I. Life
XXVI. The farthest thunder that I heard

THE farthest thunder that I heard
        Was nearer than the sky,
And rumbles still, though torrid noons
        Have lain their missiles by.
The lightning that preceded it
        Struck no one but myself,
But I would not exchange the bolt
        For all the rest of life.
Indebtedness to oxygen
        The chemist may repay,
But not the obligation
        To electricity.
It founds the homes and decks the days,
        And every clamor bright
Is but the gleam concomitant
        Of that waylaying light.
The thought is quiet as a flake, --
        A crash without a sound;
How life's reverberation
        Its explanation found!