The stream is wide, the current slow;
No ripples break the sunbeam's glow;
Yet well I know that ceaselessly,
The great fall thunders down below.
I see the boatman idly lean,
With listless hand upon his oar,
Unheeding that the summer shore,
With safe, still coves and b:mks of greeu,
Recedes behind him more and more.
The sunlight gilds the golden hair
That clusters round his stately head;
A lurid flush, youth's rose instead,
Dyes rounded cheek and forehead fair,
Caught from the wine cup's ruby-red.
I watch him, and I hold my breath!
He seems like one wrapped in adream;
While swiftly rolls the narrowed stream,
And, bending o'er yon gulf of death,
I see the baleful iris gleam.
Why floats he so, like one asleep,
While nearer sounds that awful roar?
Awake, O friend! take up thine oar,
And stem the rapid's fatal sweep,
Turn hither, hither, I implore.
I stretch my arms and loudly cry;
I call until the welkin rings,
At last he hears___the frail boat springs,
Trembles a moment doubtfully,
Then slowly, landward swings.
Saved, saved at last! Adrip with spray,
I see him stand upon the shore;
And then my senses swim; the roar
Sounds like a murmur far away:___
Would I might hear it never more!
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)