Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I have felt my heart beat high...

Wilderness Rivers

There are rivers
That I know,
Born of ice
And melting snow,
White with rapids,
Swift to roar,
With no farms
Along their shore,
With no cattle
Come to drink
At a staid
And welcoming brink,
With no millwheel
Ever turning
In that cold,
Relentless churning.

Only deer
And bear and mink
At those shallows
Come to drink;
Only paddles
Swift and light
Flick that current
In their flight.
I have felt
My heart beat high,
With exultant eye
Those pure rivers
Which have known
No will, no purpose
But their own.

-Elizabeth Coatsworth

This is from a cherished book of verse for young people Faces and Places, Poems for You. It's yellowed and taped and scuffed, bought for a few cents at a library sale. And today, this poem took me to a better place than I've been.

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