Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Fall of Foyers

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Foyers (Fyers), the River

The Fall of Foyers

By William Leighton (1841–1869)

I STOOD one morning in summer,

On the rude peak opposite

Where over the rocky Foyers came down

The cataract foaming white.

No sigh in the air above me;

No song in the woods around;

A deathlike silence, broken alone

By the hollow and deep-mouthed sound

Of water forever falling,

And boiling and seething below;

Now lashing the crags in its furious ire,

Now laving them in its flow.

No change in its deep diapason,

No pause in its passionate dole,

Plaintive and awful, it found and woke

An echo within my soul!

Grand in its eloquent beauty,

Great in its infinite might,

It left its rocky home for my heart,

Overflowing it quite!

Its splendor flooded my spirit,

And, though hundreds of miles away,

As plain as I saw it that summer morn,

I can behold it to-day;

Can lie in the night-time and listen

To the splash and the dash of the tide,

And can see the boiling caldron smoke

Down the cavern yawning wide!

For all that we witness of beauty,

All grandeur melting us most,

Passes into eternal possession,

And can nevermore be lost!