I cannot seem to find any poetic names for "rainbow", something like how the Sun was given the poetic name "the eye of heaven" in Elizabethan England. and other delightful coinages like that. I highly doubt the wondrous bow in the clouds does not have some poetic names for it, seeing that it is considered one of Nature's most pretty pieces of poetic work.

For context, this is for a more "serious" poem alluding to the "rainbow" God made as his covenant to Noah in The Book of Genesis after the Great Flood, so I am not really looking for any names which may come across as seeming "cute". I would also be, ideally, looking for Early-Modern-English coinages, but later is fine too.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


showery prism,triumphal arch,lovely Iris are all candidate phrases that may be found in the poems of James Thomson and Thomas Campbell.



I like the showery prism because of its physical accuracy and its suggestion of spectral colours.

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  • do you know the etymology of the definition of "prism" which "showery prism" uses? – Tom O' Bedlam Oct 21 at 18:54
  • Etymonline gives "prism (n.) 1560s, in geometry, "a solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal, and parallel plane polygons, and whose sides are parallelograms," from Late Latin prisma, from Greek prisma "a geometrical prism, trilateral column," (Euclid), literally "something sawed (as a block of wood), sawdust," from prizein, priein "to saw" (related to prion "a saw"), which is of uncertain origin. Euclid chose the word, apparently, on the image of a column with the sides sawn off. The word later applied to glass, making a refractive device revealing the spectral colours of white light – Anton Oct 21 at 20:38

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