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To the Mountain Stream

by Ruby Archer

High on the mountain top
The sun and snow
Were wed.
Thou art their child,
And free hast fled
To far-off" worlds below
With impulse wild.
Snow-pure, yet vital as the sun
Thy heart is.
Thou carolest the dream,
The fond, eternal dream
Of Mother Nature, ever-loving one.
Thou art so pulsing near
The earth and stone,
Thy listening may hear
The thrilling tone
Of all creation's under-song.
Sing loud, sing long
The cadence to mine ear—
I love it!
The mountain spirits live
And move in joy
In thy light motion.
The wild flowers give
Their delicate, pure limbs
Unto thy spray to lave.
They crave
Thy pool that brims
Upon the rocks—
Great castles of the storm-kings—
Thy pretty shocks
Go misting
In rainbow banners bright.
Now mingled day and night
Of shadow-hearted canon
A moment holds thee
All unresisting,
And roughly folds thee
In arms of stone.
On, swift, impetuous,
Light leaping
Out of the narrow channel
Unto the broad sun-sea,
Heedless of weeping
In the mosses far behind.
O Bright, O Pure, O Free!
Brother of Cloud and Wind!
Thou fling'st a jeweled gauntlet
To the aspen and the pine.
Look how the boulders kneel
To quaff thy brightness.
Pity them—ne'er to feel
Thy wayward lightness.
Like a young deer
Thy springing leap
Bids fear
Now broadening languorously
Thy lucent breast
Gives mirror to a flight of clouds
And pallid daylight moon.
A lightsome bridge
From ridge to ridge
Bounds playfully above thee,
And pauses there entranced
Perforce to love thee.
O Mountain Stream,
Fleet as a dream,
Wild as a wish all unsubdued,—
Thy power to sing
Thy thought,
To find release
For impulse in thee.
Alone doth bring
What long I sought—
A conquering sense of peace!

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