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Poem by William Leighton


The Fall of Foyers


I STOOD one morning in summer,
  On the rude peak opposite
Where over the rocky Foyers came down
  The cataract foaming white.

No sigh in the air above me;
  No song in the woods around;
A deathlike silence, broken alone
  By the hollow and deep-mouthed sound

Of water forever falling,
  And boiling and seething below;
Now lashing the crags in its furious ire,
  Now laving them in its flow.

No change in its deep diapason,
  No pause in its passionate dole,
Plaintive and awful, it found and woke
  An echo within my soul!

Grand in its eloquent beauty,
  Great in its infinite might,
It left its rocky home for my heart,
  Overflowing it quite!

Its splendor flooded my spirit,
  And, though hundreds of miles away,
As plain as I saw it that summer morn,
  I can behold it to-day;

Can lie in the night-time and listen
  To the splash and the dash of the tide,
And can see the boiling caldron smoke
  Down the cavern yawning wide!

For all that we witness of beauty,
  All grandeur melting us most,
Passes into eternal possession,
  And can nevermore be lost!



William Leighton

Poem Theme: Rivers

William Leighton's other poems:
  1. Whitby Abbey
  2. Glencoe


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