertive in its heaviness, but communicative of its mysteries in its wild scents — the silent music of its hour.
There are those who, on walking in the night, can tell the hour by the smell, the taste, the elusive fine aroma of the quiet air. Before midnight it is like a new-lit censer; in the small hours the smell of old camp fires comes trailing, and the scent of rain upon embers.
The rustler of Wind River
By George Washington Ogden

It was dark when he reached the Nagasaki station. He picked a riksha from a row of them standing outside with hoods up, for it had been raining slightly, and looking absurdly like a row of tiny, unhorsed hansom cabs, and told the man to take him to the House of the Clouds.
He came up the hill-path, and as he came the wind, blowing against him, brought a perfume with it, the perfume of rain-wet azaleas. During the day and the previous night dozens of blossoms had broken forth, filling the garden with their fragrance and beauty; dozens more would be born ere the morrow under the light of the silvery moon now gliding up over the hill-tops behind a tracery of flying, fleecy clouds.
The crimson azaleas: a novel
By Henry De Vere Stacpoole

The evening breezes chilly blow
Adown the mirk and eerie river;
Beneath the willows on the shore
The rushes quiver.

Between the tree-tops darkly green
The summer stars are whitely shining;
A cloud before the rounded moon
Shows silver lining.

Like tiny cymbals fairy-wrought
The ruffled waves are shoreward chiming,
With pulsing beats that come and go
In wordless rhyming.

The dusky leaves of watching trees,
With breeze blown palms to heaven lifted,
Wave out entreaties to the rain
Where clouds have drifted.

And sigh for rain; the mosses green
Are gray within the dew-less dragging
Of heated hours whose weary march
Is slow and lagging.

But hark I Upon the shadowed air
Awakened bird is lightly trilling
Its joyous song with clear low strains,
The woodland filling.

A rain song: linking note by note
The sweet, instinctive, airy madness
That prophesies the coming shower
With tuneful gladness.

And dark across the blinded moon
The ragged clouds are slowly trailing,
As hastening down the woodland way.
The wind is wailing.

The welcome drops leap down the sky
And dapple all the flowing river;
And fall like kisses on the leaves
That bend and quiver.

The bird is gone; in some safe nook
To listening mate is softly calling;
While hour by hour the fragrant rain
Is gently falling.
—Georgia Roberts.

"It was the close of April. . . . Suddenly, one night, a mild, warm rain began to fall, and from that moment all went as if by magic. It was as if a secret power of effervescence lay hidden in the fine, fragrant rain. . . . Yesterday everything had been black and naked, and now it looked as if a thin light green veil had been thrown over all. Neither was the air the same as yesterday. The fragrance was quite different, and it was so easy to breathe! All nature was smitten with a real spring fever. The birches had already clothed themselves in a fine transparent network of leaves, light and delicate as lace. From the poplars' big, swelling buds fell balsamic scales that filled the air with a strong intoxicating perfume. . . . The spruces shot out long, palegreen cones, straight as candles, which showed strangely against the brown ones of last year. Only the oak still stood naked and surly, as if he had no thought of spring."
VERA VORONTZOFF. By Sonya Kovalevsky

The rain increaseth. All the morning, great gray clouds have been flying to us from the Bellever country. First they let fall a few haphazard drops. Then they gradually lowered, opened, embraced the tors, and now we are swathed in fragrant rain-shot mist that is soaking the whole moor.
As I look through the window, all is movement. Not one tiny object is still. Every grass blade is a-quiver upon the Tweed Dog's bank; every ivy leaf in the cheepery is dancing on its stalk; every bare twig and bough in the hedge is waving against the dove gray of the sky.
Through a Dartmoor window
By Olive Katharine Parr

Now, looking out, I saw that the needful watering was not coming from a passing shower. The clouds were leaden from horizon to horizon; the rain fell with the gentle steadiness of a quiet summer storm, and had evidently been falling some hours already. The air was so fragrant that I threw wide open the door and windows. It was a true June incense, such as no art could distill; and when, at last, we all sat down to breakfast, of which crisp radishes taken a few moments before from our own garden formed a part, we felt that nature was carrying on our work of the past week in a way that filled our hearts with gratitude. The air was so warm that we did not fear the dampness. The door and windows were left open that we might enjoy the delicious odors and listen to the musical patter of the rain, which fell so softly that the birds were quite as tuneful as on other days.
St. Nicholas, Volume 12, Part 1
By Mary Mapes Dodge

And darkness came on steadily. There were no stars anywhere; and the violent winds folded their hands in quiet; and the air began to smell of rain; and somebody said aloud—it was a child—"There's a rain-drop;" and he spoke truly; and the night is come; and the slow rain begins its placid falling. It is raining. And all the evening through, all the night through into dull morning, on to noon, now into afternoon, it is raining.
The prairie and the sea
By William Alfred Quayle