Robert Graves

Thunder At Night

Poem by Robert Graves

Restless and hot two children lay
Plagued with uneasy dreams,
Each wandered lonely through false day
A twilight torn with screams.

True to the bed-time story, Ben
Pursued his wounded bear,
Ann dreamed of chattering monkey men,
Of snakes twined in her hair...

Now high aloft above the town
The thick clouds gather and break,
A flash, a roar, and rain drives down:
Aghast the young things wake.

Trembling for what their terror was,
Surprised by instant doom,
With lightning in the looking glass,
Thunder that rocks the room.

The monkeys' paws patter again,
Snakes hiss and flash their eyes:
The bear roars out in hideous pain:
Ann prays: her brother cries.

They cannot guess, could not be told
How soon comes careless day,
With birds and dandelion gold,
Wet grass, cool scents of May.