How the swift river runs bright to its doom,
Placid and shining and smooth-flowing by,
Blue with the gleam of the heavenly room,
Smiling and calm with the smile of the sky!
Ah, but the plunge! and the shock and the roar,
The spray of vast waters that hurl to the deep,
The churn of its foam, as the measureless pour
Of that wide-brimming torrent leaps sheer from the steep!
Look ye; it reaches small fingers of spray
To clutch at the brink, as unwilling to go
Through the perilous air, and be fretted away
In the tumult of vapor that boileth below.
List ye! the voice of the huge undertone
That murmurs in pain from the cataract's breast,
Where the bruised, shattered waters perpetual moan
And wander and toss in a weary unrest.
Feel ye the breath of the cool-spraying mist,
Cloudy and gray from the depths of its pain;
Not as when sunbeams the waters have kissed,
Rising in vapor to gather in rain,
But fiercely and madly flung forth on the air,
A shroud for this river that leaps to its death,
A veil o'er the throes of the cataract there,
And rolling and rent with its agonized breath!
Wild torrent! God put thee to thunder His name!
With the roar of thy waters to call to the sky Of His might,
Who hath set thee forever the same,
To topple in foam to the gulfs from on high.
Loud hymn of the lake-lands! from shore unto shore,
Still clamor His praises Who called thee to be,
Till the eats of the nations are tuned to thy roar,
And they hear the vast message He trusted to thee.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
By Edward F. Garesche, SJ.