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An essay by T. S. Arthur

Rainbows Everywhere

Title:     Rainbows Everywhere
Author: T. S. Arthur [More Titles by Arthur]

BENDING over a steamer's side, a face looked down into the clear, green depths of Lake Erie, where the early moonbeams were showering rainbows through the dancing spray, and chasing the white-crusted waves with serpents of gold. The face was clouded with thought, a shade too sombre, yet there glowed over it something like a reflection from the iris-hues beneath. A voice of using was borne away into the purple and vermilion haze that twilight began to fold over the bosom of the lake.

"Rainbows! Ye follow me everywhere! Gloriously your arches arose from the horizon of the prairies, when the storm-king and the god of day met within them to proclaim a treaty and an alliance. You spanned the Father of Waters with a bridge that put to the laugh man's clumsy structures of chain, and timber, and wire. You floated in a softening veil before the awful grandeur of Niagara; and here you gleam out from the light foam in the steamboat's wake.

"Grateful am I for you, oh rainbows! for the clouds, the drops, and the sunshine of which you are wrought, and for the gift of vision through which my spirit quaffs the wine of your beauty.

"Grateful also for faith, which hangs an ethereal halo over the fountains of earthly joy, and wraps grief in robes so resplendent that, like Iris of the olden time, she is at once recognised as a messenger from Heaven.

"Blessings on sorrow, whether past or to come! for in the clear shining of heavenly love, every tear-drop becomes a pearl. The storm of affliction crushes weak human nature to the dust; the glory of the eternal light overpowers it; but, in the softened union of both, the stricken spirit beholds the bow of promise, and knows that it shall not utterly be destroyed. When we say that for us there is nothing but darkness and tears, it is because we are weakly brooding over the shadows within us. If we dared look up, and face our sorrow, we should see upon it the seal of God's love, and be calm.

"Grant me, Father of Light, whenever my eyes droop heavily with the rain of grief, at least to see the reflection of thy signet-bow upon the waves over which I am sailing unto thee. And through the steady toiling of the voyage, through the smiles and tears of every day's progress, let the iris-flash appear, even as now it brightens the spray that rebounds from the labouring wheels."

The voice died away into darkness which returned no answer to its murmurings. The face vanished from the boat's side, but a flood of light was pouring into the serene depths of a trusting soul.

[The end]
T. S. Arthur's essay: Rainbows Everywhere