Bay and Ocean All Thou Dost Bring
Palisades Memoir


        Nature I can admire alone
        In its many different moods;
        But even more I hold it dear
        When at my side walks one so fair

        That she outrivals every flower,
        Tree and creature of the forest,
        Her radiant and her beauteous being
        Lighting up dim copse and glen.

        Gentle as she the June air stirred
        When on that balmy afternoon
        We gaily took possession of
        The Palisades and all their beauty;

        Treading leafed, pine-needled paths
        And coming on those towering
        Ramparts of long-crumbling cliff
        Older than all our ancestors

        Ten thousand generations back.
        We looked, enchanted, far beneath,
        Across the lush and swaying green,
        To the river, wind-rippled white;

        To the foaming wake of motorboats,
        To slow barges of grey gravel,
        To hawks and seagulls flying low
        And floating on the fitful breeze.

        Then for a single exquisite moment
        The whole pulsating world was ours;
        Ours to hold close, together,
        As Time stopped at our bidding.


        Hidden deep in wooded charms,
        We found a rare and pleasant stream
        Flowing between giant boulders,
        And making muted, cooling music.

        Down its rugged bed we went,
        Leaping boldly rock to rock;
        And once you came full in my arms
        In all your maiden slenderness.

        We reached at last the precipice
        With its resounding waterfall,
        Cascading out of sight to feed
        The quiet, tempting pool below.

        You were my dearest comrade then,
        Sharing the dearest thing on earth:
        The marvelous caressing warmth
        That flows between a man and woman.

        This was the absolute goodness
        Of knowing absolute beauty—
        Pure, innocent, and unalloyed,
        With Nature smiling on our joy.

        Let us be forever grateful
        For that exultant day we dared;
        For our youth, our health, our sex,
        For the sweet merging of our lives;

        For the long reach of the Palisades,
        For trails and trees and cliffs and views,
        For singing bird and sounding stream,
        For Nature endlessly creating.


Copyright © 1972, 1983, 1994 by Corliss Lamont.
Copyright © 2001-2021 by Half-Moon Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Bay and Ocean All Thou Dost Bring

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