The Silvery San Juan

Wherever I wander, my spirit still dwells.

In the silver San Juan with it’s stream-lets and dells;

Whose mountainous summits, so rugged and high,

With there pinnacles pierce the ethereal sky;

Where the daisy, the rose, and the sweet columbine

Blend their colors with those of the sober hued pine;

Where the ceaseless erosion of measureless time,

Have chiseled the grotto, and canon sublime;

Have sculpted the cliff, and the stern mountain wall;

Have formed the bold turret, impressive and tall;

Have cut the deep gorge with its wonderful caves,,

Sepulchral and gloomy; whose vast architraves

Support the stalactites, both pendant and white,

Which with the stalagmites beneath them unite;

Where nestles a valley, sequester and grand,

Worn out the rock by the same tireless hand,

Surrounded by mountains, majestic and gray,

Which smile from their heights on the Town of Ouray .


Wherever I wander, my ears hear the sound

Of thy waters, which plunge with a turbulent bound

O’re the precipice, seething and laden with foam;

My ears hear  their music wherever I roam;

Where the cataract’s rhapsody, joyous and light,

Enchantments in the morning and sooths in the night;

Where the blend the loud thunders, sonorous and deep,

With the whispering zephyr, and murmuring breeze,

Unite with the soft, listless sigh of the trees;

And where to the fancy, the voices of air

Wail in tones of distress, or in shrieks of despair;

Where mourneth the night wind, with desolate breath,

In accents suggestive of sorrow and death;

As falls from the heavens, so fleecy and light;

The winter’s immaculate mantle of white;

Wherever I wander, these sounds greet my ears,

And the Silvery San Juans to my fancy appears.

Alfred Castner King

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