The Peace of the Hills

By George Sterling

For Alda

Lonely, high, and pure forever,
  Leap the living springs,
Where the youngest waters never
  Tell of sorrowed things.
Cool and clear and pebble-paven,
  Still or quick they lie,
Giving calm or aspen haven
  To the mirrored sky.

Where the choric water clashes
  Link on foaming link,
Where the dipping ouzel splashes
  At the ferny brink,
Where the fountain-murmurs falter,
  Change, but never cease,
In the shadow of her altar,
  Stands the goddess, Peace.

Where the shyest birds are mating
  In the lonest spot,
In the quiet stands she waiting,
  Tho you see her not.
Beautiful upon the mountains
  Are her feet, one saith.
What you felt beside the fountains
  Was, perhaps, her breath.

Cloud and cliff and forest-fragrance
  In her home you find,
Voice and touch and gipsy vagrance
  Of the trackless wind,
While the rillet, unreturning,
  Ever seaward slips,
Lifted in incessant yearning
  To her silent lips.

*Unpublished poem used with permission. Property of Victoria Arriaga. May not be used without expressed written consent.

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