Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Pilgrimage
By Wallace Gould
 
From “In Maine”

AT Lewiston, I went to the bridge.
I went to the bridge to linger there.
I wanted to look once more at the Androscoggin.
I wanted to watch its plunge between the cities.
As conquering hordes would appear through a breach in the ramparts of a town,        5
so the Androscoggin appears through a break in the pines at the crest of its falls.
As the conquering hordes would plunge from the ramparts to the streets,
so the river plunges to its lower channel.
It is mighty.
It is august.        10
 
Nothing is changed.
There, as ever, are the mills that rise from the waters—
the old brick mills that were there when I was a child,
and that, by the light of the moon, seemed castles of old days.
They are not changed.        15
There, as ever, at the crest of the falls, are the ancient pines, black, scraggy, that loom against the northern skies.
They are not changed.
 
Nothing is changed.
The greater falls,
amber and white,        20
silky, voluptuous, majestic, resplendent,
descend about the enormous boulders,
which, if viewed from the western shores,
form the face of the aged man.
The floods, just now, are mischievous.        25
On the brow of the aged man
they have placed a slab of ice—
a dunce-cap on the head of a scowling sage.
The sounding tons pour pompously to the lower basin.
From the basin,        30
scrolls of foam—
amber and white—
sweep down the river.
 
Nothing is changed.
The western cataract, tortuous, precipitous, vicious, furious,        35
darts away from the greater falls,
and, like a python striking from above,
lunges through the sluiceway of jagged boulders.
In the lower basin
it thunders wildly.        40
Writhing, lashing,
the deafening tons—
amber and white—
burst, as ever, into rolling mist that rises higher than houses.
 
Do the columbines still grow by the western cataract?        45
They used to cling to the rocks by the lunging waters,
and there they nodded in the spray.
There I used to go for sanctuary.
I craved the holy silence of the din.
 
 
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