Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

(1834-1894 / England)

A Song At A Waterfall - Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Athwart the voice of a wild water,
Falling for ever,
Do I hear some song of the foam's daughter
Fairily quiver?
Is it song of a naïad, or bee,
Or a breeze from the tree,
Haunting the cave of the wild water?

For evermore leapeth the fall plashing
Into a pool,
And nigh me, away from the foam flashing,
Quiet and cool,
Lies a hyaline gulf olive-green,
Where ferns overlean,
And boughs embower the wave-washing.

In a clear hyaline, lo! the leaves waver,
While, as a cloud,
Stones below melt in the pool-quaver:
And with the loud
Shout of the waters blithe
Mingles, airy and lithe,
A tune, like a lingering flower-savour.

Fearless fronteth the sound-ocean,
Even as a bird
Breasting the resonant storm-motion,
Low is it heard,
Sundering soft the cold
Roar, like a gleam of gold,
Wandering warm with a mild motion;

Visiting every flower-blossom,
A humming-bird;
Floats and falls on the wind's bosom
Many a word.
'Tis ne'er a naïad who sings,
Nor aught with wings,
But a maiden fair as the foam blossom!

For now, disentangling the tree-cover,
Resteth she fair
On a stone, a mere child; and her own lover,
All unaware
Of a heaven in her, laughs free;
While blithe as a bee
Singing she roameth the world over.

Ah! sweeter far than the fall roaring,
Or any wild sound,
Is the carol of thy young life pouring
Joyance around!
Yet a vanishing voice of the spring,
With a fleeting wing,
Is thine in the realm of the long roaring!

For the bee will go from the wild water,
With blossom and breeze;
And thou, more fair than the foam's daughter,
Even as these,
Wilt fade with the hours away
From the weary play,
And the wildering roar of the wild water!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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