Deep in a forest wilderness we found
an opening where a lake lay narrowly
between two rising cliffs. These cliffs gave back
to us a double echo when we called.
The place was quiet, and we felt assured
no man had ever plumbed those clear still depths.
The earth's crust must one time have stirred and heaved
until a mountain split and formed a cleft
where, agelong, waters dripped and seeped and ran
until a limpid lake lay deep and still.
It seemed a symbol of eternal peace.
The mirrored stillness that held sky and clouds
and all the ruggedness of vast cliff walls
recorded with an equal, matchless skill
and effortless perfection of detail
the smallest growing thing that rimmed its edge.
The young green fern frond, sprung from crannied rock,
Had its bright crosiered counterpart below.
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