Charles Turner Dazey was an American writer and playwright born in Lima, Illinois, in 1855. He wrote a number of successful plays, also leaving a mark in the early film history as a writer of numerous of silent films. He died in Quincy in 1938; sadly, his works quickly became forgotten.
I chose his poem “February Rain” mainly because it perfectly describes the typical weather at this time of year in my part of the world—and, sure enough, the sort of weather we’re having right now as I’m writing this post. It’s cold, grey and rainy outside, but you can definitely feel the imminent arrival of spring.
At the bottom of the post you’ll find a simple vocabulary exercise designed for English language learners, as well as the links to additional resources on C. T. Dazey.
O lonely day! No sounds are heard Save winds and floods that downward pour, And timid fluting of a bird, That pipes one low note o'er and o'er. Before the blast the bare trees lean, The ragged clouds sail low and gray, And all the wild and wintry scene Is but one blur of driving spray. O day most meet for memories, For musing by a vacant hearth On that which was and that which is, And those who walk no more on earth! And yet this dark and dreary day Some brighter lesson still can bring, For it is herald of the May, A faint foretoken of the spring. Beneath the ceaseless-beating rain Earth's snowy shroud fast disappears, As sorrow pressing on the brain, Fades in a flood of happy tears. And thus in darkness oft is wrought, Through lonely days of tears and grief, The gradual change by which is brought To shadowed lives some sweet relief.
VOCABULARY EXERCISE FOR ESL STUDENTS
Find the words in the poem with the following meaning:
- empty, abandoned
- veil; blanket, cover
- sign, indicator
- ponder, ruminate, contemplate
- suitable, appropriate, fitting
- fireside; home, residence
- fearful, afraid
- comfort, consolation
To check your answers, click here for the answer key.
Charles T. Dazey page on Project Gutenberg (free ebooks available for download)
Charles T. Dazey page on the IMDb film database (list of silent films he wrote)
Quincy playwright’s fame burned brightly, then faded (an article on C. T. Dazey from the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County)