Collegia – Ode 27: The Face


SWOLLEN and angry with foaming crest
The river swirls along,
With frowning brow and quickly heaving breast,
The river-reeds among.

Rushing and roaring underneath the bridge
Almost its boards to sweep;
While ever upwards o’er the shelving ridge
The dark backwaters creep.

Swollen and angry with a heaving flood,
Muttering alway;
Churning up red the river-bottom mud
And tossing it in spray.

Whose face is that turned to me staring white
With death’s last fixed look?
O God, tell me I saw in that dim light
A face that I mistook?

31. 1. 1928