A Noonday Vision

I saw one whom I love more than my life
Stand on a perilous edge of slippery rock,
Under her feet the waters' furious strife,
And all around the thunder of their shock;
She stood and smiled, while terror held my breath,
Nor dared I speak, or move, or call, or cry,
Lest to wild measuring of the depth beneath,
From her small foothold she should turn her eye.
As in the tyrannous horror of a dream,
I could not look away, but stony, still,
Fastened my eyes on her, while she did seem
Like one that fears, but hath a steadfast will.
Around her, through green boughs, the sunlight flung
Its threads of glory like a golden net,
And all about the rock-wall where she clung,
The trembling crests of fern with stars were wet,
Bright beads of crystal on a rainbow strung,
Jewels of fire in drops of water set;
And while I gazed, a hand stretched forth to her
Beckoned her on—and holding firm and fast
By this her unseen guide and monitor,
Behind the rocks out of my sight she passed,
And then the agony of all my fears
Broke forth from out my eyes in sudden tears,
And I fell weeping down upon the sod;
But in my soul I heard a voice that said,
Be comforted—of what art thou afraid?
Nor for the hand she holds be thou dismayed,
The hand that holds her is the hand of God.

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