THE WATER-FALL - Henry Van Dyke Poems


Poems » henry van dyke » the water fall


With what deep murmurs through time's silent stealth
Doth thy transparent, cool, and wat'ry wealth
     Here flowing fall,
     And chide, and call,
As if his liquid, loose retinue stay'd
Ling'ring, and were of this steep place afraid;
     The common pass
     Where, clear as glass,
     All must descend
     Not to an end,
But quicken'd by this deep and rocky grave,
Rise to a longer course more bright and brave.

     Dear stream! dear bank, where often I
     Have sate and pleas'd my pensive eye,
     Why, since each drop of thy quick store
     Runs thither whence it flow'd before,
     Should poor souls fear a shade or night,
     Who came, sure, from a sea of light?
     Or since those drops are all sent back
     So sure to thee, that none doth lack,
     Why should frail flesh doubt any more
     That what God takes, he'll not restore?

     O useful element and clear!
     My sacred wash and cleanser here,
     My first consigner unto those
     Fountains of life where the Lamb goes!
     What sublime truths and wholesome themes
     Lodge in thy mystical deep streams!
     Such as dull man can never find
     Unless that Spirit lead his mind
     Which first upon thy face did move,
     And hatch'd all with his quick'ning love.
     As this loud brook's incessant fall
     In streaming rings restagnates all,
     Which reach by course the bank, and then
     Are no more seen, just so pass men.
     O my invisible estate,
     My glorious liberty, still late!
     Thou art the channel my soul seeks,
     Not this with cataracts and creeks.