The Depth


The bellow of a steamer in the morning
woke the coniferous distances,
and we stood on deck,
spellbound by the Angara,
gazing straight to the river-floor,
where the painted rocks gleamed
through a bright green dimension.
We could not trust our eyes.
It seemed, at times, in our passage
that we could reach over the side
and with our fingertips touch bottom;
for depth could not be gauged
in that transparency of water.
Of course I know that danger lurks
in the unturbidity of the wave,
and that the clearest purling stream
may be the shallowest.
But deepness isn’t all.
I wouldn’t give a tinker’s dam
for a stupid stagnant pond
where the eye sees nothing plain.
Let me be like the flow of a river
obliquely struck by the sunset glow,
as deep as measureless,
with each small pebble shining through!

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