Broken {Quotable by Amy Carmichael}


Buried in a mighty forest

Is a valley where a mild

River moveth over burnished,

Copper-colored rock; and wild,

Plumed pandanus, tall tree fern,

Wealth of climbing maidenhair–

Light flung, rioting everywhere–

Deck the banks of this, my burn.

And the glen among the mountains,

Sweet with silence, is for me

Life’s ideal. Thus, my flowing

I would choose might ever be:

Tranquil, ordered, unperturbed,

Fair festooned, harmonious, whole–

Even as the quiet soul

Of this river…Sudden curbed,

As a living thing, my river

Drew up, faced a black abyss

Yawning wide; as if affrighted,

Broke forth, leaped, and vanquished. This

Is thy work, blind force. Why did ye

Break upon my river, shout–

Crashing through her peace–and flout

All her innocent green’ry?

Through the forest, down the boulders

Climbed I; caught a phantom gleam,

Heard a music, followed, found it–

Found my river again. O stream

Broken thus, this sudden glory

Crowning thee, rebuketh me

Who miscalled calamity

That which perfecteth thy story.

All the trees of all the forest,

Leaning over, listened. Fell

Voices of tumultuous waters,

Visions that no tongue may tell,

Pure, perpetual, things of wonder;

All of me was eye and ear;

Oh, to see the glory clear,

Catch the whisper in the thunder!

And I caught it; words to utter

Fail. I only know I knew

Not among the silver sedges

May God’s rivers linger. Few

But receive an inward token;

And then gath’ring all their might,

Leap–and mingling with the light,

Know the mystery of being broken.

~Amy Carmichael

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