Waiting for The Rain

By Larry Clinton

Daniel O’Connell (1849 -1899), was a Sausalito poet who is memorialized by the stone bench on the northwest corner of the intersection of Bulkley and Harrison streets. In January, 1891 the Sausalito News published his poem “Waiting for the Rain,” which is as appropriate today as it was 124 years ago:

"I faint," said the grass on the parched hillside,

Lifting its head with pain.

"And never did bridegroom pine for bride,

As I pine for the rain." 

"I die," said the rose, "for the dusty earth

Presses my roots with pain;

As the mother prays for the infant's birth,

So I pray for the cooling rain." 

"I am sick of my hope," said the heliotrope,

"And that changeless azure sky;

Oh, for one hour of a generous shower,

To drink in its sweetness and die."

"Will it never come," said the mountain brook,

"Till my prisoned waters flow ? 

For this morning I heard, from a stranger bird, 

The grief of the plain below —

"How the broad leaved lily, my wedded bride,

Had bent her snowy head,

And weary with waiting, had drooped and died

ln my parched and dreary bed;

"And the thirsty banks, who laughed at my pranks

When I rushed from the wooded glen,

Have whispered, with fear, in the meadow-lark's ear,

That I had deserted them."

Thus the flowers, and the grass, and the prisoned brook,

And meadow, and hill, and plain,

Are gazing above, with a troubled look, 

For the coming of the rain.